Like New Year's Resolutions, for example - I was writing some New Year-related copy this weekend and discovered some interesting facts about this age-old institution:
Like, for example, that 78% of Americans make at least one New Year's Resolution - but only 12% keep it.
And researchers in Florida have discovered that willpower - the required force to give up alcohol, junk food or cigarettes in the New Year - is a finite resource. Apparently resisting temptation actually burns calories - so going on a diet makes you increasingly likely to break it.
This year, I didn't give much thought to resolutions.
In all honesty, 2010 was one of the best years of my life from a personal perspective. People may wonder why I say that - it wasn't a year a child was born, or I got to see my parents again, or won the lottery or traveled to any exotic places... Yet from a personal perspective - from growing and evolving as a human being - it was one of the most productive years of my life. I certainly liked and had a lot more respect for the person I was leaving 2010 than the person I was entering it.
That being said, I have decided to make a few resolutions. Nothing as trite as 'losing weight' (since I've been barking up that horse for the last two years*) but more along the lines of behavioral things I'd like to try and adopt.
Like, for example:
- Grasp Every Opportunity: The great military general Sun Tzu once said: "Opportunities multiply as you seize them." Since I read that, I've discovered it to be true. Maybe it's because nature abhors a vacuum (sorry, Mr. Dyson) but when you take an opportunity that's presented to you, you create a kind of 'opportunity vacancy' and another one of equal or greater value pops up to fill the space. I've decided to take every opportunity I get from now on - and generate plenty more as a result.
- Finish What I Start: If wishes were horses**, I'd have a stud farm. I have so many brilliant ideas for things and projects and stuff. The problem is, I never act on them - or, if I do, I never see them through. I have this crazy suspicion that the secret to achieving all my ambitions is as simple as actually seeing one or some of my crazy ideas through to conclusion. This is the year I'm going to make it happen - you just watch!
I have lots of wants - but I have this funny feeling that the key to achieving them is to simply follow those two rules I outlined above.
If 2010 taught me anything, it's that the world is out there for the taking. If I want 2011 to 'give' me anything, it's simply the gumption to go out there and grab what I want.
Let's get started!
* Can one 'bark up a horse'? Can one? Really? - Kitty Copy Editor
** What's with the horse metaphors? - Kitty Copy Editor