Ladies and gentlemen, I have successfully figured out how to accomplish a New Year's resolution. Every year people make resolutions. So often people fail. We all are aware of this. When I repeat the following statement from the internet, most people would agree: "My 2017 goals are to accomplish the goals of 2016, which I should have done in 2015, because I promised to do them in 2014, after planning them in 2013." No worries. I have you answer to completing your New Year's resolutionssuccessfully: Stop making New Year's resolutions.
Some may be thinking, "Without this time to commit to making a change, how will I improve?" Simple; stop waiting until January first to make a change. The changes you need to make, you knew long before the beginning of the new year. On any given day, you realize that there is some area of your life that you want improvement. Take a minute right now, and you can name a few. My question to you is, why wait for another year?
After reading some books, listening to different speakers, and examining my own successes and failures, I now understand some things about real change. This insight left me SMH. No, not the texting abbreviation for "Shaking My Head", but my own abbreviation for "Spark, Motivation, and Habit."
• Spark - That thing that sets change in motion. It's the initial ideal that things need be different. Who you want to be, and who you are, do not match. When you walk a few flights of stairs, get winded, and said that's the last straw. When you have miss a meal and your stomach doesn't growl, but ‘talks’loud enough for others to hear. What is that thing that makes you stop and say "Change must happen."
• Motivation - Spark may give you the initial ideal, but motivation is where the action starts. Gears start turning. Progress in a direction begins to happen. While planning can be a part of motivation, motivation is about taking action. Starting the diet. Starting the college classes. Starting the new relationship.
• Habit - What you use when motivation is not enough. Trust me, making change happen over long periods of time will not happen without habit. Most people are familiar with the power of bad habits. Bad habits are why we needed to make a change to begin with! Think how hard are they to stop? Why not harness that power for good? People who do well in saving money are not always motivated to save money. They just got used to doing it. After years of wrestling on the All-Air Force wrestling team, I found that my body would automatically lose and gain weight depending on the time of year. My body had gotten into a habit that took years to stop.
One of my favorite sayings is "Test everything. Keep the good; avoid every kind of evil." I encourage you that the next time you feel the spark of change inside you, use motivation and habit to make the change happen. You don't have to wait until January first. Take any ordinary day, and make it extraordinary.
About the Author
NICK BASKERVILLE has had the honor of serving in the United States Air Force for 10 years, followed by 4 years in the United States Air Force Reserves. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6). Nick also has 16 years of fire service time, with 13 years of that being in a career department in Northern Virginia. Nick has had the opportunity to hold positions in the Company Officer's section of the Virginia Fire Chief's Association (VFCA), The Virginia Fire Officer's Academy (VFOA) staff, and in the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) as a chapter president, a Health and Wellness committee member, and one of the IABPFF representatives to the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance.