We’re well past the mid-way point of December oh-eleven, on a beeline for Xmas.
‘Round about this time of year, you should be well into your “trial run” of your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions. You should either be suffering a tremendous amount difficulty in keeping your Resolutions firmly intact, or you should be chugging ahead full-steam, steeling your nerves, hardening your resolve to keep your Resolutions rock-steady well into the next calendar year. I write Resolution rather than the lower-case resolution, given all the annual hype surrounding the former, what with the attached consumerism which has cropped up in its wake.
Either way, you’ll already have had plenty of time to determine whether or not whatever you’re trying to do is working for you. Whether you’re attempting to:
- lose that spare time around your flabby, hirsute midsection.
- save more cha-ching-ching-badda-bing.
- stop sucking back corrosive poison-infested Satan sticks, aka cigarettes.
- stop pummeling your liver with vodka and artificially-colored alcoholic mixed drinks.
- be a more attentive Parental Unit.
- be a better Daughter or Son Unit.
…or in my case, to stop rapid-stuffing my yob with so much chocolate throughout the course of the workday that I feel like bouncing off the jip rock. Needless to say, that’s not the reason why I’m growing the beard in the video below, as you’ll shortly see…
Let’s do a little mid-month tally here…
What we’re essentially attempting to do is see whether or nor our proposed 2012 Resolutions are sustainable over the long-term by yanking back 2012 by just a single month, seeing if there’s enough of a justification for us to continue with a Resolution.
It’s the equivalent of getting a jump on the competition and the laggards who will basically be devoting all of their January to working out the kinks in their Resolution schedule.
If you’ve been following Christopher S. Penn’s advice closely since the beginning of December 2011, then you’ll be that much further ahead of the pack.
What to do if things are working out for you?
If things are working out for you, here’s what you need to continue doing:
- unearth any pinch points in your process, tweaking for them accordingly such that maintaining your behavior is hiccup-free for January and beyond.
- take stock of how much of a sacrifice it’s actually been up to now in December. If you haven’t noticed much of a difference in your lifestyle, you need to think about upping the ante, perhaps even being more severe with yourself. Always be climbing that ladder.
- consider adding an additional Resolution for January and tuck into it with abandon for the remainder December. Two weeks isn’t an entire month, to be sure, but at least it’s a considerable amount of lead time to see if it’s sustainable. The key is to go hard and be absolutely unforgiving with yourself. The idea here is you want to feel the pain. This is clearly a case of no pain, no gain, not some gussied-up cliché.
- diarize and blog about your experiences often so others can learn from your process and methodology. It’s what Derek Sivers calls the “share economy.” No use in hoarding experiences for yourself. Where’s the logic in that?
- reward yourself for your tenacity up to today: Bravo! The trick isn’t, however, to reward yourself with something that’ll obligate you to break a Resolution. Perhaps you might want to sleep a few extra hours for just a single night? Or maybe you might wish to wear a coat next time you venture out into sub-thirty temperatures (sub-zero in Celsius countries) instead of trying to bear the cold without protection? Or perhaps you might want to have a double-portion of pie or cake (if eating less/losing weight isn’t your 2012 Resolution!)? Or perhaps you’d like to delay your gratification for the end of the month when you’ll be able to have gone the full thirty-day cycle without needing some kind of juvenile-like cookie? In any event, the key here is to give yourself a back-pat for sticking to your guns up until December 15th. This is the reason why we’re doing this in the first place.
If you’re doing well –> KEEP ON GOING! No stopping now. And just think of the voice that would sound off in your head if you broke your rhythm now: “yousuckyousuckyousuck!!!”
What to do if you’re failing?
If you’re failing at keeping the Resolution, time to re-assess where you’re headed by trying these:
- modify elements of your Resolution that remain sticking points. Sure, this effectively makes the entire process easier and it’s a kind of “crapping out,” but take solace in the fact that you’ve already demonstrated over the course of these first two weeks that you can’t hack the harder go of it. Hence, shift-on-the-fly and change things up such that when you slide into January, this is no longer a problem. A Resolution, albeit, at a reduced level, but still valid nevertheless.
- re-assess whether your Resolution as initially crafted was achievable in the first place. That you didn’t set the bar too high, even for High Achieving you.
- drop your Resolution entirely. You don’t need me to explain this.
Either way you slice it, buck, you’re still:
- way ahead of the competition who are groping through January, working out their kinks, rather than doing all this sampling during the much more docile December to go about it in a much more systematic manner.
- demonstrating leadership in your vertical because you’re that much more proactive in this regard than most of your industry peers. Like I said above, that’s where the blog comes into play.
- exceedingly efficient. And trust me, this has spillover benefits for January 2012. While your peers are agonizing over their Resolutions, possibly taking another 30+ days to work out whether or not they you’ll be crushing it by doing more of what your peers simply won’t have the time of the wherewithal to do. More business development, more creativity, more customer service, or in our business, much more audience engagement for your indie film or doc.
It’s not too late:
If you haven’t tucked into your New Year’s Resolutions yet, you can still take your hacks during this final fortnight of 2011. You’ll be glad you did.
Sure enough, two weeks isn’t a month, but it’s still better than tucking into them just after Xmas.
And, as always, let us know how you did!
Adam Daniel Mezei, PMD | Producer of Marketing and Distribution
Marketing and Distribution Services for Indie Films and Documentaries
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