One week into the New Year and I can’t help but wonder – how many resolutions have already been broken? How many people have the fortitude and discipline to live up to their own expectations? How will we all hold ourselves accountable as the year progresses?
Me? I’m a talker (as if you couldn’t tell). My accountability strategy is to make promises to myself and share them with anyone who cares to listen. I know that if I stray from my path and ignore my goals, I will be judged by the people that heard me promise aloud, so I will feel guilt and embarrassment if I don’t live up to my declared expectations. To that point, what better way to keep myself on task than to list my resolutions publicly?
- 20 Push-ups every day before I take a shower – it’s not a lot, but I will do them every single day.
- Stay in touch with friends that have traveled far from me, and those I’ve left behind.
- Be a more attentive father and affectionate husband.
- Admit that I don’t know everything and try not to be a know-it-all.
- Find a positive in negative situations – turn everything into a lesson learned.
- Try things that I’ve never done, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes me.
One week in and so far so good. I’ve got a different job in a foreign town with an unfamiliar house – and it is all a little scary. Luckily, I am making friends and finding new people to learn from. It has been a trying time to say the least, but I am positive, encouraged by new possibilities, and undaunted by fear of the unknown.
Why do I share these things? Why choose to use myself as an example? I do it because I am not special. I do not come from a ton of money – not poor, but far from rich. I mowed lawns, I packed boxes, and I waited tables – not glamorous by any assessment. I graduated from college, but one that is a significant distance from the Ivy League. I majored in a subject (English Literature) that garnered snickers and criticism. I make mistakes, I am impatient, I often speak before thinking, and sometimes I have a short temper. I have vices, I have broken the law. I am not the tallest, not the strongest, and not the smartest kid in class. I can be clumsy, forgetful, and preachy. I have an ego (as if you couldn’t tell), I struggle to be a good listener, and I rarely read things as thoroughly as I should.
When I use myself as an example, I do it not because I am perfect, but because I am greatly flawed. However, I don’t use that as an excuse or a crutch. I move forward imperfectly, understanding that I can be better, do more, and learn as I go. I use myself as an example because we are all flawed in our own unique ways – and we can all improve and evolve as imperfect creatures. If I can do it, so can you.