Plan for success in the New Year

Wednesday January 03, 2018 Written by Published in Opinion

As 2017 comes to a close I can almost hear myself conjuring up New Year’s resolutions for the coming 52 weeks, 12 months and 365 days.


Can you almost hear yourself whispering promises of how things are going to be different, things are going to change and somehow get better just because the year has ended and a new year is about to begin. Or is it that same whisper you whispered last year, the same promise broken and the same pants that seem to be as tight as they were last year if not a little tighter.

We feel compelled to disappoint ourselves with promises to ourselves we always seem to break and our ideals of how life could be, but by the end of 2018 it is likely we will find that nothing has changed, other than another year has slipped by and maybe we are in the same place. Or even worse, a little further away from where in life we truly wanted to be and hoped for.

Oh how this year has flown by we say, when actually the days are still 24 hours long, there was still 12 months and there will still be 365 days, as with every other year. Often it is just a recognition that we have not achieved what we wanted and somehow, we blame the speed at which this year flew by as the reason why. The truth is the year didn’t fly by at all. In fact, the only thing not flying may have been yourself and what you hoped to achieve.

Tony Robbins, the ever-smiling motivator once said, “resolutions require only words, results take actions.”

How true it is that our words can placate us or seduce us into a sleep that can last almost 365 days, only to awaken from that sleep as the year slips away from us and we are faced with yet another one.

I can believe this year has ended because I feel like I have lived through every month, every day and every week, alive to its potential, its challenges and its triumphs. Yes, there have been valleys but the valley was only ever a stepping stone to the hilltop experiences I have savoured this year.

What a joy it has been to be alive when some of my good friends passed away. What a joy it has been to have my children and grandchildren added to the family this year. What a joy it has been to have my parents and wider family journey with me this year and what a joy it has been to have the love of my wife, and to share a home and a life together, living each day in the moment, thankful for every day we have together and more.

When we look back on the year with a sense of joy, we can find so many gems along the way that have been placed for us to pick up, to admire, celebrate and have as our own. We don’t actually own them, but we do have the opportunity to care for them and share them with whomever God may bring across our path. Or maybe they were for ourselves to hold and treasure as they caused us to grow and become more of who we want to be than the day before.

Some of us will face this end of year with disappointment for goals we did not achieve and look to this New Year to take on these challenges again. Though if, as Tony Robbins said, we approach these challenges with just words and not actions, we will at the end of 2018 see that same disappointments return again. Because it is about what we do, and yet how often do we judge others by what they do, and ourselves just by what we intended. If we want to make a difference all we need to do is something. Do something, and let that New Year’s resolution catapult you into the change you so desire. God knows you deserve it, and change is as good as a medicine because change so often means growth and fulfilment.

Don’t say what you resolve to do differently, do it. Do it today, whatever it is that you have been neglecting start now; right now and let that small success of change build and build until you find yourself on the pathway to success whatever that may mean for you.

Life is not a dress rehearsal, we do not get a second chance at the day past us or the hours that pass us by. We must seize the day, and as Robin Williams said in the famous movie Dead Poets Society, “Carpe Diem..seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

If you’re going to make a new year’s resolution make it not in words but in deeds. Tuck that goal deep in your heart and speak it to no one but yourself and make your life extra ordinary by doing the extra ordinary today, not at midnight 2017 but right now. 

Go on, I dare the life and life more abundant that was promised and is available to us all.

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