Concluding thoughts on New Year’s resolutions.

“A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.” – Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

“And if you cannot remain indifferent, you must resolve to throw your weight into that balance in which the fate and condition of man is weighed.” – Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894)

A last word on resolutions…

Making resolutions only once a year? One single day out of 366 (this year)?

How lame is that?

Why should resolve be confined to a once-a-year passing thought? Isn’t resolve meant to be woven tightly throughout the fabric of our lives?

Truth is, we’re no good at anything we don’t practice. Swing a golf club once a year? Fuhgeddaboutit. And forget about finding your ball. Cook an egg once a year? Even that won’t work so well. Next time you see your dentist, tell him or her that you just brushed and flossed once last year. And that saying that you never forget how to ride a bicycle? When was the last time you rode one? Turns out that’s sort of true…but you for sure better wear a helmet. As to those to areas of your life where we wish to excel, you and I are not going to hit Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour-target anytime soon at the rate of just one day a year.

If we want to be known as people of purpose, perhaps we should exercise our resolve more regularly. Find a rhythm that works for you. Maybe four times a year to start (still a little infrequent). Monthly. Weekly.

Maybe even daily. Each day, we’re a new creation. That means each day we can shed baggage, reaffirm our purpose and aim, reject habits and activities that hurt or distract us, focus our energies on things that matter, and invest in those around us.

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But you and I are doing this already. It’s simply that we can be more aware, more conscious of it. We can get much more in touch with our resolve – that part of us that according to the 19th-century Hungarian leader Lajos Kossuth is keeping close company with the passion in our hearts. And, as the historian Edward Gibbon advises, we can follow through. We can connect that passion to some very clear, very realistic, very practical and strategic thinking – in our heads. And finally, we can act. We can put our hands to work at the task before us.

Let’s not just wait to see how 2012 turns out. Let’s shape it. Together, we can resolve, think, and act to make 2012 a very good year.

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