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Santa Claus with a little girl

Santa, I forgot my list, but I think I wanted focus and success this year. Image via Wikipedia

Tis the season for getting serious–about life, about relationships, about your career. Now is the time when people partying for a few weeks, then realize they wrecked their finances or their weight loss goals. This is where the promises begin to do better next year, amidst egg nog and hideous sweaters.

I read somewhere that men propose around the holidays as a last ditch attempt to get things done that they told themselves they would do this year (get engaged–check). I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know people have a tendency to try to squeeze every last thing they meant to do this year but haven’t into the month of December. We can be a nation of procrastinators.

I propose something slightly different. I am taking December to reassess, and I hope you will, too. It’s time to take stock: What did you do that you said you would? What didn’t you do? Where did you backslide?

Don’t do this in an attempt to “save the year”; this year has flatlined. Do this to refocus yourself, to make a plan for going forward. Put things in writing. Tell people about your goals and ask them to help you (but only ask people who can be helpful to you in achieving your goals). Take some time and evaluate the people that populate your world. Ask yourself “is this person necessary? What do they add to my life? Would my life be better without them?”

Most people love being carefree and having fun in December until after Christmas, then they get serious again until New Year’s Eve. After realizing it’s a new year, they make resolutions and go all out for a while, then burn out. It’s my belief that I succeed better when I don’t merely establish a goal, but a pattern, a habit. It makes achieving the goal effortless. If I’m establishing a pattern of going to the gym so many times a week, or taking a favorite class (they cancel the Wednesday class I loved :-( It was the class I went to most often, too) instead of focusing on losing my stomach or how fat my stomach is, I have a better chance of succeeding.

Success is something I take one day at a  time, but even so, you have to be able to look back and see progress, and if you can’t, then it’s time to do something different. Now. If you hurry, it will be a habit by New Year’s.

That’s my two cents. Leave yours.

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