Joyous 2017!

Joyous 2017!

It’s January 1st, the day many people make New Year resolutions.

Gyms move in extra equipment to accommodate all the unrealistic declarations of folks who want to lose weight and get fit in the new year. Then they move these same machines out by January 7th when the rush of annual hopefuls has already abandoned their fake goals and quit exercising.

I’m suggesting that you will experience greater joy and success in 2017 if you reframe your approach to “New Year resolutions.”

Instead of considering these resolutions as “goals”, think of them as “habits of self control.”

I don’t know about you, but my habits of self control have become slack to the point of non-existent. As a result my weight is up, my energy is down and procrastination is winning.

I find it depressing to think of losing 20 pounds, or eliminating sugar or going to the gym 5 days a week.

But this same concept of personal development seems much more manageable when I reframe it in terms of simply improving my self control.

Remember the marshmallow study of pre-school kids? Researchers told 4 year olds, “Gee, I have to leave the room for a few minutes. Here’s a marshmallow. If you don’t eat it while I’m gone, I’ll give you two marshmallows when I return.” Then they watched how the kids responded. Some gobbled up the marshmallow; others resisted.

15 to 20 years later they followed up on these same kids, now turned young adults. The adults who as a 4 year old exhibited enough self control to resist the marshmallow were substantially more successful in school, work and relationships than the adults who, as kids, popped the marshmallow into their mouth the minute the researcher left the room. Conclusion: self-control is a powerful indicator of lifelong success.

So the “resolution” I’m making in 2017 is to focus on strengthening the “habit of self control.” In our instant gratification culture, I’ve allowed myself way too much indulgence lately.

It’s time I returned to resisting the marshmallow. It’s the strength of self control that nurtures personal excellence and leads to more success and joy in life.

Here’s wishing you no marshmallows and more joy in 2017. Cheers!

Till next time…


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