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Scrap Your New Years Resolution

You are wasting your time if you are making a New Years resolution. New Years resolutions always fail.

They fail because they are grounded in the mindset that “I’m going to start this year differently” or “this year I’m going to do things better.” That line of thinking is inherently faulty compared to the psychology of the people who are actually successful at implementing lasting change.

Resolutions, diets, and 90-day programs have one major flaw the flies in the face of instilling lasting change…they imply a finite amount of time. It dooms the well-meaning aspirer because they enter into the commitment under the auspices that they are going to make some sacrifice for a pre-defined amount of time. But that leaves them completely vulnerable to returning back to the way they’ve always done things as soon as that season is over or as soon as they get off track of the pace they’ve laid out for themselves.

Successful people think differently.

Successful people decide that the choice and change that they are about to make is not a temporary one; but a permanent one. Successful people know that success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due everyday.

They don’t try to “gear up”, “hunker down”, or simply “endure the pain” for a while only to someday celebrate their victory by returning to their former state of indulgence. Rather, they get serious that something needs to change about their life forever. They aren’t going to go on a diet; they’re going to permanently change their diet. They don’t make a resolution to go to the gym “a little more often this year”; they decide that exercise is going to be a part of their daily life until they die. They don’t convince themselves to get control of their spending for a few months; they radically commit to the idea that they will never get into debt ever again.

A person who is on the path to creating real results isn’t interested in following a seasonal fad or tagging along on some popular trend. Quite the contrary; they legitimately acknowledge that something in their life needs to be altered and then they commit that they’re going to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make it happen.

The irony is that even a timeframe as short as 90 days can be nearly impossible to motivate ourselves for when we’re trying to change our habits. But when you are fighting the battle for just one day, then you ask yourself the question “can I do this just for today?” And the answer is almost always “yes!”

You pay the rent for that day and you don’t worry about tomorrow until it comes. Then when the next day comes you again ask yourself “can I do this just for today?” to which you know the answer is yes because you’ve done it once before. Even if you get off track for a day or two, you quickly get back to asking yourself “can I pay the rent just for today?” and you’re always – at most – only one day away from the next victory.

You repeat the pattern over and over but you never convince yourself of some invisible finish line and your commitment always supersedes artificial deadlines.

So, ditch the diets. Rebuke the resolutions. And instead just get real on what part of your life is broken that you are going to fix. It’s fine to start on January 1st but it’s no better, worse, or different than any other day. It’s not about the date at all. It’s about the decision to do something better. To be someone better.

And it’s the perspective of knowing that:

No matter who you are

No matter what the date is

No matter what happened yesterday

And no matter what might happen tomorrow…

Today is just one more day that I’ll pay the rent. And tomorrow I’ll do it again because….

Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.

  • Neen James

    Rory – love this – so well said! I do love thinking in 90 day cycles, I am one of those people who love to measure success in timeframes and 90 days is a great amount of time to know if a new business idea is working, a new program is effective… maybe not for other things 😉 – thank you for always sharing your thought leadership so generously.

  • Marvi Marti

    LOVE this! Our company is pulling out of near failure, and it has been a difficult climb. Our financial manager died and left a mess. But we are making it, one day at a time. I needed this today to remind myself that we just do one day at a time or it is too big a mountain to begin to climb.

  • Glad to hear this article encouraged you Marvi! You are always – at most – only one day away from another victory!

  • V Lujan

    Thank u. Was just working on my 2014 plan and my theme and focus is not on overall year end goal . Instead I want to take their focus a month at a time. Lets work on what we can do NOW, with those we have now!…we never know what tomorrow brings, if it even comes. So work your best, your hardest & get it Done Today! 🙂 Although we do have to take advantage of the opportunity a new years mindset brings when your leading a team…

  • I like it V! Taking care of what is right in front of us and not allowing ourselves to spend much time worrying past that seems to be an effective strategy.

  • Todd

    Spot on again Rory – it is so easy for me as a sales professional to think of all the things I need to do over a 12 month period and become completely shell-shocked. But I am in complete control of what I do today. And today I choose to take the stairs. These little decisions lead to success.

  • Yes brother! Today is all that matters!