Monday, December 28, 2009

The ONLY New Year’s Resolution You’ll Ever Need

The ONLY New Year’s Resolution You’ll Ever Need

Right about now, hundreds of millions of people in America – and probably another gazillion worldwide – are gearing up for 2010 with their resolutions, ranging from quitting smoking to giving up poor eating habits to stopping overspending and starting to save money to religiously and regularly showing up at the gym. Year in and year out, those are the big 3: quit smoking, lose weight, get on track financially.

I have no doubt that all of these, as well as the countless other resolutions we make, are for good causes, as no one in their right mind would knowingly resolve to do something that harms them.

My point, though, is that ALL RESOLUTIONS ARE A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME WITHOUT DISCIPLINE ALL YEAR ROUND! So to keep it pithy, all you need is DISCIPLINE. If you’ve got discipline, trust me, you won’t need to try to stay in shape or quit smoking for the eighth year in a row, as some are preparing to attempt right about now.

Here’s How I See It

Recognizing that you have “bad” habits is hugely important, because without admission, no problem can be corrected. But the thing you also need to understand is that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING magical will happen at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2009 – or any other year, for that matter. So hurrying up to smoke or eat all you can before midnight on New Year’s Eve and “wishing” without discipline is simply a mind game – that’s why the average New Year’s resolution has a lifespan of about three weeks, to be generous.

However, with DISCIPLINE – which I would unofficially define as “the resolve to be dead serious” – you do not need to wait for December 31 to get started on any change you desire to make. But if starting for the New Year will make things “easier,” that’s OK. On the other hand, you can achieve whatever resolution you set your mind to whenever you set your mind to it, with discipline. So if you run a little short in the discipline department – and, frankly, who doesn’t? – work on that instead of wasting your time and repeating the whole exercise twelve months from now.

If something REALLY needs to be changed or accomplished, why wait until January 1 of next year to start? Honestly, the whole concept of New Year’s resolutions has never made any sense to me at all.

Relax – it’s not my intent to lecture you. I am nowhere near perfect and have my issues, too. My point is simply that if we can switch our focus to DISCIPLINE, instead of one-off resolutions that we will likely break regardless of how good our intentions, things will be a lot easier by the third week of January, every single year.

I think I am beginning to understand why at a speaking engagement the other day, the host introduced me as the in-your-face,-straight-talking-financial guy. Should I apologize for that? Come to think of it, shouldn’t you want your financial professional to be straight-talking?

Look, you’re going to do what you’re going to do. Declare those resolutions if they make you feel better. Then call us at (301) 949-4449 or visit us on the web to schedule your free consultation today! Any year now, I’m confident you will put an end to your financial resolutions, once and for all.

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