At a time when we can’t go ten minutes without hearing someone declare how they’re going to turn everything around and make 2017 their best year yet, it’s a radical notion to propose that we simply continue on the course we’re on.
We live in a culture that’s obsessed with instant results. New Years comes around and we think the reason we didn’t get what we wanted in 2016 was because we didn’t have the right goals, the right intention or the right vision board, but is that really true?
Couldn’t it also be true that we didn’t stick with something long enough? The downside to over-New-Years-Resolution-ing is we are constantly changing directions in a way that has us never actually arrive anywhere. Our addiction to visioning becomes the very thing that keeps us stuck, because as soon as we don’t get the fast, instant success we were promised by Tai Lopez, we go back to the drawing board and plot a new course, forgetting that success takes time, commitment and years of hard work.
One of the most life-changing articles I’ve ever read was called 5-Year Commitments by Steve Pavlina. It’s premise is summed up beautifully in the first line.
People commonly overestimate how far they can get in a year, but grossly underestimate how far they can get in 5 years.
Isn’t that true? Look at the things in your life you’ve accomplished, look at the skills you’ve built and the businesses you’ve been a part of or started. Can you see how they all took far longer than a year to make successful? Can you see how mastery took years and years of dedication and practice?
Maybe instead of making new resolutions in 2017 we should go back and look at our resolutions from 2016, or 2015 and continue to work on those. Instead of changing directions again because it’s fun to make New Years resolutions with our friends we could just keep on the path we’re on, because we may be a lot closer to success than we think.
Or maybe you don’t want to succeed on the path you’re on, and that’s ok too. Dabbling is an important part of your life, especially in your twenties and thirties. If that’s true for you, why not really let yourself dabble? If you’re twenty-four years old, give yourself permission to start three different businesses this year, or work five different jobs, or take the whole year off and travel. Hell, we should give ourselves permission to do this at any age, if it feels appropriate.
To really commit to something for five years, you need to be sure you want to do it, and the only way to know that is to have done the thing, so don’t be afraid to try something, knowing it may not be your end game.
I spent so much of my twenties dabbling, then beating myself up because I thought I had to “find my purpose” at age twenty-five. What a ridiculous sight it is watching a twenty-something beat themselves up for not knowing what they want to do with their life.
So I’m not changing a damn thing in 2017, because I’m on a path that I want to be successful. I’m still writing every week for Boodaism, and I’ll be damned if I don’t swell up with pride every time I look at my archive. Funny enough, I decided to start writing weekly in December of 2014 and I remember thinking “maybe I should wait until New Years.”
Nope. I started that day, and I published two weeks in a row so when 2015 came, I was already on my way to writing once a week.
If you don’t like what you’re working on, quit.
If you aren’t successful yet, consider that maybe you haven’t given it enough time, and sticking with things the way they are for another year, or two years, or five years might just be the best resolution you could ever make.