Thursday, December 17, 2009

The American Way: Plan Before the Plan

...I had a sudden realization:  I was in danger of wasting my life..."What do I want from life, anyway?" I asked myself...
                               -Gretchen Rubin (2009), American Author

When you want a killer backhand in tennis, you watch a good instructional video, hire a coach or take tips from your tennis-playing best friend.  When you want to join the community symphony with your cello, you dust off the old sheet music you haven't looked at since college and practice everyday for two months.  And, if you decide to tackle one 500 page history book each week next month, well, start practicing your reading.

New Year's resolutions are on the horizon just waiting, poised, ready to defeat the poor mortals who create them.  The thing is most of us make these well-intentioned resolutions with no concrete practice plan.  There must be a plan, before the plan.  So, if you're going to tackle the New York Times crossword puzzles each week in January, start practicing now.  Get ready to make the real resolution stick.

If you have a whole list of resolutions, then you need to be even more organized. Greatchen Rubin's new book The Happiness Project is a fun read about the year she decided to be happier and how she made it work. If you visit her blog The Happiness Project you can even find tools to follow in her organized footsteps to move towards the good life.

The whole idea of resolutions and self-improvement is distinctly American and began with Benjamin Franklin, whom some historians have called "The First American".  He constantly sought to improve himself, his community and the world.  He details his self-improvement project in his Autobiography.
What a great person to represent Americans.

No comments:

Post a Comment