Resolutions Resolutions

By Fred Kusch  

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for!” — Elite Daily

“Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.” 

New Year’s resolutions are the rage this time of year for most Americans. The problem with many of the promises we make to ourselves is that we never follow through on about 92 percent of them. Seems like it’s “all show and no go” for us.

That being said, and given the state of our country and the regrettable divisiveness we are experiencing, I have taken the time to re-examine my personal values in order to give focus to my resolutions for 2018. I believe that one’s values drive behavior. Values are the blueprint for how you approach life and the decisions you make. 

As you develop your 2018 resolutions, make sure they reflect what you really believe. When you are committed to them, you will become part of the 8 percent that really do resolve to take action. Please consider the following eight resolutions that reflect my values.

Commit to defend our country’s institutions. I believe that U.S. institutions protect and preserve our collective decency. I intend to make the institutions mine and act on their behalf whenever appropriate. They do not protect themselves. So, choose one: a court, the health department, a school/university, a labor union or a newspaper/media. Become a responsible supporter who points out the good as well as the bad. We need strong institutions to be a strong society and nation. 

Be the someone who stands up, stands out and takes a risk. Speak knowing the facts on what you believe or don’t believe. It is easy to be a “do bee” and follow along. It probably will feel strange and unsettling to say or do something you normally wouldn’t, but, simply said, be different. The challenge is complete when you stand by what you stood up for. 

Believe in and seek out the truth. The internet, idle conversation, half-truths, innuendo and outright lies seem to rule the day. To abandon or wantonly ignore facts is akin to abandoning freedom. It seems to me that if nothing is true, then it follows that no one can criticize or question those in power. Think about it. If nothing is true, all is spectacle and all too often those with the deepest pockets and biggest bank accounts pay for the blinding spotlights. 

Remember both personal and professional ethics. If those in leadership and/or power set poor examples, your commitment to personal and professional ethics becomes even more important. As a parent, citizen, business owner or employee, your personal and professional ethics must be the guiding light to your decisions about following or supporting those in political power, educational power, religious power, business practice or governmental power. Be true to who you are. Don’t sell out. Walk your talk. If you and I don’t do this, authoritarians, charlatans and those who are self-serving will darken our society/community.

Practice real patriotism. Study the patriots, our “founding fathers,” who are too often erroneously used as an example of pseudo-patriotism today. I realize I need to read and understand better what Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Madison, et al. meant when they wrote and practiced real patriotism. Bogus references to a self-serving patriotism can threaten our democracy today and in the future. Become a knowledgeable, informed patriot. When you do, you will become a role model of what America really means for generations to come. 

Think outside the box and learn from friends and acquaintances from here and abroad. Reach out and make new friends in your community. It is the only way we will understand and respect one another in a time when there seems to be no willingness or willpower to try. It seems we prefer ignorance about those who are different. No man, community or country is an island. We must seek to solve problems and learn together. If we do not, we will surely fail.

There you have it, the basis for my resolutions in 2018. I will make every attempt to commit and take positive action on these points. Perhaps they have given you some food for thought or the impetus to do something this year. Whatever the case may be for you, do something. Don’t be among the 92 percent who don’t. 

“Tomorrow is the first day of a 365-page book; write a good one because it will be all about you.” — Fred Kusch

Fred Kusch, president and CEO of JFK Associates, is a well-known speaker, author, consultant and business coach. For more information, visit jfkassociates.com.