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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolving the Resolution

I am not one who is fond of New Year's resolutions. In fact, I, under most circumstances, view them as an individual's response to an annual formality or obligation. A have to do. Not a want to do.

Every year the media engages this philosophy picking at the brains of those who are vulnerable. Gyms offer specials on memberships. Sporting good stores offer best price sales on exercise equipment. Then there are always those companies who are looking to help with debt management or savings. Anything really to start out the new year on a totally clean slate. Anything to substantiate that one will be a better human being than they were the year prior. Anything to show self-improvement.

Call me pessimistic, but how many successful New Year's resolutions have you seen? I haven't seen many. The success stories I have had the opportunity of observing are not of those who wanted improvement for one measly year, but those who opted for a lifestyle change, something that would better themselves for the long term. These types of people decide they need a change in a certain arena of their life, be it weight, money, relationships, etc., and just do it. Change for these types of people is not warranted by the strike of a clock or day on a calendar or, better yet, a tradition shared by the masses. It is simply executed after the observation for change is made.

I digress.

Let's discuss alternatives for the traditional New Year's resolution by taking a futuristic approach. I will use myself as the example.

More recently, within the last twelve-ish months, I came to grasps with the daunting task of furthering my education. That's right folks, college. Yuck. Sorry, but just yuck.

Now following the traditional New Year's resolution approach, I would have strategically placed this goal around the corner from the first of the year at spring semester enrollment. This is not the avenue I chose. Instead, I enrolled as soon as I possibly could with the understanding that I would take small bites at a time while my wife, Sara, finishes the endeavor of obtaining her R.N. She only has one more year to go, people! I can almost see the finish line. There it is! There it is!

Why did I enroll immediately after being slapped in the face with the realization that one may as well be defined as professionally unsuccessful if they don't have a degree? Well, because this is a life changing resolution, one that required prompt action for many reasons. I will list only a few:
1. Knowledge doesn't amount to much without a degree. I have come to terms that the professional world leans more on paper than on information. This opinion is based solely on experience.
2.  Degree = more money. Hopefully...
3.  More money = able to better provide for my family and our needs and wants. Hopefully...

So down the road of education I travel. For this resolution I have selected a technical college as the atmosphere for which I am using to expand my mind. I am not one for institutionalized learning, so this choice was ideal for me because it expands learning beyond the book into the real world; also known as "hands-on" learning.

I digress again.

It is important to keep in mind that these types of resolutions do not normally provide immediate success. In my case, it will be a few years before I have the prized paper, my diploma, in my hand to help me with the reasons 1, 2, and 3 above as well as those that are unlisted. But, remember, there will be small milestones or successes along the way, i.e. me getting over 95%+ in the classes I have completed thus far. Use these to keep you motivated and see you through to the resolutions completion whether that is next month, next year, or next decade.

If you're a resolutioner, a New Year's resolutioner, or something in-between good luck and may the force be with you now, in 2012, and beyond.

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