Radicalizing New Years' Resolutions

Education & Training with Hoover Elementary

On New Years' Day I finished reading a book I had started in 2011 called Essays and Aphorisms by Arthur Schopenhauer.  There was a quote in the book that's stuck with me the last week or so:

"Intellect... does not clearly perceive itself, just as the miller does not hear his mill, nor the perfumer smell his shop."

I knew there was something significant about that, but I couldn't put my finger on it... until today, when it hit me.  It should have hit me on New Years' Day, of course, when it was the most relevant, but better late than never.  It's a phrase that really ought to be applied to New Years' resolutions!

I'm pretty sure most people are like me when it comes to New Years' resolutions- They make them themselves, based their own desires: "I will make more money", "I will exercise more", "I will spend more time with the kids" and so on.  My own resolution was to get more commercial title insurance orders for Stewart Title.

But when it comes to us, aren't we like Schopenhauer's millers and perfumers?  How do we know what we're not hearing or smelling anymore when it comes to our own lives?  We might be entirely blind to whatever change we truly need... and maybe that's why so many people fail to actually keep their New Years' Resolutions.

So- What if we had our resolutions made for us by people on the outside looking in?  Perhaps an extended family member, or a coach or a coworker?  Would the resolutions be different?  Would we be more or less likely to keep them?

It's an interesting experiment, I think, and maybe a little intimidating because, for whatever reason, when it comes to New Years' resolutions we collectively seem ok if we don't keep them- probably because we don't take letting ourselves down as seriously as letting down others.  However, keeping a resolution made by someone else adds a different level of accountability.  So, not only might we get a "better" resolution, we may be more likely to see it happen!


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Andrew Capelli

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