Happy New Year
Happy New Year!! Right?? It’s going to be a happy one, isn’t it? As a culture, we always look to the new year to bring us happiness and new circumstances. It’s time to shrug off last year and do something different. We aim towards goals and make promises to ourselves that THIS is the year. THIS time I am going to lose the weight, get the budget dialed in, start a new job, or any other of the myriad of things we set as resolutions.
I don’t think I have to tell you that most new year resolutions fail and that most of us will quit on what we have started in just a few weeks (if we make it that long). I have been a prime example of this my entire life. I just kept hoping that THIS was the year. I am really going to crush it this time. As if the next rotation of our globe was somehow going to magically make me more resolute, more motivated and better looking? New years day is really just another day after all. Sure the calendar starts over but what does that have to do with motivation or actual change. I think it takes more than that to really change.
2016 was by all accounts a pretty crappy year for me. I won’t go into all of it here but one of the biggest things was that my Grand Junction shop was failing and failing badly. We were losing money at an alarming rate and I lost one of the best mechanics I had ever had. I was struggling to keep it all running and I needed something to change and it needed to change NOW! As the year closed down I talked to my wife and we decided that something needed to change and it needed to change right now if we were going to make it through. I wasn’t sure what needed to change, just that my life needed to be different. I had noticed that I was drinking too much and that would be an easy thing to cut. So Ruth and I decided to quit drinking for 2017. Not cut back, not ease off but STOP. I wouldn’t say that I had a serious drinking addiction so stopping wasn’t a matter of beating some horrible addiction like it is for some people but it was something I really enjoyed and something I didn’t WANT to quit.
I don’t think that drinking was the reason for failure in GJ, it was more of a symbol of changing, a first step towards actually having a different year. So on Jan 1 last year we got rid of all of the alcohol in the house and started our year off sober. I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After about a week off the sauce, it became very easy. Then after a month or so I began to notice that I was so much more awake every morning. I am not saying that I sprung out of bed every day ready to take on the world but I was crystal clear EVERY MORNING! No hangovers, no fogginess. I decided that I needed to get more done every day so I began to get up earlier in the mornings and I started a routine that involved reading my bible, meditating and exercising. That got easier as the year wore on. I was also working on losing some weight and without drinking I found that to be much easier too. The empty calories from the booze were gone and at the end of the day, I had the ability to resist that snack or dessert and I began to see big changes in my body. As I continued with my year of sobriety I started to get more things done and see business more clearly. It was in the fall that I made the decision to close the GJ shop and while that was heartbreaking, it was the right decision and is leading me towards better things. All in all, quitting drinking lead me to some amazing things in 2017. I read more, laughed more, won more on my motorcycle, spent more time with my kids, advanced my business more, connected with my wife more and I lost 30 lbs that have stayed off.
2017 wasn’t perfect and I am still aiming at a better 2018 but I now know what I need to do and have a better idea of how to do it. I am not saying that everyone should quit drinking for the new year and I am not against alcohol in general. What I am saying is that a small, solid change that you can track and be accountable for could change your life. It doesn’t need to be, and I would argue that it shouldn’t be a HUGE change. Those are hard to stick with. Something small and relatively easy will help you win. I feel like I am better poised for success now in my life than I ever have been. It’s not because I didn’t have any alcohol in 2017, its because I added a discipline that I could keep very good track of and I stuck with it because I had my wife as my accountability partner. By sticking with it I felt like I could do some more things and I did them. As those things compounded I gained momentum. I am far from where I want to be in life but I feel like I am on a better track than I have ever been.
What is your new year’s resolution? What are you going to change this year? What are you going to do this year to make your life better? Comment them below or if you want to email them to me at email@example.com I would love to hear them. Maybe I’ll even hold you accountable? Don’t just keep wishing and hoping for this year to be better, MAKE it better. My only suggestion is that you pick something relatively easy so that you can win. Small wins lead to bigger wins which lead to MASSIVE wins!
I will get back to the story at hand in the next post. Like always, like or share this if you feel so inclined.