Speaking of Joy: Our Destiny in the New Year

As the new year arrives, our thoughts turn to the future.  What will 2016 bring with it?   Will it be a year of happiness or will it be the year we look back on as our annus horribilis?  We’ve all had those tough years.

Much of what comes for us in 2016 will be beyond our control.  The Farmers Almanac says this winter will be a brutal one and there’s not much to be done about that beyond preparing as best we can.

Many years ago a young friend told me that we should be able to control what comes our way.  No.  We can’t even control the decisions of our family much less the actions of strangers.

And yet we love to try, don’t we?

What if instead, we embraced the words of Shakespeare who said that the future is not in the stars but rather in ourselves?

What if we made 2016 the year we decided to own our destiny rather than just wish on a star?

What would you choose to do differently in the coming new year?  

Research from the University of Scranton proves that the resolution made more than any other every single year is…you guessed it:   to loose weight.  

And our recent proximity to Holiday Enemy #1, pecan pie and whip cream, has definitely influenced that destiny. 

Our choice to loose weight is a rhetorical choice – easy-as-pie really.

But here’s the problem - the research also shows keeping that resolution is no piece-of-cake.   Only 8% of us will be successful.

Now why is that?

We’ve made the big choice.  And we’re ready - we bought the shoes, the new gym membership, the combination lock.  

Don’t get me wrong.   That big choice matters.  The research also shows that goal-setters who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to succeed than those who don’t. 

But we all know saying and doing are not the same.  The tough duty is in the daily meta choices that we make. 

So what is a meta choice?

It’s those little choices we make all day, every day.  And those are the choices that are almost automatic.  We make them without even thinking about them.  But if you really want to own your destiny, it’s the meta choices that really matter.

Success comes when we choose to be mindful of that meta choice. In fact, we have to understand that we are choosing to choose.  We are choosing to take that walk, that run, that trip to the gym.  We are choosing to order a salad - with the dressing on the side, please.

The mindful choice to choose is the star we should hitch our wagon to if we really want to change our destiny.

Here’s to the mindful meta choices we make in 2016.

Cheers and I’ll see you in the New Year.


Linda Sterling Sease is a professional speaker, career coach & writer on the power of joy to transform companies, homes and communities.  To explore how Linda can work with your organization, call 303-319-5829 or email her at Linda at SterlingSease.com.