Peoples' general inclination at the turn of the new year is to establish goals for the months ahead, creating to-do lists, assessing past performance, and making resolutions for physical, financial and spiritual improvement. I approve of the passion for personal and business enrichment; it's the ridiculousness of the timed zeal that makes me laugh.
Jan. 1 is not a panacea for past failures and procrastinations. There is no magic slate that gets wiped clean when Dick Clark—in all of his aged glory—hails the drop of another golden ball in Times Square. And yet people everywhere take a deep breath and dive into January as if it were a pool of salvation itself.
Well, whatever it takes, I suppose, to get us off our butts and moving in a more positive direction. The trick is sustaining the momentum long after the thrill of fresh resolve has worn cold.
I used to work with a personal trainer who considered himself something of a "life coach," offering up platitudes and plenty of Anthony Robbinspeak. He used to say every moment was an opportunity to make a new choice, a better decision, an uncharted path. Generally, when we had these conversations, we'd be talking about my nutrition and fitness goals; but his principle was universal. He saw no reason to wait for Monday, or the first of the month, or the first of the year, or some other nonsensical deadline to begin a healthier life.
Though I sometimes had an itch to punch this guy in the face, his comments have often resonated in my mind, especially in moments of wavering. Dang it if he didn't make a good point.
Grasshopper: Master, when is a good time to begin?
Master: What time is it, my son?
And so, as you read this at the start of 2010, filled with exuberance over your new workout regime, marketing plan, facility-maintenance program ... whatever it is you have resolved to do better in your life and self-storage business in the weeks, months and maybe years ahead, remember this simple truth: There's rarely any point in waiting. If you fall off the horse, get right back on. If you forgot to do that lock check yesterday, do it now. If you ate a brownie today, it doesn't give you a "free pass" to eat junk non-stop until Sunday night.
Now is the time to begin. And to begin again.
Happy New Year to all of you from the ISS family.