When I was a young adult, I used to love New Year’s Eve. One of my favorite things to do was to sit on the couch with a pen and my journal and write down my resolutions for the year. It was exciting! A clean slate! A fresh start! I got really excited about the possibilities.
I’d usually actualize half of my resolutions.
In time, I learned that achieving life-changing dreams did not simply hinge on writing them down – although that is an important step. I realized the secret to success: My desires had to be matched by my commitment.
The most important day for your resolutions is not December 31st or January 1st. It’s Jan. 2, 3, 4, 5, and all the days after.
Dream Big. Write It Down. And then work your tail off.
Tonight, our school, the Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, will recognize award winners.
Students grades 4 – 8 will receive a plaque or a certificate or a trophy for Perfect Attendance, Honor Roll (GPA) and outstanding work in extracurricular activities.
It’s a night to publicly celebrate hard work and dedication.
Students who earn these awards do so because they push themselves consistently. They work hard every day and they reach their self-made goals because they want to do their best all the time. Some may do it for their parents or for the recognition. Others do it because seeing anything but an “A” on their report card means “all is well” or “I’m OK.”
Recognizing your hard work and appreciating excellent work is important.
However, ribbons, plaques and trophies are extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic rewards are the most powerful and enduring of all motivators. Do it because you love it. Some of our most famous and beloved actors* worked for decades before winning the other Academy Award:
Before, during and after receiving their awards, they worked dutifully to perfect their craft.