Happy New Year! Despite the fact that it happens every year in winter (which is without question the WORST season, and anyone who disagrees is simply wrong), I do love the holiday season. As one of the few individuals who seems to look forward to spending time with my family, I love Christmas (and presents don’t suck), and whether or not I’ve managed to score an invite to a party, I always find a way to enjoy New Years Eve. I won’t go so far as to New Years Day is my favorite holiday of them all, there does seem to be some sort of unique “magic” that surrounds the occasion. What do we call this magic? A positive attitude.
As far as I can tell, there’s not another time of the year that has trained people quite so well as this time of year to actually open themselves up to possibilities and look forward to something better. We get so excited that we might actually be able to change something in our lives, that we can somehow make next year just a little (or a lot) better than last, the collective hope we all feel is palpable. Of course, just like any magic trick, the illusion can only last so long before the smoke either fades or we get distracted by something else. That’s why gyms empty out by February, resolutions drift off into that same place dreams and pairless socks live, and many of us simply go back to the drudgery of our lives before we had the audacity to believe we could do better.
Any personal development or leadership book worth the paper its printed on will tell you the importance of attitude in our lives. Heck, most decent motivational posters at least touch on it. Claude Hamilton values it so much he went so far as to write in his book Toughen Up that “When a person has a bad attitude, it’s easier to quit, it’s easier to cheat, and it’s easier to justify bad decisions. A bad attitude brings weakness. The good news is that a good attitude brings greatness.”
A couple years ago, I wrote a post on four ways to help you keep your new years resolutions. The Cliff’s Notes version?
- Start small
- Be specific
- Create reminders
- Tell someone else
Now I’ve come to realize that the most important aspect of staying true to any goal is maintaining a positive attitude. Or, perhaps better put, a tough attitude. Toughness is “being able to take punishment and keep your original intention.” There’s no way any of us are going to make it through 2014 without at least a couple scrapes and bruises. The key is to come out of it stronger, better, and closer to the type of person you’ve always wanted to be. And the key to that is keeping the “magic” of New Years alive throughout the year.
Stay tough, and make this year YOUR year.