You really mean it this year. It’s time for a change, and you’reserious this time. You’re going to turn off the news, set clearergoals, get focused and generally do it different in 2012.

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And you will. Right?

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My bathroom mirror is directly across from the glass door on myshower. When you’re middle-aged, this is a bad idea. I caught myreflection one morning and screamed like a teenage girl meetingJustin Bieber while sitting in a hair salon with foil on her hair.My wife burst in, asking what was wrong.

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I shrieked, “There’s a furry pregnant woman in the shower!”

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Time for a change. So what did I do?

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Naturally, I continued the same habits that’d turned me into afurry pregnant woman, while waiting for something to magicallychange while saying, “I’ve got to stop this.”

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This went on until one day I was standing on the scale, cursing.“How did this happen?” I asked, to no one in particular. Then Ireplied, “You know exactly how this happened, fool. You were herefor the whole thing. Every biscuit, every cookie, every slice ofpumpkin pie.” We call that affirming the truth.

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No matter how we arrived at 2012, we can’t ask, “How did I gethere?” We know how we got here. We were there when we decided towait it out on reform. We were there when we decided to wait forthe midterms and stimulus to kick in. Indeed, we’ve been waitingfor Republicans and Democrats and economic conditions to change forthe last couple of years. But here’s the problem with waiting forsomeone else to change things: What if they never show up?

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We can’t wait for someone else to come along, but neither can wechange it all at once. We have to do it different, one decision ata time; one day at a time. Cookie or carrot. Biscuit or broccoli.Simple. The challenge is we don’t see the results right away, so weget fooled into thinking the decision and the day don’t matter.Until one day we’re shrieking in the shower.

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One year from today, things will be exactly the same as they aretoday, unless you do something different today. You don’t drop 100pounds at once. You do one thing different each day, and thecumulative effect one year from now is astounding.

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What different outcome do you want this year? What’s one thingyou can do different today to make it happen? Just one thing. Itwon’t seem like a big deal today—making five extra sales calls isnever a big deal in the moment—but the cumulative effect of fiveextra calls a day for an entire year? Well, that’s a wholedifferent kind of shriek.

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