3 Keys to Unlock Your New Year's Resolutions

"Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can."

Arthur Ashe

New Year’s Resolutions. That dreaded time when millions of people start the new year with hope and good intentions to: achieve goals, make changes, or improve their life (e.g., eat better, exercise more, lose some weight, or save more money). And, in less than a month, 80% of people quit.

New Year’s Resolutions are often dreams and wishes, rather than achievable goals. Most people who fail to fulfill resolutions blame it on a lack of time, resources, and motivation. Arthur Ashe’s motto shatters our excuses, though, and reminds us it’s never too late to start — or to start over. Consider using the 3 Keys to — finally — Unlock Your New Year’s Resolutions.

1. Start Where You Are.

Before starting any journey you must know where you are and know where you are going. Think of it as a vacation:

  • WHERE do you want to go?
  • WHAT do you want to do?
  • WHY do you want to go?
  • WHEN do you want to go?
  • WHO is going with you?
  • HOW will you get there?

Wherever you are — right now — is your starting point. Focus all your energy on taking action. Even the ‘smallest action’ can make a big difference, regardless of your present situation or circumstances.

Wherever you plan/want to go —  is your destination. Decide where. Create a plan. Do you have a roadmap or directions? Do you have a loose itinerary?

2. Use What You Have.

Using what you have begins by assessing all your resources — knowledge, attitude, skills, habits, time, education, experience, or something else. While no one’s good at everything, you’re good at something. You have unique skills, strengths, and talents.

Use what you have by leveraging and utilizing every available resource within your control to the best of your ability.

Use what you have to do what you can. Build on your existing resources. Look for opportunities. Push beyond the ‘limits’ of what you think is possible. Do something.

3. Do What You Can.

Make something happen. Take control and take initiative. Make an effort. Do what you can. Every. Effort. Counts. Remember the Chinese Proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 

That “single step” begins where you are right now. There is NO “right time” or “right circumstance.” There is right now. Do what you can. STOP blaming and complaining. STOP making excuses and delaying.

Focus on what you can control. You can’t control the past or the future, the weather, or other people. You can control one thing. Start. Start small. Take. One. Single. Step.

Do what you can right now. “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4).

Arthur Ashe’s wisdom not only provides 3 Keys to Unlock New Year’s Resolutions, but also shatters our excuses. If you want to reach your New Year’s Resolutions, it’s not complicated: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

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