What New Year’s Resolutions and a Dyson Vacuum Have In Common (& How to Change It)

by Kenny Eller on January 7, 2012

New Year's Resolutions and Mr. Dyson with his famous vacuum

OK, the title of this post may be a little harsh, but if we’re being honest with one another, they both do suck.

The point is, only one is supposed to.  (*see note at end of post)

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I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions.

I didn’t set any this year, or last, or the year before.

Just reading the lines above may send the voice inside your head jumping up and down, screaming in an inaudible, yet judgmental tone, “What!!??  Is he serious???  This is time for change!  It’s 2012!!!!  Wahoooo!!!  Cue the memory fireworks!!!”

I get it.  I used to think that way too.

I would get caught up, just like the majority, in all that is great with the hype of resolutions brought on by the New Year.

The last “New Year’s Resolution” I remember setting came after seeing a movie with the family over the holidays.

The lead actor, Will Smith, was in riiiiii-diculous shape!  That prompted me to go home and research how he had transformed his body from those “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” days. (Yes, ladies, guys really think like this! :-)  At least I did, haha!)

Within minutes of beginning my search, I found an interview that had then recently been done in conjunction with the movie, in which Smith stated that in addition to a weight-training program, he ran some 30 miles per week.

So with little thought and absolutely no planning, I set my New Year’s resolution:  Run 30 miles per week!

I literally went from zero miles, to thrusting myself into 30 miles per week on the first of January.  In truth, I hadn’t run 30 miles in the previous 10 years combined.

Does that sound silly to you?

How long do you think I kept with my New Year’s Resolution?

I ran 30 miles per week for just over five weeks, until I was sent on a work trip that placed me in 35-degree weather.  That lingering winter cold was a big enough excuse for my resolution to wither away.

I didn’t really “run” again until I “trained” for my first half marathon, two years ago.

Just recounting that story makes me cringe, but is my story really much different than yours?

Have you planned for success?  Have you thought out each phase and visualized your victory?

If not, your resolution this year may sadly falter just like those of New Year’s past.

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“Popular” New Year’s Resolutions

  • Lose Weight
  • Exercise More
  • Eat Better
  • Quit Smoking
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Get out of debt
  • Save money
  • Volunteer
  • Be more organized
  • Watch less television
  • Improve education
  • Learn a new language or musical instrument

And the list goes on and on and on….

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Why New Year’s Resolutions DON’T Work

I could spend thousands of words describing why, but this quote sums it up:

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

The origins of that all so true series of words may be up for debate, but I first read them in a book by John Wooden some 14 years ago.

That quote, while really so fundamentally simple, is seemingly so difficult when almighty inspiration strikes!

And what fuels resolutions after the first of the year??  Inspiration of course!

Why I didn’t launch mevsMJ.com When Inspiration Struck

If I had launched this site when the idea of mevsMJ.com exploded in my head, I would have surely failed.

I wasn’t ready.  I wasn’t prepared.

The idea was there.  The passion was without a doubt there.  The plan however, was not!

Publishing my first post when all that fueled me was a passionate idea, would have almost certainly led me to the same conclusion as running those 30 miles a week did.

Instead I did my best to write and write and write without publishing a word.  While most of the reasoning for my delayed launch was so wrong, taking the time to think through what I wanted to accomplish, and discuss, as well as, come up with some sort of plan with someone who already maintained a successful blog, is a large part of why I’m still going today.

Resolutions ARE Good, but Defined Goals are GREAT!

Please don’t misunderstand me; making a commitment to change and improve oneself is GREAT!

I absolutely LOOOOOOOVE that!

In order for you to really enact change though, you need to take the inspiration and make it a lifestyle and that can only happen with a plan!

Are You Being S.M.A.R.T. About What You Want to Accomplish?

Specific

Measurable

Attainable (all things are btw)

Relevant

Timely

*The above mnemonic has been around for decades and is a great tool to get you more structured as you begin setting goals/resolutions for yourself.

My Big Goal:  Play Michael Jordan 1-on-1

When I set out on this journey, playing hoops with Michael Jordan was the goal and still is.

Was it S.M.A.R.T.?  Yes, even as large of a goal as playing MJ is, it still met every step.

(Keep in mind I originally would have played hoops with MJ, one year from the creation of this site if his camp hadn’t been canceled.)

Sub Goals

Without making this too academic (I’ll let the PhDs do that) I always set sub goals to further breakdown my ultimate goal.

At the beginning I set the following four sub goals:  Get in the best shape of my life, Become the best basketball player I can be, Enjoy every second of the journey, and Attend Michael Jordan Senior Flight School.

Those four encompassed what I wanted to accomplish, but in no way were detailed enough to be measurable.

Sub Goal:  Get In The Best Shape Of My Life!

Taking a look at my goal of getting in the best shape of my life as an example.

It began with training for and completing two half marathons and then continuing to run some 20 miles per week for the next year.  I then incorporated more basketball specific workouts, pulling from my experience at Impact Basketball.  Then in November, I made a three-month long commitment to train with B Meyer and his team.

For me, it’s always been about keeping it fresh and having fun.  It’s also about learning and growing.

At this point my sub goal of achieving the best conditioning of life, has become a lifestyle for me.

If I look at myself prior to beginning this site, to where I am now, everything from my daily eating habits, to my conditioning has improved drastically.

I AM in the BEST Shape of my Life!

I absolutely love and am proud of the fact that I can go run 10 miles anytime.

It began with a 2 mile jog.  It began with a scheduled plan of attack.

On Tuesday morning, I repped out more pull-ups even on my third set of my circuit training, than I can ever remember doing and I was beyond enthused at my progress.

It began with a single repetition.  It began with a scheduled plan of attack.

“A 6 or a 7”

During the first training session I went through with Coach B Meyer and Dave Rubin they constantly gauged my effort output.

They wanted no more than a 6 to 7 out of a maximum 10, when it came to effort put forth on an individual exercise.

Coach Meyer told me, “I could put you through Dwight’s workout (Dwight Howard), but you wouldn’t be able to move for days.  That’s not the goal!”

Instead the focus was on technique and building a foundation.

You see they understand that a 6 or a 7, and a 6 or a 7, and a 6 or a 7, and a 6 or a 7, when totaled is far more than a couple of 10s.

Eventually that effort level can increase of course, but first the foundation must be set.

Why You Should Stop Giving It Your ALL

My natural tendency with anything I really want to do is to go all out!

I think it’s within all of us to want success quickly, so we lie to ourselves and make ourselves believe that if we skip steps we will get to our goal quicker.

When I first started running, I’d be so amped up that I’d almost take off sprinting!  That’d be fine if I was running a short distance, but when you’re running five miles or more, it’s definitely not the way to go (in the beginning).

I had to learn to control my excitement for being out there and distribute my energy effectively so that I could finish strong.

After quite some time, I got to where I could run at a fairly quick pace the entire way, but the foundation of proper conditioning through miles and miles of running had to be set first.

This of course is applicable to anything in life.

Success is a process that requires days and days of hard work.

Knowing that, you must pace yourself!

You always want to do the best you can do, but it’s true, sometimes a little less over and over again equates to more.

Accountability Partner(s)

Even with S.M.A.R.T. goals fully planned out, written down and detailed, you need to establish accountability partners.

This is with anything in life!

Find people with similar interests, partner up and hold one another accountable.  As I’ve stated in the past, if you can choose, find someone that is currently better than you at whatever it is you want to do to partner up with.  This is how you truly grow and get better!

January 1st DOESN’T Cause Change, YOU DO!

Whether it’s the first of January, August 22nd, or any other day, you can make a decision to change at any moment!

Set a goal, make a plan, gain accountability and make your dreams come true.

It’s never been about the New Year, it’s always been about YOU!

Happy New Year!

Yes, yes…the journey continues!!!

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*Note:  My Dyson does a great job! 😉

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BIG NEWS UPCOMING!

So I’ve whispered about the upcoming news to a few and very soon I can let everyone in on what is coming up!

I will tell you that it IS about basketball and it’s not about vacuums! 😉

Giddy up!  It’s going to be a fun ride/flight (hint, hint)!!!

Connect:  Twitter (@KennyEller) and mevsMJ.com Facebook Fan Page.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam January 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

Great post bud.

Looking forward to reading about your news Kenny!

Reply

Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 7, 2012 at 11:38 am

Thanks Adam!

Yeah, I’m excited about the news too!:).

Reply

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