Friday, January 2, 2015

This Year Skip The Resolutions And Start A Revolution

When it comes to making life changes, follow Yoda's advice.
With it being the new year, it's that time when so many make 'resolutions' on things to do (or not to do). Usually these are ways to improve themselves like lose weight, eat better, giving up smoking, etc. Rarely it might be something a little more out of the ordinary like learn a new language, learn to ride a motorcycle and so on. This year though, I say forget making a resolution and instead start a revolution. Do something extraordinary this year.
The concept of the traditional New Year's Resolution is all well and good, but 1) They are boring. 2) Most of them you should just do anyway. and 3) People usually fail at them.

Probably the single most common one is something like: "I am going to try to lose X pounds." There are a variety of health related resolutions from losing weight to eating better. If you want or need to be healthier, just do it because you should not because its a "New Year."

The problem with most resolutions is they involve 'trying' to do something. We need to listen to Yoda who says 'Do, or do not, there is no try". Make a change in your life, start a revolution in your soul, and just do it - don't resolve to try to do it.

We could apply Yoda's message to the same types of promises we make for resolutions, but why? As I said before we should just do those things regardless. If it takes a reason, find that reason within yourself or others and pick a meaningful and possible time to start. In the middle of Wisconsin winter when its cold, we want comfort, resolving to eat better or work out isn't practical. Wait til its warm out. Start on your birthday, or the first day of spring, any day but because its simply a "New" year, any date can be the start of something new.

So, pick something that you can just do and take the first step. Join an adult sport league. Sign up for motorcycle riding class or to sky dive or something. Reach out to an organization to volunteer. Start writing, or drawing, or painting - don't wait for lessons, just start doing it.

If you just do one thing, its one step, and you never know where the next step will take you. Take the sport league for example. Rather than saying you want to lose weight, just pick an activity you can do now and do it. You will be active, you may feel you need more activity to become better and start doing more to help, or meet new people with new activities, networking, and so on.

One little thing, having a goal for an activity is easier than a result. If you want to be healthier, pick something you want to do like the Tough Mudder, or your first 5k or something and work to do that - it will motivate you more than to lose 10 pounds, or decrease your blood pressure or something.

When true revolutions start, its not by people thinking they want to 'try' to change things, they know they are going to change things. They may have bigger ideas in mind than what they accomplish, but they usually accomplish something. The American Revolution wasn't started by people thinking 'We should try to become independent." They were saying to themselves and others "We need to, have to, and are going to become independent."

Success breeds success, so play to your strengths. Resolutions are usually meant to improve weaknesses, but if you want to start a revolution in your life: find, know, and use your strengths. Are you a social person? Then do something new socially. Are you a good problem solver? Find a problem to help solve. As you succeed in one thing it will give you confidence to do the next thing, and so on, and so on.

I'm not one to normally share social media memes here at GMM, but I used one above and have seen two today that I think relate to and support what I am saying here without being inane or overly melodramatic and both have local Milwaukee and Wisconsin ties. Tomorrow is author J.R.R. Tolkien Day and in honor of that Milwaukee's own Northwestern Mutual shared this:



Then there was a post of a New Year quote by Neil Gaiman, also an author, and if you didn't know though English, he now makes his home in Wisconsin.



Now that you are hopefully sufficiently inspired, go out there and start a revolution in your life.