New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing. People say all the time that they’d like to eat better, or exercise more, or finally do something to better their situations once the clock strikes midnight to signify a New Year.
Then those people, yes including me, just wake up with a hangover the next day and keep going about their lives and wonder why they couldn’t stick with it.
On January 1, 2017, I told myself I was going to read 30 books in one year, do push-ups every day, and save $5 a day. They all, in their own respect, sounded a little bit nuts. I don’t think I’ve read 30 books in my life. I can do pushups, but I was talking about averaging 100 a day for the entire year, and saving money has never been my modus operandi.
But I did all three. I sit here right now on January, 2, 2018, and can say that I got a little more money in the bank, some more knowledge in my brain, and a sore chest after nearly 39,000 pushups.
Reading the 30 books was the hardest conquest. I finished 1776 by David McCullough, my 30th book, on the second to last day of the year. What I learned from that journey is I truly have an appreciation for nonfiction books. There’s something fascinating about true stories that speaks to me. Instead of reading a well-written fiction book, I want to pick up a piece of nonfiction, or a book about leadership or business, and learn as much as possible.
My favorite book was Mindset by Carol Dweck. Learning about the “fixed mindset” vs. the “growth mindset” is something that really stuck out to me. I guess I never really knew how important the “growth mindset” is to learn from others and learn daily. I wouldn’t have been able to unlock my love for work done by Brene Brown or McCullough if I didn’t pick up this new habit.
I guess the underlying message in all of this is by making a resolution you really have to challenge yourself. The reward has to be out there. A thirst for knowledge was my reward for reading 30 books. Money for a trip or just to have in my back pocket was my reward for saving a little extra dough. My reward from the pushups was some added strength, but, more importantly, a stronger bond with my friend Arnout who held me accountable and texted me every day to let me know he did the pushups as well.
So when you are thinking about making a resolution and actually keeping it, make sure you do so with a reward in mind. The last year had some ups and downs from a personal standpoint, but I always had my resolutions to keep me in check.