My New Year’s Commitments
New Year’s Resolutions, I believe, have been gradually falling as seems to be the trend. People have stopped believing in themselves. People don’t think they can complete any of them. People don’t want to COMMIT to anything. People are afraid and reluctant to change. I’ve never been one to shy away from creating new goals for myself, even if they seem almost impossible to achieve. They just have always seemed necessary to me. Sometimes I reach a few of them. Sometimes I reach most of them. Some I come close, some I shatter. Some, I barely even scratch the surface, but I always fight. That’s what people are missing. This is why the poor get poorer. This is why the lonely become lonelier. This is why the lost slip further away into the great abyss of nothingness. This is why the newer generation, like myself, are stuck in mediocrity, because our parents are teaching it as if it’s ok to only have some of the things you want in life. We’ve lost our ability to make new goals for ourselves. The tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions has died. How do I know? Well, I’m a Motivational Speaker, Life Coach and a Personal Trainer. I get to hear peoples lack of confidence in themselves everyday.
So, even though we are currently in the second week of January, I believe it’s time to give the people what they need. Not hope, that’s for people with amazing stories of triumph and struggle that would put the average suburban to shame do. Not motivation, for there are plenty of videos you could watch that would get you fired up and ready to attack the world. I believe it’s time to give the world some direction. A direction on what we should be focused on. Not just to better your life, but to enhance the lives of those around you. To create more people with a force that’ll affect individuals half way across the world. It’s time to build more leaders and influencers. It’s time to forge more warriors. I give you the 10 New Year’s Resolutions you need to COMMIT to in order to make this year a year to remember. A year that will carry off into the next year with continued growth. Here are my top 10 commitments for 2016.
1.Commit to Reading
They say the average person reads 1 book or less a year. They say the average successful CEO reads an average of 60 books a year. Do you see the difference? I’ve asked people who work in the corporate world and put in 60,70, and sometimes 80 hours a week if they would like to be the CEO one day. And you know what they all say? No, because it would be too stressful. No, because they wouldn’t have time to spend with their family. No, because that would be too many people to manage. They believe that CEO’s are too busy to have any free time and all they have time for is work. And yet, they some how have time to read 60 books! While the average Joe would say that they don’t have enough time to read even 1 blog. I don’t get it.
How do I know books work? Because I read books everyday. I don’t read a book a week like most big time CEO’s (yet), but I did read 19 books in 2015. I’ve read over 40 books in the past 2 and a half years. And you know what? My income has double each year so far. Coincidence?
Do I have time? No, of course not, nobody does, but I make time. I make time to fill my brain with the good, the clean, and the powerful like the late Zig Ziglar would say. I make time to build up my information absorbing muscles. I make time to learn and grow in my knowledge about leadership, relationships, money, wealth, communication, human behavior, selling, positive thinking, and mindset. I make time because I know what it will do for me. Improve my productivity.
2.Commit to Fitness
Probably the most popular and most failed New Year’s Resolution in history. I don’t know about the other countries out there, but America is notorious for failing big time in the fitness category. Ironic though isn’t it, being that we house some of the most dominant athletes in the world. Then why do so many people fail to reach their fitness goals? Because they do not have an athletes mentality. They are not committed to winning.
I’ve played football, as well as other sports, for most of my life. Since I was seven years old I’ve been holding the pig skin close to my heart until I graduated from college. And you know what I have learned about fitness since earning my Bachelors degree? That working out really sucks.
I know! It’s crazy right. Being that I’m a personal trainer and all. A motivational speaker and life coach. You would think that I would be more positive in my descriptions on exercise, but I’m not that kind of coach. I’m not going to sugar coat it and I’m not going to lie to you. For the most part, working out is not fun. It can relieve stress, dull mental and emotional pains, and even wake you up. But if there was a way to just swallow a magic pill that keeps you in shape year round, you better believe I would have a lifetime supply. So why have I committed myself for the last 3 years to put in my time at the gym 6 to 7 days a week without taking one week off? Because of the results. Think about how powerful you feel when you’re fit. Think about how confident you feel looking in the mirror and you see a six-pack or a slim waist. Think about how easy the rest of the day will be compared to the torture you just put yourself through. Think about the person you become each rep. The growth you receive after each set. The focus you harness each day. Think about how you will progress and not about going through the process. That’s why I ask you to commit to your fitness, because it will save your life in more ways than one.
3.Commit to Positivity
The most positive reactions I get from people on a daily basis is “good.” How are you doing today? Good. How was your trip? Good. How are your kids? Good. How was school? Good. How was the food? Good. Now you may be asking yourself, Mel what’s wrong with the word good? Isn’t that a positive word? Sure it is, but it is not strong enough to combat the other mediocre phrases we indulge in.
How are you doing? Oh, I’m hanging in there. How was you day? Long. How’s the new job? It pays the bills. What have you been up to? Same-o-same-o. How are you feeling? I can’t call it. How’s life? Getting by, but I can’t complain. And here’s my favorite one. How’s it going? TIRED.
How can you expect to ever live a better life or an incredible life if you have committed yourself to a group of words that only explain how disappointing life is? Most people don’t even try to be positive for they see no point. All they see is work, bills, and responsibilities. All they see is a lifetime of waking up to do something they really don’t feel like doing. And then their kids follow right behind their parents with the same negative talk. You know a child hardly says anything negative because they typically only focus on the things they enjoy. They choose to focus their minds on stuff they like. That’s why they seem to not have a care in the world, because they choose not to care about things they don’t like.
For the past few years I have committed my vocabulary to larger array of positive messages. When people ask me “how am I doing?”, I typically respond with one of the following. “Great. Fantastic. Incredible. Awesome. Wonderful. Better than most. Magnificent, but I’ll get better.” It catches people off guard. I say it so much now that when people ask me they usually respond with, “You’re always fantastic. Let me guess, wonderful. Are you ever not incredible?” It’s weird, it’s different, but I feel it to be a waste of vocab when the word good is the most positive term we utilize.
Some people say, “well, if I say I’m magnificent then I will be lying.” And good gracious, we would never want you to lie about how you feel. But like I tell everybody who says that they don’t want to be liars, “you’re not lying, you’re just telling the truth in advanced.” Thanks Zig.
4.Commit to Goal Setting
Now, you may want to call this setting a goal within a goal. New Year’s Resolutions are meant to be a set of goals that you wish to achieve by the end of the year. This is awesome. But what about he months in between? How about for the week? How are you going to gauge your day? How will you know that you are being productive enough in these next few hours? Are you making each minute count? It’s hard to tell if the only goal you are fixated on is the one at the end of the rainbow.
Knowing where the North Star is located is not enough. You need land marks and check points. Indications that you are headed in the right direction. Last year I set a goal to be the Top Personal Trainer for the gym I operate in. There are over 130 other trainers spread out across 9 gyms in Virginia. Some are huge, others are on the smaller side. I train in one of the smaller ones. I busted my tail the whole year of 2015, talking to people, doing consultations, selling myself and my services, and creating exercise routines that will service my clients. I put in an average of 60 hours a week in the gym and I’m pleased to say that even though the final numbers have not been revealed, I was posted as the leading trainer in the entire company. How did I do it?
It’s simple. First I set my New Year’s goal of being the number 1 personal trainer in the company. Meaning, I will bring in the most customers and revenue. Then I figured out how many sessions the previous Personal Trainer averaged per week. I realized that it was less than the maximum allowed so I decided to make that my goal every week. THE MAX!
Each day I had 2 goals. Only 2 that I focused on when it came to PT. Become the number 1 trainer in the company and conduct 40 one hours sessions this week. I committed everyday to this. I didn’t look up the other trainers production. I didn’t ask how anyone else was doing. I didn’t care if it ways spring, summer, school in, school out, holidays or snow days. I had one mission, and my every action was geared towards making my New Year’s Goal a reality. But I would have been lost and probably would have trailed off course if I did not commit to a smaller more measurable goal of completing 40 sessions a week. That’s how you set a goal within a goal.
5.Commit to Selling
This is maybe the most important commitment of them all. The rest is difficult to stick to if you don’t commit to this one. The art of selling is the most important skill and ability in the entire world. Why? Because it gets people to buy. Not just buy material items, but to buy into an idea. This idea can be anything, from convincing a group of young men to believe that if they practice with all of their heart that they will win a championship or maybe it’s making someone believe that they belong with you. The practice of selling is a constant activity that is happening all the time whether you realize it or not. The reason why it is so important now is because you need to sell yourself everyday on why you should commit to your New Year’s Resolutions.
When I was in the 10th grade, in front of all my teammates my Head Football Coach said I wouldn’t be good enough to make the varsity football team when I got back to the states, I would probably play Junior Varsity. I was embarrassed and disappointed in his lack of belief in me. This is when I was going to school in South Korea on the Osan Air Force Base. Me and my family were getting ready to ship out to Hampton, Virginia in a few months and I new I had to be ready if I really wanted to play. I was always a running back at heart, but while playing in South Korea the coaches didn’t think I made the grade and put me at wide receiver. So here I was, getting ready to head back to the states to play American Football where I still was going after my true position, Running Back, expecting to start on the varsity team when I couldn’t even get a rep at running the ball in South Korea. To most it would seem like a long shot, good thing I’m a sharp shooter. I sold myself on the idea that I could start on any team, all I needed was a shot. When I got to Virginia, after a few weeks of trying to convince the coaches I could run the ball, I was given that shot. I ran the ball one time and instantly went from 6th string to 2nd string. By the next year, my senior year, I was the new starting Tail Back for the Tabb Tigers. I was sold and they bought it.
Commit to selling yourself on the dream. Commit to selling yourself that the possibilities for you are endless. Commit to selling yourself that the grind is well worth the effort. When I say commit, I mean take the time to convince yourself that you can do it. New Year’s Resolutions are not just for the hopeful and helpless, but it’s for the successful too. How do you sell yourself? By listening to positive messages everyday. Messages from people like Eric Thomas, Tony Robbins, and Brendon Burchard. “Mel, I don’t have time to sit down and listen to people talk.” Awesome, me neither. That is why I have turned my car into a Mobile University. I’ve turned my workout music into a Mindset Playlist. Since I don’t have time to stop my life and spend time listening to the best life coaches in the world, I use my driving and workout time as opportunities to download messages that sell me on the idea that “it’s possible.” What’s possible? Anything I set my mind too.
6.Commit to Execution
New Year’s Resolutions are about achievement. New Year’s Commitments are about execution. Execution means to carry out a plan. To finish what you start. To do what you said you would do. To complete the task at hand. Execution has nothing to do with goals and everything to do with your daily To-do’s.
What do you have on your To-do list today. Laundry? Maybe clean your room? Go for a run? Hit the gym? Take your kids to gymnastics practice? Buy your wife a birthday card? Finish a paper? Call your dad? Mow the grass? Send a letter? Go to work? Prospect for new clients? And the list goes on. There are some things that you could get away with not doing, but there are other things that if they don’t get done then it will put you behind on reaching your goals this year.
This is where people fall off, because they think it’s about winning at the end. They believe they HAVE TO reach their New Year’s Resolutions otherwise their time was a waste. On the contrary, your time is only a waste if your goals are not really what you wanted. What your Resolutions are about is completing the daily tasks that it will require to achieve your end of the year goals. It’s about staying disciplined. That’s what execution is, the ability to be disciplined enough to complete the tasks that are more than attainable and take time to do even when you don’t feel like doing them. That’s discipline. And if you don’t commit to being an executor then you will surely commit to being a disappointment.
7.Commit to Reflection
Michael Jackson said, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a…… CHANGE!” This is where most people falter without even knowing it. Why? Because no one wants to admit that they are the problem. No one wants to take the responsibility for failure. This is why people have now given up on New Year’s Resolutions. So much so, that they are embarrassed to say they have any. It’s due to the fact that if you have a year-long goal that you stay committed to achieving, you must inherently check your progress throughout the year. And it doesn’t make you feel too good when you don’t see any progress in your efforts or lack there of.
The first reflection that must happen is a reflection on who you are. What do you desire? What do you need? What haven’t you been doing? This is what setting Resolutions forces you to do, take your life into account. And if you’re one of those folks who have been trying year after year to lose that “holiday weight” you will have to acknowledge that you have not been successful 1 too many times and that hurts.
Me and my girlfriend have a 3-year-old boy who is turning 4 in a few months. We dated for about 4 years before we broke up in the winter of 2014. We reunited about 11 months later and have been committed to being better and continuing to grow as a couple together. But what changed in that year. I changed. I spent the first half of 2015 pissed and annoyed with her. I didn’t like her being around me and didn’t want to communicate with her. I was being stand off-ish and not always the most positive person that I train myself to be. I spent that first half of the year analyzing her. Looking at what she needed to work on. Placing the blame on her. In my mind, she was the reason we didn’t work out. I was being under appreciated. I wanted us to be a family again for our son, but she needed to work on somethings first. Then there came a point when my viewpoint started to shift. Im not sure what it was, but I started to see things differently. I realized that she wasn’t the problem, I was.
This is not to say that she was totally innocent or that I’m the only reason why we weren’t working. It’s to say this. If you have a goal and you are not reaching that goal, then the reason why you are not succeeding is 100% your fault. In this case, my goal was for us to be a family again and that could never happen until I began to reflect on who I was and what I was NOT doing.
Commit to reflecting. Reflect on your day as you begin to wind down. What did you accomplish, where did you fail to execute, and what could you have done better? Reflect on your years progress. How much closer are you to reaching your goals? Reflect on your relationship, your family, your career, your finances, your dreams, your friendships, and even your happiness. Be committed to spending time each day, whether it’s in the shower, on the couch, in your room, or on the drive home. Commit some designated time to reflect on who you are, where you are, and where you and your life is going. This year I have carved out a 30 minute slot for me and my girlfriend to reflect on our day together. Talk about what we did, why we did it, where we are going with it, what we want to do tomorrow, and where we want our relationship to be. We are not just committed to each other, we are committed to our development and to our goals.
8.Commit to a Routine
“You’re routine is the heart of your success,” said multi-Billionaire Warren Buffet. What you literally do everyday will dictate where your life will go. What you read and listen to will influence how you think about things. Who you hang around with will influence the decisions you make. When you go to sleep and when you wake up will result in how rested you are. What you eat will affect your health. How you exercise will correlate with how fit you are. How you treat others will be how others will treat you. How hard you work will match how much you will earn. What you give will come back as what you will receive. What you do everyday will be who you are forever. What are you doing everyday?
You can’t be a doctor 5 days of the week, you have to be a doctor everyday. An NFL player doesn’t have days off as a professional. As long as he is in the NFL he is always representing his team and the League. Oprah doesn’t go on summer vacations. She doesn’t shut down her network or company. She dedicates each and everyday to providing value to the world. She is Oprah every hour on the hour. This is not a 9-5 job. Essentially, the best of the best of the world do the same things almost everyday of their lives and that is why they are considered the best. Because the average person is only doing their productive work 30-40 hours a week. There are 168 hours in a week. The other 128 hours are usually up in there air. They average person fill it with random activities that have nothing to do with their own progression. This is why they are unprepared to go to the next level.
I decided two years ago at the age of 23 to be a World Class Motivational Speaker. Now understand, I did not say to “become” a World Class Motivational Speaker, but to “BE” a World Class Motivational Speaker. That means as soon as I thought it, I became it and I began to live my life as just that. So I began to do what people in this industry do. I began to listen to positive and motivating audio programs everyday. I started reading self-development books everyday, even though I have always hated reading. I began to only speak positive thoughts. I began to only post inspiring messages. I posted videos of me speaking regularly, sometimes 3 times a day. I joined a Toastmasters International speaking club. I spoke to people as if I was already on my way to the big stage. I didn’t tell people I wanted to be a motivational speaker, I told them I AM. I’ve done this day in and day out and at the age of 25 I haven’t hit the big stage yet, but I have hit a few stages including high schools and company events.
Your routine is who you choose to be everyday. What kind of person will you choose to be today? Your life will always be based on the collective number of days of who you choose to be
9.Commit to Sacrifice
I read once about a man who sacrificed his life for an eternity of people who he would never meet and most would never know. I once saw a story of a boy whose childhood, along with his brothers, was sacrificed to create one of the most impactful pop singers of our time. Not too long ago there was a man who sacrificed his freedom, being held in a jail cell for decades, for holding true to what he believed in. That man went on to become a world leader and President of a nation. To reach any worthwhile goal it requires some sort of sacrifice. It could be something small giving up TV on the week days or no eating snacks after 6pm. It could be something uncomfortable like letting people into your heart or waking up at 5am on Saturday. The sacrifice may be big or it may be small. It usually depends on the persons perspective, but something has to give in the end. And that is why people quit working towards their Resolutions before they even begin. Because they don’t want to give something up. They want to receive something for nothing.
It was the beginning of the Summer of 2011. I had recently found out that my girlfriend was pregnant and that I was soon to become a father. Like any college student, barely old enough to drink, I was not prepared for this and I knew my life was about to change forever. But even though I was not prepared, I was ready. I was ready for anything and everything, even being a father. I just had a few obstacles to overcome. I needed a car, because I knew my girlfriends used 1999 Cavalier wouldn’t last forever. I needed a laptop, because mines was fried. I needed a bed because my roommate was moving out at the end of the summer and the bed I was sleeping on was his. I needed to pay rent, I needed to pay utilities, I needed to pay my phone bill and I needed to feed myself. I needed more than one job, so I got 3. I needed to train with the College football team 4 days a week, twice a day. I needed to do this all in 3 months because once football camp started there would be no time for generating an income. So I did what any sane 21-year-old soon to be father in college playing football would do in such a situation. I GRINDED.
I worked from sun up to sun down. I trained with the team from 6am-8am. Worked at the car wash from 9am-5am. May I mention that we were on black top wiping down cars in 90, sometimes 100, degree weather. I Did security at the bar from 8pm-3am and got back up the next day to do it all again. Somedays my girlfriend would take me to work. Sometimes I road my bike 30 minutes to work. Sometimes I had to walk. I did whatever it took. On the 2 days I had off at the car wash I usually spent those mornings working with the maintenance crew for the College of William & Mary. They were a cool bunch of guys.
I sacrificed sleep and I sacrificed my health eating McDonald’s for breakfast everyday because it was on the way to work. I sacrificed hanging with friends. I sacrificed my weekends. I sacrificed relaxing and hanging out. I sacrificed any parties, traveling, or drinking. I sacrificed the ability to focus. I sacrificed money. I sacrificed my time. Why? To be the man my parents would be proud of. To be the partner my girlfriend could count on. To be the father my son could look up to. I did it to show them and anyone else watching that we are all capable of doing powerful things, scary things, and seemingly impossible things if you just make up your mind to do it. All it takes is a little sacrifice. Sometimes more sacrifice than you could imagine. But you can do it. I did it, and many others will do it better.
10.Commit to Listening
One of the most difficult tasks for a human being to do, even those who don’t talk much. We struggle to listen. And I don’t just mean listening to the person who is speaking to you. We fail to listen to books, lectures, and audio programs too. If we are not going to take a test on it (even then we slip in and out) then don’t expect to much to be heard from the person listening. We need incentives or you need to be somebody that is somebody to us, otherwise anything coming from you is of non-importance.
Commit to listening. Commit to absorbing the information being shared by your peers. Commit to listening to what your friends have to say and not concentrating on what you’re going to say next. Commit to refraining from cutting people off mid spentence. Refrain from blowing off the gurus who are sharing their wisdom with you. Sometimes in books, sometimes through videos, maybe at a seminar or during a lecture. Stop ignoring and pretending you don’t need someones help to change your life for the better. We all need aid and guidance to go from where we are to end up where we want to be. Listen to your critiques good or bad. You don’t have to follow them or anyone else’s instructions, but you should always give it thought just in case.
Commit to listening to your friends complain because you never know what you might learn from them. Dedicate your ears to downloading all that you can from a potential client or customer. This will allow you to connect on a higher level with them. You will have a chance to understand exactly what their problem is. You will know exactly what they are looking for. You will allow them to blow off some steam and access their true intentions. People just want to be heard and for you to aid them in their journey. You will become their best friend. Imagine what life would be like in your relationships, with family and your spouse.
Riding back from a club with one of my best friends from High School, I found myself listening to an earful of emotions because of an incident that just went down between my best friend and another friend of ours. He was quite upset and I understood why. He began to tell his story, the other guys story, and what it all meant. I listened. And I listened. And then I listened some more. Until I thought it would never end and then I continued to listen more intently. Hanging on to every word because I never knew when a question would arise that would be tailored to accept my rebuttal. I listened with the goal to help and to learn. I listened because he is my friend. 30 minutes probably went by before he finished and then a silence swept over the car. I didn’t say anything, I wanted to make sure it was all out. I wanted to know if he even wanted my advice. And then he said, “Go ahead Mel. I know you like to listen to everything first before you say anything. I want you to share your thoughts on the situation.”
I believe the reason why people are so impatient, are so defensive and cut off others with their own thoughts and opinions is because they feel like they will run out of time. And yes I do agree that time is limited and that is exactly why you should take the time to listen because your success is limited and in order to make your New Years Resolutions a success (not just one but all of them) you’re going to need to develop an ear for listening.
Effective listening will teach you more than 4 years at all the universities in the world ever could. Listening develops lasting relationships. Listening gives you wisdom which you did not have. Listening equips you with the tools to be someones hero. Listening gives you a leg up on the competition. Nobody is listening. Not in person, not on the phone, and not social media. There is just noise being spouted from every direction, but if you listen with the purpose of gaining knowledge you will find the answer to reaching your goals.
Goals for your Goals
These New Year’s Commitments are not meant to replace your New Year’s goals. They are meant to enhance them. They are a set of guidelines to follow in your everyday life. They are disciplines, because achieving any goal in life requires some sort of discipline. There are certain things you must do each and every day if you wish to ever achieve something new.
I wrote this list because too many people have given up on themselves. Too many people feel like they can’t change and they will never succeed in improving their lives. That is why they say, “I don’t set goals because I don’t won’t to get my hopes up in case I don’t reach them.” The most wrong mentality possible. Why? Because you can’t build a house if you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like.
These top 10 New Year’s Resolutions are for those who keep starting the year over trying to complete the same mission year after year and don’t make it past February. These are for the many who have no goals written out this year. These are your new goals. They are not specific in number, there is no end, and it restarts each and everyday. These are a set of habits that differ greatly from the population yet resemble often that of the most successful people in the world. You can never fail at the end of the year, you can only fail at not implementing them today. Each and every ideal listed can be done today with plenty of time to spare and should be done. And if you do it often enough on the daily, overtime you will create a new organism that thinks on a level of goal achieving and will not be intimated by them, but instead motivated.
Commitment, meaning an obligation that restricts freedom of action. When you commit you are dedicating your self to an action with no room for deviation. When you commit to this list you will build habits that are made for achievement, and achievement builds confidence, and confidence motivates you to go after something greater than what was sought after before. Write down these 10 habits, make them apart of your years mission, and I will see you on the other side of greatness.
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Mel Jones the BEAST