Every year, it’s the same thing. People making a bunch of resolutions to do things that they will 99% of the time do for about 2 weeks and then go right back to not doing until maybe next year. Quitting smoking, exercising more, eating less, drinking less, spending less, swearing less, working less and other personal nits usually make the list. According to Wikipedia, recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. A separate study in 2007 by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol showed that 78% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. I too used to make resolutions until I realized I was falling into this same trap of starting something I couldn’t finish. Here’s why I don’t make ’em anymore.
It’s not just an aphorism. Or an overused Latin phrase. To me, it is how I live my life every day. And it means something very special to me. I believe that life is short and at any moment it could be over. Done. Finito. Sure, it’s kind of morbid, but how differently would you live your life if you started to think about what you want to do, need to do, long to do NOW versus what you want to do but are going to do when you retire? Or when your kids are older? Or when you have more money? Or when work is less crazy? Whatever it is, you’re going to wait and my point is…don’t wait.
Seizing the day is really about being present. Living in the moment for the moment. Being aware of all that life has to offer. I am a very passionate person and, at any second in time, my head is whirling with about 20 things I’d like to be doing right at that second. Riding a zip line in Costa Rica. Watching the elephants on a Safari. Running the marathon. Driving cross-country. Learning to play the guitar. Re-learning how to play the piano. Practicing yoga. Learning French. Shopping in Paris. Going to a runway show. Are you tired yet?? That’s just what I thought of in the 2 minutes it took me to type:) It can be really frustrating to have to push some of those thoughts aside because the reality is, well, the reality. But, I focus on the things that make me happy. And the things that might not make me happy, but make other people happy (yeah, gotta work on that). And the things that make me feel scared (but in a good way). And the things that challenge me to be a better person. And the things that delight me (chocolate, cupcakes, cheeseburgers, pizza, and the list goes on;). And the things that make me grow (great friends and family, new experiences). And the things I’m passionate about (my style biz, my work, life). And the things that complete me (my kids).
So, I challenge you to think differently about 2011 and, rather than focusing on short-term changes that you will most likely abandon…focus on the things in life that make you happy and make you want to get out of bed every day and feel like you can take on the world. It’s your life. What are you waiting for?