Sunday, January 1, 2012

Annual Post for The New Year

Originally posted a year ago HERE.

I've decided to post this on a annual basis for New Years. Earlier this evening while watching a streaming NYE event, Rev Michael Beckwith pointed out that we do not need to wait for the numerical change on a calendar in order to create a transformation. We just need to choose, period.

You see, I grew up in a Chinese-American household. We had TWO New Years, give or take a month. In other words within a month if I had dropped off on a stated resolution in two weeks or less, there was a "second chance." Even so, since people from the Chinese community didn't really advocate the concept of a "New Year's Resolution," I hardly took advantage of my "2nd Chance."

So Happy Year of the Dragon. Here's my posting with some nominal editing word for word. Heck if the infamous Ann Landers could reprint her New Years column for forty-something years, why can't I repost, right?

You're never going to get me to answer that question.

"What's your New Year's Resolution?"

That question is probably perhaps the most counter-productive question for the majority of humanity seeking change and growth. Every month of January, I fight for parking spaces en route to the gym, and once I'm there, I'm salvaging what space is available for the workout class. Come the middle of February the attendance returns back to the normal regular gym attenders. That's just the physical resolution.

Please don't call me a cynic. I'm not. I'm sincerely into the growth for myself and other people. In fact, I'll be the first in line to support anyone and everyone who desires to make a change for the better in their life. So why am I so against the notion of making a new year's resolution? For starters, they don't work for the majority of people who pledge a resolution. I only use the gym as an example because I've observed this at the same gym for the past 5 years.

I am not ashamed of the fact that one of my past mentors was a 12-steps practitioner. Actually there were a couple of my mentors who regularly attended 12 steps meetings for one reason or another. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from their example was the value of TODAY. They didn't make bold, long-term resolutions, they simply made daily goals, one step at a time, one day at a time. From them I learned how to understand that expression:
So how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
They lived it, they practiced it. It was from them that I learned to make "daily resolutions."

For the past few years of my pursuit of personal development, there was never more of a time where I had an appreciation learning from my 12-stepping mentors than during the time I "played" a "game" called PLD (Pacesetters Leadership Dynamics) What this was in a nutshell, 90 days of personal coaching, relationship building, accountability, and goal setting within a "team" setting. Throughout the 90 days, we reported in doing numerous challenging team and individual exercises to learn not only leadership, marketing, and relationship skills, but also to take a deeper look within. There were moments during those 90 days where I wanted to quit and walk away. However because of what I learned from my past mentors in taking things "a day at a time," I was able to complete one of the most challenging three-months period of my life. In that time frame, I went from 187 pounds to 173 pounds. (I'm currently at 175-77; PLD was almost 2 years ago) I invited and brought 12 people to church with me. Prior to that, I was a "lone ranger" church attender. I went on 22 dates with 8 different young ladies after putting myself on a 4 year dating drought. (2005-06 no dates; 2007 3 dates; 2008 2 dates) I contributed directly to 3 local charities in fund-raising and direct volunteer work, contacted my sister whom I had not spoken to in three years, became the first male student of the S Factor pole dancing course, and introduced over 17 people to the concept of personal development, 10 of them eventually signing up for taking a Basic course.

Now if I had looked at all that I did during those 90 days and was told that over the course of three months, I was going to do all of that, I would've went after it for maybe a week or two, then eventually gave up. However, I didn't because I took it a day at a time, and eventually 90 days came and passed.

The main disadvantage of the New Year's Resolution is that once most people fall off their respected path, they tend to stay off until the end of the year to re-commit themselves over again. A lucky few will fall off the path and eventually return to the path, but for the most part the majority won't. With a daily resolution, if you fall off the path, you only need to wait to the next morning for a new opportunity. It's less wait for that clean slate. Granted if your new year resolution was to drop like 25 pounds, you won't be able to drop 25 pounds in one day. But what if your resolution for the day was to jog 45 minutes just for that day. Then your next day's resolution was to eat chicken, fish, veggies, fruits only, and do a body sculpting class that lasted an hour. Let's say the next day, you overslept so you missed the scheduled body sculpting class, then you gave in and ate the fresh batch of cookies that your client dropped off at your office. Guess what? You have the following day for another opportunity to actually follow-through on the previous day's resolution. The bottom line is that with a daily resolution, you don't have to wait until December 31-January 1 to start over.

Just remember that for each new day is a new opportunity for a daily resolution. Don't forget to be thankful for that new day. The reality is the fact that there is no guarantee for tomorrow. So be thankful for today, and go all out with your (daily) resolution(s). So what if you fall short. Just do your best.

So once again remember not to ask me what my new year's resolution is...OK, OK, my arm's twisted...oww...OK, here's my resolution:

My New Years' Resolution is to make TODAY a great day!!!


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