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  • Writer's pictureHeather Simmons


AH yes. Day five of the New Year. Today is Friday, and you've officially made it through an entire work week without coffee or carbs or chocolate or whatever it is you gave up for the New Year. Your body is achy from all the Crossfit or P90X or Pure Barre workouts you've resolved to do in 2018. But you'll stay awake tonight long enough to finish that Bible study or book club or stack of magazines because dang it, you made a resolution. 2018 will not defeat you. You have #goals.

I'm not here to tell you it won't last. I'm not here to mock you and say something snarky like "let's chat again in late February, mmmkay?" I am not a ball buster or a naysayer or a hater. I will, however, politely suggest one little noun to add to your vocabulary this year, and to use it frequently when reminding yourself of your challenging resolution: enthusiasm.

The newness of your resolve will wear off. The novelty of making disciplined decisions will fade. It will be April 21st and you will forget the thought bubble that hovered above your head on December 31st that showed you what new-and-improved-you looked like. When that happens (and it will) you're going to need your trusted gal pal enthusiasm by your side.

Back when I was a store director for like a million years, one of my many hats involved hiring new talent. Humans came in with all sorts of experience levels, all kinds of education, and a plethora of skill sets. The ONE thing that someone had to possess in order to make it into my employ was enthusiasm. You could be 18 and green behind the ears, with not even a babysitting job to your name, but if you had the enthusiasm to learn and the enthusiasm about our product, then girl you're hired. Shiny Pennies is what I called them. We had a super talented team, but not all of them started out that way. Many were brand spanking new to working, still in college without any worldly education. They had not yet been tarnished by disappointment or worn down by responsibility; they were freshly-minted, shiny, copper pennies.

The flip-side of that coin (I just can't help myself with the puns) is someone I would never hire. No matter your renowned experience or your astute product knowledge, if you came in worn and battered and exhausted... well forget it, sister. I can't teach enthusiasm and eagerness. I can't coach away bitterness and pessimism. That's something your best friends or therapist need a stab at. I'd rather teach someone to count change than teach someone to smile at a customer.

So... my point here? That nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. And even if you are currently a worn out penny that's so dirty I can't see Lincoln's face, you're going to need to adopt enthusiasm when chasing your goals this year, even if you don't yet have the energy to apply it to the rest of your life. Because goals take focus and commitment and strength, but they also require ardor and zeal and gusto. And unless you have a personal trainer or guru who will literally remind you of it daily, no one else is going to hold you accountable for zest.

Write your goal down. Tape it to your mirror. Better yet, EXPO marker that sucker onto your mirror. Tell your friends about it so you can face my favorite sort of accountability: peer pressure and an avoidance of public shame. Make it your alarm clock verbiage for that 5AM wake-up call -- "time to hustle!" and "#getmine" are still used on the regular in my household. Set a calendar reminder every two months that asks punk questions like "Are you 10 lbs lighter yet?" or "have you written that novel yet? At least the preface?!?". That way, when your reminder goes off or you see that smudged Post It Note and all you want to do is eye-roll your way out of there, look at your words and then SAY IT WITH ENTHUSIASM!

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