Happy New Year! It’s time to make resolutions, reflect on the progress made in 2011, and generally consider the bright future ahead in 2012. But, I’d like to take a slightly different look at the New Year, by focusing on the word “once”. I think “once” holds us back sometimes, and instead of using goals, resolutions, and the new year to our advantage, we hide behind it. Here’s a few of my “once” problem statements:

– Once I finish my MBA, I’ll have more time to work out and be involved in creative endeavors.

– Once I get the MBA job, we’ll be able to meet the big financial goals.

– Once we buy a house, I’ll host guests and cook at home all the time.

– Once the New Year hits, I’ll get back to eating healthy, blogging regularly, studying harder, and coming in to work early.

See the theme? I’ve got plenty of goals and things that I want to do in life, but I keep hiding behind some other event. The thing is, once I finish the prerequisite, something else will pop up, and I’ll still be deferring my plans until the new prerequisite is fulfilled. This is how people get to old age, look back on their lives, and realize that they missed out on all the things they said they valued. There’s no magic in a New Year, and there’s no reason I can’t start accomplishing things right now, right where I am.

So, I think my New Year’s resolution is to stop hiding behind long-term goals, to let go of “once”. I’ve talked many times about being ready to take the opportunity, golden handcuffs, passion, and doing something stupid. I’ve found that putting off until tomorrow what I should do today is ultimately unfruitful, even if “today’s” endeavors are noble. What are your New Year’s resolutions? Do you hide behind “once”?

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