Your #1 New Year’s Resolution for 2011

An optimist stays up to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
– Bill Vaughn

‘Tis the season. Every year as January 1st approaches, people talk about their New Year’s resolutions. I’ll lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking, spend more time with my kids and work less.  The lists can go on and on.  To be honest, New Year’s resolutions often leave me feeling more overwhelmed than motivated.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that resolutions are very useful and can challenge us to make changes in our lives for the better. But resolutions also have a way of making us feel like failures. The fact that we’re trying to make changes at all implies that we’re unsatisfied with our current situation, and often resolutions are repeated goals of failed efforts from past years. Do you really want to start the New Year feeling like a failure?

This January 1st, instead of focusing your resolutions solely on what you have yet to achieve, resolve first to review your greatest accomplishments from the past twelve months. You’ll start the year feeling like a winner.

I’m especially proud of my following accomplishments in 2010:

1. I married the woman of my dreams!

2. I became a father! Okay, my first child isn’t due to arrive until April 3rd, but even now the sense of pride and responsibility for my unborn son or daughter is so incredible that I had to add it to this list.

3. I completed my second Ironman triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) in a personal best time of 12 hours 22 minutes and never stopped running during the marathon.

4. I continued to simply my life, discovering the joy of less and the benefits of living with what I need vs. what I can afford.

5. I helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for youth, education and the arts through my work at the National Arts Centre.

6. I volunteered my time and skills to two important organizations – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa and the Won With One triathlon team at the Canadian Council of the Blind.

7. I maintained a healthy, balanced lifestyle throughout the year, eating well and exercising regularly.

8. I traveled to two amazing new countries (Honduras and the Bahamas) and journeyed back to three countries I had come to love in past travels (Mexico, the Cayman Islands, USA)

9. I realized my dream of finding a way to reach out to, help and inspire others through the creation of this blog.

10. I grew even closer to family and friends.

Reading this list I can’t help but feel great about the past year. I can take pride in my accomplishments from 2010 and use the momentum from those achievements to accomplish even more in 2011.

Before you dive into your 2011 resolutions, be sure to take time and review your accomplishements from 2010.

What were your greatest accomplishments of 2010?

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  1. Wow, inspiring.

    In previous years my resolutions had always been things NOT to do (eating too many cookies, picking at my lips until they bleed, picking at my fingenails until they bleed…) This year my new year’s resolution was to go see a musical or concert or something.

    I still haven’t done it yet, but maybe soon. I’ve heard there are great deals for students to go see stuff at the National arts centre… I just haven’t looked it up yet. I noticed your 5th “resolution” was about the national arts centre, and was wondering if you have any recommendations about what I should go see?

    • There are so many great shows at the NAC that it would be hard for me to narrow it down. I studied theatre in university so that’s usually my preference, but I also love dance. Check out the NAC’s Live Rush program for students. You can get incredible deals.

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