Skip to content

5 Valuable New Year’s Resolutions for Your Second Act

by Phil Levin, Esq. on January 11th, 2017

imagesIn 2007, British psychologist Richard Wiseman followed more than 3,000 people attempting to achieve New Year’s resolutions including the top three: lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise regularly. At the start of the study, most were confident of success. A year later, only 12 percent had achieved their goals.

To make meaningful New Year’s resolutions that you will really keep, set long-range resolutions for yourself. This way, you can help reach the goals that matter to you in the context of your entire future, not just a single year.

To make holistic New Year’s resolutions, look to the wisdom of Peter Drucker, the father of modern management who died in 2005 at 95. Drucker’s iconic 39 books and countless articles were always forward-focused.

1. Resolve to Embrace Uncertainty Rather than Avoid It –

Do not assume that tomorrow will be like today. It could be, but the future is unknown. And while  uncertainty can be unsettling, remember this: we’re all in the same boat.

2. Resolve to Seek Opportunities in Changing Conditions –

We may not like change, but it’s natural, necessary, and something to celebrate. Drucker distinguished between being a change agent (good) and a change leader (better). “The most effective way to manage change successfully is to create it,” he said. To do that, you need to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.

3. Resolve to Stop and Reflect on My Second Act –

Every year, Drucker carved out time to engage in deep, focused introspection. He’d reflect on how the past year had gone compared with his expectations and the adjustments he needed to make going forward.

4. Resolve to Remove and Improve –

Your second act will unfold in part due to what you stop doing. Drucker recommended something called systematic abandonment —intentionally dropping activities and relationships that are no longer productive or useful. He suggested combining this with kaizen: steady and incremental improvement of what remains.

A good starting point for this resolution is to make a list of what and who you can live without and then gradually shed them from your life. Then, use your newfound time to help create a winning second act.

5. Resolve to Make Friends with Risk –

Drucker believed that it was risky to sit back and let the future happen to you. Accept the idea that almost everything carries some element of risk, and you can create a space for risk in your life.

Your second act may involve weighing the risks in going back to (and paying for) school, learning new technologies or creating an entrepreneurial venture. At some point, though, you’ll simply need to take that first step. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.”

If establishing or updating your estate plan is one of your New Year’s Resolution goals for 2017, please contact The Levin Law Firm at (610) 977-2443 to arrange a consultation with trust and estate planning attorney Philip Levin, Esq.

From → Articles

Comments are closed.