A New Year is Not a New You

Real Estate Sales Representative with EXP Realty

We hear the refrain gazillions of times every New Year until it is wallpaper. “Start the year with a clean slate.”  “A New Year, a New You.”  “Who do you want to be this year?”

Really, I want to be Warren Buffett but somebody already took that DNA. Do we all wake up as a different person on January 1 of any given year? Do we really want to be someone else? Or, do we wake up to ourselves, with hopes and dreams that the New Year will transform us?

We’re all encouraged to write up our goals, vision boards, and daily accountability trackers. A steaming dark roast cup of Joe, and we’re fist pumping what we’re going to do. Booya!!!  Yet, in a couple weeks, maybe hours, we’ve given up. So, what is going on with us? 

Humans are creatures of comfort and survival. We do what we have to do to survive, and grip the comfort zone. Choose a hot cheese oozing pizza or an hour of flat out sweating it out at the gym?  80% of gym memberships are never used. They’re jam packed in January, and an empty echo by April.

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and we’ve all done it. We buy something and expect that the thing is going to do the work for us. That’s work out equipment, diet books, webinars, Athleta $108 Stealth Tech tights that are now on sale. We are sold inspiration in the things that we buy, and are let down when magic doesn’t happen. Though it isn’t written on the label, most cosmetic companies are clear that they are selling us hope in a bottle.

Instead of goals, this year I’m making commitments. Goals are a big finale. They are an end, and a celebration of all the work, the risks, the late nights that it took us to get there. There is immense satisfaction in completing a goal. If we don’t complete the goal we are disappointed with ourselves, we didn’t measure up. If we complete the goal, there is a ‘now what?”

The reason I’m making commitments instead of goals is that commitments are promises to yourself to do a thing consistently. Every month, every week, every day we do what we commit to doing what makes a difference. A goal is a noun that reaches out. A commitment is an action, a verb coming from the inside that cuts through the clutter to focus on one thing.

My commitments are to myself. At the end of the day no one else matters. It’s my life, my story, and only I can write it. If there isn’t an authentic voice behind it, it’s a hollow wish.


My commitments for 2018 are:

  • To blog twice a week, always be authentic, and follow my own path in creating content. As Joan Rivers said, “My success was in saying what everyone else was thinking.” She also said, “If God wanted women to cook, he would have given us aluminum hands.” I have a marketing calendar to log dates, titles, and results. It works, as long as I do.
  • To see the world through my clients eyes. Their success is my success, make it as easy, educational and supportive as possible. I promise not to speak ‘Realtor Speak,’ keep conversation in plain English. Follow up on their anniversaries every year. Have detailed check lists, tracking the process and stay in touch.
  • To say No when I know it isn’t right, and not be cajoled into a yes because it is the polite response. Saying yes to a person, project, or favor that distracts from getting important things done is a waste of time and disappointment for all sides.
  • Never, ever be content and cosy in my comfort zone. It is intellectual suicide to agree with yourself all the time. Steve Pressfield wrote in ‘Do the Work,’ “The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, it will start producing excuses, alibies, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

Each year brings with it new opportunities and challenges. 2018 started with a brilliant supper moon dangling in the sky like a huge Christmas ornament as a gift from the universe to inspire us throughout the year. I’m making three banners so when I open one eye, crawl out of bed on a dark subzero morning, the first thing I see are my commitments. “Do the work.” “Walk in their shoes.”  “No means no.” Anyone join me?


Whether you’re selling a house or buying a new home in the Minneapolis, MN, turn to Mary Jo Quay with RE/MAX Advisors for quality real estate assistance. Contact her at (612) 384-1360 or visit the website to check out my blog at www.raiseurroofmn.com, or give me a jingle so we can plan your 2018.

Posted by

Mary Jo Quay

“That’s what I do: I move people—H O M E.”

 Phone: (612) 384-1360


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Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

You think a lot like I do.  

But I do use goals to set me on the right course or direction.  They allow me to prioritize what I do on any given day.  Otherwise, I can get get busy doing trivial stuff that really doesn't get me closer to where I want to be.

Jan 05, 2018 04:25 AM #9
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Mary Jo Quay No can be the most powerful tool in one's arsenal for success.  I agree with you - commitments vs. resolutions!

Jan 05, 2018 04:37 AM #10
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

I love the change to the word "Commitment".  Somehow it states a clearer intent.  Not following up on a commitment feels different than not following up on a goal (or resolution!).

Jan 05, 2018 06:00 AM #11
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good morning Mary Jo Quay, saying NO is something many of us struggle with, I have to remind myself on a daily basis. Wishing you a great 2018!

Jan 05, 2018 06:05 AM #12
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great perspective here.  I don't do New Year's resolutions, BUT, I do look for many opportunities to improve myself.  I will often set goals or commitments as you are calling them for the month and then week.  And, I look for many opportunities to either make a fresh start...or an improvement.

If I do this in baby steps, I often end up running a mile.

Jan 05, 2018 07:01 AM #13
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Hi Mary Jo, I like your commitments rather than resolutions (which I, too, don't do). Here's to a happy and successful 2018!

Jan 05, 2018 07:40 AM #14
Matt Brady
Finance Of America - Del Mar, CA
The Mortgage Answer Man

I wish we worked in the same market. I love working with pragmatic sensible people that recognize what is important and deliver. Happy New Year!

Jan 05, 2018 07:43 AM #15
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I love this.  A new year doesn't make a new you.  You are what you've created and maybe a new year gives you insentive to make some changes, but you're great because of what you'v done.  No number can change that.  

Jan 05, 2018 08:15 AM #16
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I like the idea of a daily commitment, I know what makesme feel good, happy and satisfied, so I commit to doing, being and eating what makes me feel that way. My goals help give me direction but are always constantly being adjusted in light of being happy, felling good and ultimately being satisfied with myself. Because whatever day it is, it is me looking back from the mirror and who I have to live with every day. Great post.

Jan 05, 2018 11:26 AM #17
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

Appreciate the time and thought you put in this post and the clarity included.  Thank you.

Goals without a plan and commitment is merely wishful thinking.

Side note: got way overcommitted myself by not saying No, rectifying that this year.


Jan 05, 2018 12:30 PM #18
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Good for you. Thanks for sharing! Sometimes we don't need to reinvent the wheel; rather fine-tuning it is more important. Enjoy your day!

Jan 05, 2018 01:08 PM #19
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

I like the idea of commitments instead of resolutions. Thank you for sharing. 

Jan 05, 2018 02:01 PM #20
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

We can always do better, be better without buying into all the New Year hype. Thank you for the honest post Mary Jo and congrats on the feature!

Jan 05, 2018 02:08 PM #21
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Mary Jo Quay,

I absolutely love this post! So glad to see this post featured! Love the energy and outlook..I'm with you commitment is a promise to do something consistently and your commitments are all wonderful!! I have definitely been working on over committing through the last few years and its amazing the freedom you feel when you get it down! Learning to say no is so important because when you know it doesn't feel right and you move forward everyone is disappointed and left feeling let down!

Jan 05, 2018 03:51 PM #22
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We get to learn a bunch about Mary Jo Quay ...a good thing

Jan 05, 2018 03:52 PM #23
Terry McCarley
REMAX Trend - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Very inspirational post!  I love the commitment concept - far better than New Years resolutions

Jan 06, 2018 05:18 AM #24
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Mary Jo Quay thank you for sharing clearly your points on A New Year Not a New You.

The problem with so many people is they are always trying to reinvent themselves by wanting to be someone else.

You are right, our DNA determines who we are. We should find who we are and them maximize that uniqueness.

Thanks for sharing.

Jan 06, 2018 07:47 AM #25
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Good luck with your goals!  You will make it!

Jan 06, 2018 09:06 AM #26
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I totally agree with your list of commitments. I especially like the one about saying "no." We have to be able to do that, so we are doing what it is we need tp be doing with our time. Thanks for sharing!

Jan 07, 2018 03:21 AM #27
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

BRAVO Mary Jo.  Commitments!  That's the key.  Daily activities that get you where you want to be.  Great blog post and a well-deserved feature.

Jan 09, 2018 09:26 AM #28
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