“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” — J.P. Morgan
It’s that time of year when resolutions are fashionable. A tradition that has become a natural occurrence and a benign exercise of self-motivation. I mean, who doesn’t make some sort of New Year resolution as a gesture of good intentions? Sometimes it is a conscious decision to do something different. Other times it is simply a thing you say to someone to mark the yearly occurrence. Either way, it’s a chance to proclaim that everything you did days, weeks and months before can be categorized as yesterday’s news and no longer reflective of what is to come.
Why? Because it’s easier to imagine a clean slate than it is to do the work to clean it. Easier to see yourself in a new station in life than it is to build the road that gets you there. That’s where inspiration meets perspiration, and where all the results are tabulated.
While the quote above by J.P. Morgan is famous for its motivational simplicity, it can camouflage the essential underlining discipline that is necessary to effectuate any real change. One of the most powerful bankers of his era, J.P. Morgan’s influence and business activism remains embedded on the world stage and evidenced by the continued dominance of its predecessor financial giant J.P. Morgan Chase. His “resolutions” were obviously complete with action.
Celebrations for new year resolutions are too often short lived, as reality hits and we find ourselves woefully unprepared to face down the fears of uncertainty, the doubts of unfamiliarity and the absence of discipline.
“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” —H. Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne’s quote envisions the dilemma of risk vs reward. A decision is necessary. Don’t underestimate the symptoms of fear and procrastination as the thieves and bandits they are; ready to steel your time and drain your motivation. Before you know it, the “fruit” has perished. Months and years go by and you're siting in the same “tree”, dealing with the same circumstances.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is… you’re the pilot.” —Michael Altshuler
By the time you read this blog, many of you may have already abandoned your New Year resolutions. Whatever it was, we’ll do it soon or if not, there’s always next year. On the other hand, if it is important, and if you want to get off that merry-go-round of promises made and forgotten, now is the time to jump off.
“We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.” —Hillary DePiano
Lay out a plan of action. If appropriate, talk to a professional. Learn what you don’t know as part of your plan. Discern if your road to redemption is paved with success or destined for complications. In my practice, I encourage questions and learning so that resolutions are more than a temporary notion. I follow the principle of teaching a man to fish, to feed for a lifetime. That’s been my resolution for more than 35 years. I think I’ll keep it.
It’s your life, plan for it!
Eric. Bailey CFP®
Eric Bailey is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors. Securities and advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (Member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Bailey Wealth Advisors is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors. CRN-2880766-122019