Over at Lifehack I just wrote how New Years Resolutions don’t work.
(A big smile and a start-of-2009 “Hi” to you if you’ve just arrived from over there, by the way).
I meant every word in that article, but want to go one step further to tell you how New Years Resolutions are for wimps.
It’s a cop out.
It’s a way of convincing yourself that you’ve tried to do something positive, when you know full well that you a. don’t want to do it, and b. won’t need to follow through.
It’s an easy way out, and taking the easy way out is what wimps do. You won’t see Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer taking the easy road. No siree. Chuck or Jack wouldn’t just decide to give up smoking, they’d drive a jeep to the Philip Morris factory, infiltrate it stealthily, hit a bad man in the face and blow the whole thing sky-high.
You don’t have to go to those extremes (and I’d never even suggest there are bad men at Philip Morris), but take the easy road and it WILL have an impact on your self-confidence and self-esteem, because it means you avoid 3 things:
- Stretching yourself and giving your confidence muscle a chance to grow.
- Thinking about what you really want and what really matters to you.
- The chance of failing or succeeding.
Taking the easy route means that you don’t grow or learn, but it also ensures that you’re safe – free from the risks of failing and succeeding.
Taking the easy route keeps you exactly where you are.
There’s nothing wrong with that as long as where you are is giving you the kind of experience you want and is based on who you are and what truly matters to you. But if, like a lot of people, you feel like there’s more out there for you or that you have more to offer, then taking the easy route is like running a race for the White House by painting the houses in your Monopoly set with white-out and deciding to be the hat.
So what’s the alternative?
Forget all about New Years Resolutions, and instead play games.
Play a game that matters to you.
Resolutions and goals are things external to you that you strive for and will prove fruitless unless they’re part of a larger, personally relevant context. Games are things you can engage with on an ongoing basis simply because you love playing and stand a chance of winning.
Games have gold woven into them – threads of who you are, what matters to you and what you love to be involved in.
Trust me, playing a game that matters is whole different kettle of fish than aiming for a goal or working on a resolution. It’s a different beast entirely – a kettle of antelope or eagles, if you will (although I’d strongly advise not filling a kettle with antelope or eagles, they make a rubbish cuppa).
The key is this – games are meant to be played, and it’s fun playing. You can jump in, have a go, learn and become a better player.
That’s truly confident living.
And that’s the only way to truly win.