A New Perspective on Resolutions

Zipping through my e-mail, finger on the delete key because, let’s face it, most of it is junk, when something catches my eye.

Fw: Every Day is Day One

Stay the finger of doom. I will read this one. It’s a forwarded newsletter, sent by my friend Kristi. In it, Chris Brogan, founder of Human Business Works, is discussing resolutions, the new year, goals, and normal start-of-year topics like that. His turn of phrase is a great hook.

Brogan’s talking about Fitarella’s “12in12” program, which offers a new twist on the dreaded resolution: work on one commitment for a month – every day, all month. The next month – and every month after that for a full year – you must start a new commitment and work it for that month. You can continue that commitment or not, but you must start the new one.

I like this idea. I’m thinking about how to best use it in my own life, seeing as how we’re already a week into January. Oh, but here’s where Brogan has me. “Every Day is Day One.” He must have known many of us would see this and think, “oh, good idea. Too bad January’s already half over. Maybe next year.” Tricky.

And effective. Because even if the month of January were just around the corner, all fresh and new and eager for us to start our first commitment, most of us, at one time or another, would find ourselves falling off the commitment wagon. We are human, after all.

What a perspective switch! Here I am, all unlucky with New Year’s resolutions. I have never been able to carry one through for very long. Ask me in February how my resolution is going and you’ll hear, “Oh, yeah, that. I gave it up for Lent.” Now here’s this whole new concept staring me right in the eyes, unblinking, rather like the the way my Alpha dog looks at the Beta dog and all the other Greek alphabet dogs he rules.

Every Day is Day One. Get up. Dust yourself off. Start over. Day one. Here we go again.

So it all boils down to this: I’ve never really internalized the concept of Every Day is Day One. I’m chalking it up to how I pretty much inhabit a big-picture world of ideas and concepts and abstractions. It’s not been until lately that I’ve started visiting the detail world of here and now and the moment.

It’s funny how a nudge works: I stare at something that appears to be nothing more than hieroglyphics, but then let me move two inches to the left and suddenly it makes perfect sense. So I’ve always seen a stumble as a failure and a sign that I might as well stop because, see?! I obviously can’t do it because I stumbled! Now, apparently, I now can give myself permission to stand back up and keep on going. It’s Day One redux, and it holds just as much potential as the original. Maybe even more!

Remember, every day is day one. Did I know that? Of course. Did I really GET that before now? Of course not.

3 Words
But I’m not done! There are more gems in this little email I nearly trashed. Three, specifically. See, Brogan himself challenges people to skip the resolution route and root around to find three perfect words to represent goals for the new year. He views these words as “lighthouses to guide you through stormy seas … flags on the battlefield of your challenges … words that will bolster you and give you a direction…”

Brogan’s planning to combine his three words with Fitarella’s idea of 12in12, blending the two concepts together – he’ll use the 12in12 concept to focus on aspects of his three words for the whole year.

Oooh. I’m liking this, too! And I have three perfect words that capture my hopes for 2012:

Flourish. I will stop working my body so hard and feed it good stuff and lower its stress ratio. I want to retire in several years, and I want to retire healthy and vibrant and vigorous. So I’m going to take the steps now so I’ll be there when it’s time. Or before.

Mindful. I will practice it until I get it right. I want to live a more centered existence, practice gratitude and become a student of positivity. Why should I focus on the negative when I could just as easily choose to be happier?

Creator. Ah, I love this one. I’m in such a creator spurt right now. I want to lay the groundwork for life-after-retirement that incorporates continuous learning, some assertive-nurturing of others, and a paycheck. I want to publish a book. I want to establish my coaching practice. I want to explore and be and do. I want to embrace my life and laugh a lot.

What about you? I’d love to hear what three words you’d select for 2012. Drop me an email or leave a comment.

Oh, and thanks, Chris Brogan. Your email, forwarded as it was, came at just the right time. Here are links to his and Fitarella’s sites. Check them out!

Chris Brogan    Fitarella

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