The first president of the United States George Washington once said, “Undertake not what you can not perform, but be careful to keep your promises.”
Imagine if you will, the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Everyone cheers, exchanges a kiss or two, and sing verses of the legendary song, “Auld Lang Syne.”
Everything seems to be going in great harmony. And where there’s great harmony is also a lot of caution throwing to the wind.
If you’ve ever ringed in the New Year, you know what I’m talking about. That’s right, the infamous New Year’s resolutions.
Each year, thousands of people all over the world make resolutions they have no intention of keeping. “I’m going to go on a diet,” “I’m going to quit smoking,” and my personal favorite, “I’m going to live each day as though it were my last.”
Let’s get serious.
Do we really do any of those things we promise?
If you have ever kept a New Year’s resolution, you are a giant among the weak and allow me to be the first to applaud you. God knows I’ve never been able to. I’ve made so many resolutions that if I had a quarter for each time I broke one I’d be a very wealthy man.
So, I’ve decided this year that the only resolution I intend on keeping is no resolution at all. I’ve decided that if I want a nice fit body, to quit eating so many sweets, and to work hard toward achieving all my goals that I would do it without promising myself as well as an eager audience that I would.
It’s kind of like using reverse psychology on yourself.
Instead, let’s just strive to do better, instead of waking up the first day of 2009 and breaking every promise we never intended on keeping to begin with. Wouldn’t it be better to have tried and be men and women of our word than to promise things to ourselves for the world to hear just because it was “the thing to do” at the time?
What I just said may sound small and minute, but here’s a better example.
I had a great uncle who would never promise anyone anything that he wouldn’t do. And if he did promise it, he’d make sure it was done. What exactly did he have to show for it? Not a fat-free lifestyle, muscular arms of steel for the world to see, or empty promises filled with good intentions.
Instead, when he passed away, he left behind a wonderful legacy.
So this year as well as all year long, say what you mean, do what you mean to do, and live each day with the type of legacy that will last forever. After all, your legacy will stand when every promised thing becomes no more.
Have a happy and blessed 2009.