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The Most Important Day of the Year

Author: Glenn Shepard
Date: February 4, 2014. Republished 1/27/15
Category: Motivation





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Dear Glenn,   

I liked the quote from John Quincy Adams in your last newsletter, but found it a little condescending that you had to add "Sixth  American President" as if your readers are stupid. Come on Glen, everybody knows John Quincy Adams was  president.

Amber in San Francisco, CA


Dear Amber,

You have no idea how much I wish you were right. But after 10 years of publishing this newsletter, I can emphatically state that not everyone knows who John Quincy Adams was. 

      Part of that is because we have subscribers in 23 countries. But even within the U.S., not everyone knows. If you ever saw Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments, you'll understand why.

      If you never saw it, I challenge you to ask five Americans to identify the following states: MA, MD, ME,  MI,  MN, MO, MS, MT. You'll be amazed at how many can't.

     Thanks for your comment.

Glenn in Nashville, TN

Click here to submit a question. If yours is selected, you'll win your choice of the "I'm the Boss, Not the Babysitter" or "Work Is Not for Sissies"  coffee mug.

It came and went without any fanfare, which is one reason January 31st is the most important day of the year.


Everyone has good intentions on January 1st. People make New Year’s resolutions to be a better spouse, parent, employee, manager, Christian, etc. They resolve to eat less, exercise more, and all sorts of things that sound great.


The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they’re mostly just intentions and not actual commitments.

If good intentions were enough, they’d pave the path to Heaven instead of the other place.


Studies have consistently found that 90% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions don’t keep them, and half of those fail by January 31st.


The woman who resolved to be a better wife goes right back to ignoring her husband and taking him for granted. The man who resolved to spend more time with his family hasn’t spent a minute more with them in January than he did in December. The employee who resolved to get to work on time this year is dragging in late again.


And the list goes on.


If you’re one of those who’s already defaulted on your New Year’s resolutions, there’s a word to describe you - Normal.


The problem with being normal is that “normal” in America today is broke, overweight, and working at a job you don’t like. Even if you don’t care about professional achievement or personal growth, keeping New Year’s resolutions is about something bigger - your integrity.


Resolutions are commitments, and commitments are only commitments when people have the integrity to keep them.


By making commitments you don’t keep, you’re lying to yourself. This is denial, which is a component of drug addiction, alcoholism, and many other bad things that lead to divorce, bankruptcy, and even death.


You wouldn’t remain quiet if one of your kids kept lying to you. But just as you can’t tell your kids to say no to drugs while you’re shooting heroin, you can’t tell them not to lie to you when you habitually lie to yourself.


The good news is that there are still 11 months left in the year, which is more than enough time to become part of the elite 10% that keeps personal commitments. If you’ve dropped the ball on your New Year’s resolutions, don’t accept this as normal for yourself any longer.


Say out loud, “Because I expect others to keep their promises to me, I will keep promises I make to me.” No matter who you make them to, keeping commitments matters.




To Your Success,





P.S. If you need a little help with accountability, go to 

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