Military Wire: The first step to making 2016 your year

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Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler

I have a confession. Yep. Instead of kicking off the New Year with a few new commitments, I’m kicking the New Year off with a confession.

My “confession” is that some of my commitments weren’t commitments last year – they were “intentions” with an exit strategy.

After watching the movie “South Paw” last year, I made the commitment to look like Jake…well, at least look like half of him by the end of the year. I failed. My gym attendance was two to three times a week; if I was truly committed, I would have invested at least give times a week in order to achieve my commitment.

What became clear to me was that true commitment requires doing the work even when I don’t want to or when it’s not convenient. I had intended to look like Jake, but that was as long as it was convenient. Compare this to my relationship with my wife — I’m committed. I work on it even when I don’t want to…and because I know what’s good for me.

Each New Year thousands of us typically make “new” resolutions…or for some, a new “commitment” to old resolutions. A resolution not anchored in true commitment is really nothing more than an “intention” with an exit strategy.

So as you sip your coffee and prepare to kick off 2016, if your desire is to make this year different from last year, here is the FIRST step to helping you achieve YOUR YEAR:

Step 1: Be honest with yourself. If you say it or write it, will you do it no matter what? Before you commit, ask yourself if you are dedicated to whatever you say or write no matter what. If not, then just call it what it is – a good intention with an exit strategy.

Bottom line: Anchor this year in honesty. When you do, you’ll reach 2017 with fewer regrets and confessions.

— By Michael Schindler

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

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