The moments before dawn on the opening day of duck season are filled with anticipation. It’s a moment I look forward to for three hundred and five days each year that lead up to it. On that opening morning the possibilities are open-ended. I am filled with hope and excitement. Each year I hope to use what I learned the previous season and become a better, more skilled and successful hunter in the new season.
Similarly, we are again at the starting line of a new year. As I look forward into 2019 I am filled with hope and anticipation. I hope to use all I learned and experienced in the past twelve months to create a better year in the months to come.
Many of you are probably in the same place. We all start the new year so boldly. This year is going to be different! This year I am going to eat better, spend less, make more, be a better husband, spend more time with my kids…and the list goes on and on. We make resolutions with every intention of following through but many of us run out of steam shortly after we begin.
More than 80% of resolutions don’t last beyond the first thirty days. That means eight out of every ten people are giving up on their goals and settling for the way things have been.
This is the problem with resolutions. When we make new years resolutions we aren’t really being resolute at all. Most of our new years resolutions are simply healthy intentions. They are hollow wishes. If your vision for this year is simply based on intentions to do better, you will give up quickly when you don’t see any results.
If you truly want this year to be different you’re going to need a new script. You’re going to have to talk more and listen less to the person in your mirror. The voice of fear in your heart is small, but at times seems to be deafening. It calls out all the ways you failed in last year. It reminds you of all the times you gave up. Recounts all the moments you didn’t have what it took to succeed.
The power of words is almost unrivaled in our existence. Words shape everything we see. And no place is this more evident than when we look in the mirror. We are all the sum total of words that have been spoken to or about us in our lives. The tongue truly has the power of life and death.
Usually when we think about this concept we use it as a teaching tool to remind others that how we speak to people affects them and that we must be kind and caring in what we say to others. But I will submit to you that the most important words you speak will be the ones you speak to yourself.
No one can talk you into or out of anything as skillfully as you can. We actually spend more time each day listening to our own thoughts than listening to anyone else. We spend more time each day talking to ourselves than we do speaking to others. Yet, we neglect to ensure the words we are speaking to ourselves are always words that encourage.
To make this year the best year yet is going to take action. It’s time to tell the person in the mirror some truth. It’s time to make declarations instead of resolutions. A declaration is an action. It is active. It involves more than simple intention. It requires you to take a stand, speak out loud and silence the voices of fear and failure.
In this season of resolutions we want to encourage you to take a different path in 2019. Make this year about declarations, not resolutions. Take action. Make a difference. Find significance.