The New Year and the New Chance

Happy New Year’s!

I hope you enjoyed the festivities. Now, it’s time to start the year. Everyone else is taking three more days off, so if you get started today, you’ll be way ahead.

Here’s a couple of short notes in the context of good news / bad news:

1. It doesn’t matter what happened last year.

If 2008 was terrible for you, good news — it’s all over. You can walk away from the accident and start all over with a new life.

Likewise, if 2008 was incredible for you, well, the year is still over. Put it in the scrapbook. You now have to be remarkable all over again.

2. Every year, people make resolutions, some of which are actually kept.

I have nothing against resolutions, but before you decide to quit smoking, exercise more, or anything else, I recommend answering the following questions:

  • How will my life be different 364 days from now?
  • Will I have accomplished my significant goals?
  • How will these goals be measured?
  • Will I have radically helped others?

You could spend some time on that, or you could chill out for the weekend and start the New Year with everyone else on January 5th. It’s up to you, but one thing’s for sure: ready or not, a new chance has arrived this weekend.

Happy New Year’s, everyone.


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  • D.M. Cook says:

    Great optimism, Chris! I’ve been lurking here for a while (really love your blog!) and made an effort to begin documenting EXACTLY what my New Years resolutions are and EXACTLY how I accomplish them on my blog. I linked to your fantastic annual review exercise since that’s what helped me put those goals in perspective. Thanks for your good work!

  • Chance Brown says:


    Nice post for the New Year. I also have to tell you I absolutely LOVED reading your “Brief Guide to World Domination: How to Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World.” Simply one of the best things I’ve EVER read! And the two questions you pose are truly the most important questions a person can ask themselves. I’ve begun to put your “toolkit” into practice. I can now see where and how I want to make my impact and how I want to help others. Thank you SO MUCH!

    Also, I was glad to hear you use mindmapping. I am big fan of mindmapping. In fact, I write a blog all about it ( Check it out and let me know what you think. Have a wonderful day! —Chance

    p.s. I liked that you used “chance” in your post title – it has double meaning for me given my name is Chance.

  • Enduring Wanderlust says:

    Thoughful post, Chris. 2009 is the beginning of so many possibilities. No excuses. Take advantage of every moment. ~Gennaro

  • Janice Cartier says:

    Chris, Thanks to you I have been hunkered down with my more in depth year end review and metrics I never considered measuring. The result is that I accomplished more than I thought in 2008. So I I chose a theme for 2009. It will be fun to see what those same metrics measure next year at this time based on that theme. Thanks and Happy New Year. You have made a difference in my outlook this past year. Looking forward to the upcoming one. All best to you and yours.

  • Jim says:

    My 2008 really was pretty terrible; this is very liberating to hear:

    “If 2008 was terrible for you, good news — it’s all over. You can walk away from the accident and start all over with a new life.”

    Your optimism and ‘get things done’ attitude/system remind me alot of myself, a few years back. I’m not really sure what happened, and I guess it doesn’t matter as long as I get back on track and live my life.

    Thanks for your posts and consistent blog updates!

    Minneapolis, MN

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  • Salina says:

    it doesn’t matter what happened in last year just forget and move forward

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    it doesn’t matter what happened in last year just forget and move forward

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  • Shreya Roy says:

    Chris, Thank you for this wonderful contribution, I find it very interesting.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Plans for the new year will become a reality if you strive to achieve your goals. I always try to compose plans, as it helps me structure thoughts and determine priorities. I use this guide to define objectives:

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    Well, this is the year 2021 and the new chances come every year. It depends on how we treat them in our life.

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