“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”

Most people think that the New Year is a great time to start again! Maybe it is, but why not start today?

Usually, we set goals: I will do this and that and will accomplish that and this. In my experience, many of my resolutions have always panned out! Why? Well, in reality, there were more like wishes! I was hoping I will eat healthier and lose weight, hoping I would make more money and wished I would spend more time doing this and that.

Then I realize, that resolutions and wishes have two very different definitions:
Resolution: A firm decision to do or not to do something.
To Wish: To hope for something that probably won’t happen.

I guess that explains why most people’s new year resolution ends up in the wastebasket!

So, what is the trick?
Well, to make something happen, you must commit! You must have a clear vision of what you truly want in life above all else! Only then you will be willing to pay the price because there will be a price to pay!

I had lunch with my wife today in our weekly lunch date in a cozy restaurant. She is looking great, thin, beautiful, and full of energy. She works out four times a week. She said: Monday was terrible weather, I did not want to go to the gym, I have to force myself to go, and I am glad I did.

I told her: You didn’t force yourself to go, your standard pulls you up there. If you think “I have to go to the gym,” it is like pulling weeds! You don’t feel like doing it, and it is hard work, a misery you have to endure for health’s sake! But if you say “I am going because this is who I am,” that is a high standard!

I am proud of her.

I think the main problem is that we focus on what we don’t want, instead of what we want. We focus on what we are missing, instead of what we are gaining.

You want to lose weight, and you start focusing on all the things you want but cannot eat, you get depressed, and very soon you give up because it is too complicated, sometimes your reasons are not compelling enough.

But if you have a clear vision of how you want to look, or what you want to do or accomplish - whatever your aim is - if you want it so much, that you go to sleep and get up thinking about it, nothing is going to stop you!

What is the reason? Why do you want to do it? Are you hungry for it, obsessed with reaching it? Then, congratulations, you are on your way to doing it. But wishes and hopes alone are not strong enough.

How high or how low is your STANDARD? What are the things that you MUST do? In which areas of your life you need to raise the standard? Be honest! Maybe it is your health, or relationship, or finances. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves the hard questions to determine what changes we need to make to become a better version of ourselves.

Ten years ago, my physical standards were low; I was overweight. And, living in Russia, vodka surrounded me. One evening a friend of ours invited us to dinner at their home, and we drank too much! I did not know at the time, but I was getting older, and my cholesterol was high, my blood pressure also, and that night when I was sleeping, something happened.

I woke up, and besides the headache, I could not see well with my right eye. I went to the doctor, and after some check-ups, they told me that because of my physical state and the alcohol, I had an eye stroke! I lost 20% of my vision. The doctor said I was lucky that it was in my eye and not in my brain.

I realized I needed to raise the standard of my health. It was not a wish, and it was not a new year resolution, it was something I knew I must do, I had to do if I wanted to be a good father and husband and continue to have a good life.

And I did! I changed my diet, I lost weight, I started going to the gym four times a week, I established rituals in my eating, drinking and exercise habits, and for the last ten years, I am happy to say I have kept that standard and I am so glad about the results. I have energy, I have a healthy weight and feel great every day!

It all comes down to what we want to be and what we want to become. Our identity! And then we need consistency of purpose. The reasons were clear: I wanted my kids to have a healthy father so that I can provide for them and one day play with my grandkids.

There are times in life when things like this happen, and you set the standard by saying: Enough! No More! and you go to place new measures to achieve a higher quality of life.

You can apply this principle to your health, finances, relations, and anything valuable in your life. Lift the standard. We have no much control over what happens outside of us, but total control of what happens inside of us.

Establish proper rituals and routines in every aspect of your life and do it daily; it is the accumulation of all the little things during a long period that results in success or failure. The compound effect!


Don’t wait for the New Year, do it now:
Determine what is wrong in your life right now and what is causing it. What daily routines negatively affect you and what bad habits need to go. And for the future, what is your vision? And what rituals, routines, choices, and practices will take you there?

A useful tool is to make two lists. The first one: Write three main areas in your life that you want to raise the standard of and make progress in this coming year.
The second one: The NOT TO DO list. Write what you want to eliminate from your life and what you want to stop doing!


Vitin Landivar

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