If you forgot to reread your list of New Year’s resolutions this morning, do it right now. If you already have, you can feel good about yourself. By day three, another 10% of the population have abandoned their promises. By sticking with the ETR New Year’s resolution program, you are now in the top 40%! Today, you are going to make another promise. This one is fun.
I want you to think about something you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have never done. Maybe its a book you’ve been meaning to write or a language you’ve wanted to learn. I’m not talking about a dream of self-indulgence. This is not about visiting Rome or buying a boat. I’m talking about a task or accomplishment.
Today’s job is this: Put that dream on your list of New Year’s resolutions. You don’t have to achieve it entirely this year if it doesn’t make sense to do so. Figure out how much you can do in the next 365 days and make that your objective. You will be giving yourself the most wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
For about 20 years, I’ve dreamed of writing a screenplay about a certain period of my callow youth. This year, I made it a resolution. On the first weekend of December, with less than a month to go, I got together in my apartment in Baltimore with the friend with whom I’ve shared this dream. We locked ourselves away from the world for 54 hours, taking two five-hour naps (dreaming through them) and finished our work a 110-page screenplay 10 minutes before my first appointment on Monday morning.
Imagine how good I felt walking into that meeting, knowing I had finally done something I’d always dreamed about. Imagine how good you’ll feel when you accomplish your dream. What is it you’ve been wanting to do?[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]