Everybody wants to change the world, but most think they themselves are just fine the way they are. Suddenly, though, once a year, an arbitrary date on a calendar actually succeeds in causing them to look inward. Incredibly, people who spend the rest of the year looking outward search themselves for areas of improvement. This is a good thing. To truly change the outside world, we must first work on changing the inner person.
The problem, however, as we all know, is that these New Year's Resolutions are fleeting. Workout facilities are jammed in January, empty by February. Smokers who quit on New Year's Day are back at it by the Super Bowl.
Instead of resolutions, I think people should be considering revolutions. A revolution is a grass-roots effort springing forth from leaders committed to changing the status quo. It grows into a movement as individuals gain influence with others through the strength and consistency of their own actions over time. Importantly, it's the consistency part over time that matters most. Being able to stay at it for the long haul is what gives influence a chance to work and momentum a chance to build. Flash-in-the-pan self-improvement is as ineffective as it is comical. To truly make a difference, one must become different. For that to occur, one must have strength of character. Paradoxically, the best way to accomplish this isn't to focus upon one's self, stumbling through life in a pathetic stupor of self-awareness, but to focus upon one's purpose and calling. Such a focus is what gives the power to improve one's self over the long range. With eyes fixed on that horizon, self-improvement and lasting change will be automatic.
So don't make a resolution this year. That is what the herd is doing. And you know what happens to herds? They get slaughtered. Rather, start a revolution in your life by summoning the strength of character to always be listening, learning, and living the life you've been called to. Work on yourself consistently by focusing on your contribution and calling, and you just might find that the world will follow.
Happy New Year. Lead on!