Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

January 1, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Real Change In Your Life This Year.

Change is hard. But it’s something that you want and know that you need.

The beginning of the year spawns this romantic feeling of possibility. Regardless of where you are in your life, the end of a year marks a time of automatic introspection and thoughts about what might come next.

That usually starts with you coming up with a few resolutions. New Year’s resolutions.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t work out for almost anyone.

According to a recent study by Forbes, 40% of Americans will take stock of their year and make a declarative statement of their intentions for the year to come. Of that group, 80% will fail within 30 days — and give up. Only 8% of resolution makers actually achieve the success they want for themselves.

For almost everyone, making a resolution will result in frustration and a sense of defeat.

The answer isn’t to not make resolutions. And the answer isn’t to throw away the concept of making a change in your life.

It’s time to take a fresh look at making resolutions and achieving change. Here are a few perspectives to help you achieve the change you want for yourself this year.

Before you sit down and write your resolutions for the New Year, take a moment to decide what you really want for yourself.

What is that? Money? Fame? Personal satisfaction?

In the center of your soul, what is that missing piece that you need to find or fill?

Start there.

Before you do anything, think about what you are willing to give up to achieve success. Are you truly willing to do the hard things you need to do? Make up your mind that your goal is worth the effort it’s going to require.

To get it right this time you are going to have to toughen up your mind, your body, and your spending habits. You won’t achieve anything awesome with a bad attitude, bad financial habits, our bad health.

Is that a commitment you are willing to make this time around?

Take a moment and look around at the people you have surrounded yourself with. Are you friends with people who can push you further? Or do you need to level up that part of your life too?

And since you are thinking about setting big goals and deciding what you really want for yourself, take a moment to get brutally honest with yourself about what it is going to take. Be prepared to get pushed down, stepped on, and made fun of.

Are you determine to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes?

By the way, you are going to have a plan in place to actually get things done. Think through the seemly insignificant steps you will take each day to make progress. There are milestones you will want to track.

Take the time to prepare for everything you didn’t think was important in the past.

And while you’re thinking about the past, get honest with yourself about the last resolutions you made. Did you hit the mark? Were you even close?

Before you start writing resolutions, remember that every good plan has a clear way to measure success — and warning lights when your effort and activity aren’t moving you in the right direction.

And having this plan should make it easier for you to push past your fears and past failures.

So dream big.

A big part of success is ignoring other people’s expectations for you. And avoiding the negative people who will hold you back.

Before you start writing those new resolutions, pause and think about who you blame for your own past failures. Is it someone other than you?

This time you need a plan that’s more specific than you have had in the past.

Because this time around you are going to make every moment matter until you get to where you want to be.

There’s a difference between making promises and keeping promises. There’s a difference between thinking about doing something and getting started doing it.

Making changes in your life is not about hoping that things change for the better for you.

It’s about purposing that you will do whatever it takes in order to achieve the change that you want for you.

That’s the difference between making a resolution and resolving.

  • A resolution is a moment in time. Resolving is a fire that burns deep within you forever.
  • A resolution is what you tell your friends. Resolving is how you get back up when you’ve failed a few times.
  • A resolution is what you write down on paper and post on your refrigerator. Resolving is what powers you through the dark moments when no one believes that your dream is worth fighting for.

Introspection is important. Aiming for big goals is important for growth. Believing in yourself is important.

But resolving might be the most important activity you can do.

Resolve to be a better person. Resolve to love more. Resolve to try harder.

Resolve to push yourself further.

Resolve to always keep heading to where you want to be — no matter how far away you seem to be right now.

  • Resolve to forgive.  Start with yourself.
  • Resolve to lose.  Start with your pride.
  • Resolve to stop.  Start with quitting.
  • Resolve to love.  Start with those you dislike.
  • Resolve to quit.  Start with doubting yourself.  
  • Resolve to give up.  Start with your fear.

Change starts with the radical resolutions that you make for yourself.

Remember, if your goals are simply ordinary don’t expect to achieve what is extraordinary.

Instead of hoping this year is better than last year. Instead of wishing that tomorrow would be different from today.

Instead of feeling frustrated, pointing fingers, and making excuses.

Instead of staying stuck, resolve to do things differently this coming year.

Resolve to be open-minded. Resolve to be candid. Resolve to not be petty. Resolve to start doing the things you’ve been scared to do up until now.

Take a deep look at yourself each day.

Don’t wait until the end of next year to decide what you need to improve. Make small changes every day.

Perhaps there’s a kind word you need to share. Perhaps there’s a skill or lesson you need to learn. Perhaps you’re spending too much time around negative people.

Why wait to reflect and improve until a new year comes around?

Take the first 5 minutes of your morning and check in on your daily progress.

Make it all about one small thing. Not five. Or four. Or two. One thing that you could work on each day.

The possibilities are endless:

  1. You could eat better, drink more water, and take back control of your health.
  2. You could give a compliment to somebody you’ve never spoken to before.
  3. You could read a book about that topic you’ve been wanting to research.
  4. You could look for a new job or find a new opportunity for growth in your current job.
  5. You could spend a few more minutes sharing time with family and friends.
  6. You could make a phone call to somebody you know is struggling.
  7. You could just spend 10 to 15 minutes quietly meditating by yourself.
  8. You could take a walk, go for a run, or try out a new fitness class.
  9. You could save the money you’re wanting to spend on that thing that won’t matter in the long run.
  10. You could find a new coach to help you take your game to the next level.

You could start just about anything in a day.

And that’s the beauty of resolving to change.

It’s not about endlessly big dreams and lofty goals that you’ll never end up actually achieving. It’s about the tough, tiny decisions you can make right away.

The changes you can implement immediately.

Creating change isn’t something vague in the future. It’s right now. This moment. What you resolve to do better today.

That’s so much better than hopes and dreams. So much more powerful than the resolutions you have made in the past.

It’s time to take action. Time to change.

Take a moment right now and get started.

Who do you want to become this time next year? What are you willing to start changing today?

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.