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December 11, 2013

In just three short weeks we will be ringing in another new year.  Is it hard for anyone else to believe that 2013 is coming to an end?

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays comes another added stress:  creating a New Year’s resolution.

Lose weight.  Find love.  Get a better job.  Travel more.

Resolutions can be any number of things.  In all honesty, though, I often feel like New Year’s resolutions only scratch the surface of issues each of us needs to address and improve in our own lives.

My question, though, is why wait until New Year’s Day to get started on improving in these areas?

What would starting now do when it comes to your chance of actually upholding your New Year’s resolution?

Starting to work on your New Year’s resolution now, in my eyes, does one major thing:  It improves the chance that you will actually incorporate your resolution into your daily life and achieve whatever goal that resolution is aimed at addressing.  21 extra days is an eternity.  They say that habits can be formed or kicked in 28 days.  By starting to work on your New Year’s resolution today–three weeks before New Years Day–by the end of the first week of 2014, your resolution will no longer require resolve, but will be a habit.

What are your resolutions for 2014?  I’ll let you in on one of mine:  Balance.

I need to slow down.  I need to learn to say, “no.”  I need to let some opportunities pass by.  I need to be my own caretaker.

From a professional standpoint, 2013 has been amazing for me.  I was credentialed for events I never dreamed I’d be invited to.  I landed a dream job at the University of Miami.  Earlier this month, a surprise hit, when I was asked to become the Director of Media Relations for Sportsdigita.

I traveled 9 out of the first 13 weekends of 2013.  I’ve flown close to 100,000 miles this year.  It’s been awesome, but it’s taken a toll on another side of my life that is dear to me:  My relationships.

So, my New Year’s resolution that I started working on today is to begin balancing out my life.  I want work to account for 1/3 of it.  Sleep to count for another 1/3 (I firmly believe in getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and generally do a good job of it).  And the other 1/3, will be devoted to me–whether that is exercising, pursuing hobbies or catching up with old friends and making new ones.  It seems simple, but over the last year, work encroached upon this third area, and it’s time for me to push it back.

When it comes to succeeding in New Year’s resolutions, a lot of it depends upon retraining your mind.  By retraining your mind, you can form new habits and find success in endeavors.  One thing that I need to work on mentally is erasing the belief that not taking an opportunity might mean failure for me later down the road.  I need to do a better job of recognizing that what is on my plate is enough and to focus my energy on making what’s on my plate the best it can be.  The rest of my energy should be focused on improving myself–whether that be my health, intellect or social life.

In all honesty, starting now on my New Year’s resolution is daunting.  It’s daunting because I am in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year.  Final examinations and the storylines associated with the college football bowl season make for a hectic time for someone who is a professor and covers sports.  At the same time, though, this is the perfect time for me to get into my new groove.  It’s a perfect time for me to look at the time I have to spend on work and decide where exactly I’m going to spend my energy.

It’s also a good time to reevaluate certain things I am currently engaged in.  That being said, after the New Year I will have a couple big announcements.  They involve taking some risks, but overall, the risks are necessary to maintain my happiness and that resolution of balance I’m working towards.

So, what about you?  What is it that you could be starting now to make your 2014 better?  What is it that your life needs to find a little more happiness?

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