2020: Love The Struggle—Be A Role Model

There’s something about the New Year . . . oh yeah, resolutions. For many of us, the New Year brings about reflection and thoughts of what we’d like to see different in ourselves and our lives over the next twelve months. You know, more exercise and less fat, a healthier diet, more savings, a better relationship, or maybe a new hobby.

But as we all know—and according to most articles and studies—less than 25% of us will actually stay committed to even one of our resolutions after 30 days. Even worse, after 1 year less than 10% of us will actually accomplish what we set out to do in 2020.

There are lots of opinions about how we can be one of the few who will look back in twelve months and smile, knowing we stayed committed to our resolutions. Some of the more common approaches include:

1. Making realistic goals, not resolutions. 

2. Choosing a word to define your year.

3. Making a New Year’s checklist.

Well, please allow me to share my approach . . . 

A Million Opportunities

Now, interestingly enough, there was a time I didn’t feel the need to make any resolutions at all. Really. Fact is, I was perfectly content . . . or so I thought. 

I can tell you this, a more likely reason that I never made resolutions is that I was overly focused on the wants, needs, and resolutions of those I cared for. Yes, at one time, I was the most codependent man on the planet and being that man meant I never spent effective time reflecting on my own resolutions. Sure, perhaps I needed to, but it never showed up on my radar.

Then . . . my life’s circumstances changed, and with that, I changed. Unfortunately, the changes I made for myself (and my life) in order to cope with my new reality were far from the best, or the healthiest.

Now, the nice thing about making choices that create a life you don’t want is that it opens up a million opportunities to practice having the life you DO want. A million opportunities to make resolutions, fail them, make more, fail them too, and then, finally succeed.

It took me a while to find the right mindset without putting myself in a tailspin. However, once I learned to use my struggles, hardships, and self-deprecating attitude as motivators for value-building choices, I started to see real and lasting change.

Be a Role Model . . . For Yourself!

So, my method for keeping a New Year’s (or any time of year) resolution is simple: Think about the bad often and then pretend you’re a role model for others.

After all….

  • If I never thought about how codependent I was, I would never focus on what I need to do for myself to be more secure.
  • If I don’t remain mindful of what it was like being a full-time doctor and having next to nothing in the bank, I would never focus on what I need to do to feel financially secure.
  • Should I have chosen to forget what it was like being a grown man renting a bedroom to live, I wouldn’t work hard or appreciate, having my own place.
  • If I never remembered how I felt physically or psychologically when I was overweight, I wouldn’t try and exercise three times a week or watch my diet.
  • And if I never focused on how unhealthy my choices have been and can be, I would not focus on making healthier choices.

Love the Struggle

You see, loving the struggle will typically inspire a change; a change for the better, or a change for the worse. Sure, we can do nothing and just live in the struggle, but that’s not what most of us do. Let’s face it, most of us make choices that make things better or worse.

Now, loving the struggle IS NOT a call to live in the negative, to focus on our faults, weaknesses, or insecurities in order to use them as a tool to despair, to cower down, to beat ourselves up, to feel powerless, or to justify further unhealthy choices. 

In fact, loving and remaining mindful of the struggle is a tool we can use to direct choices that will better exemplify love of self and the life we are living today and tomorrow. Being mindful of the struggle is what we can use as power.

Loving and remaining mindful of our struggles is not only what inspires resolutions to be made in the first place. Rather, and more importantly, these things empower us to be one of the few who will look back over the past twelve months once and smile knowing we accomplished what we set out to do. 

It is the one tool we can use to ask ourselves if we are the role model we would look to or would like to be for others.

My New Year’s Resolution

So, if you want a better New Year, a better you . . . live in the bad to inspire better and imagine yourself as a role model and then be your own first. Be that person that uses your struggles as a tool for self-empowerment rather than self-defeat. 

This is my New Years’ goal. Think about making it your own.

Remember, today and every day of 2020, live your value one choice at a time. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!