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Snowflakes, Aristotle, and New Year’s Resolutions

Dr. Randy Watts
Here’s the thing: success in life comes not from grand resolutions, but rather, daily habits:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
 
Apparently, it has been decades since South Georgia has seen snow. However, on the first Wednesday of 2018, we had our chance. In the Watts family, we threw snowballs, built a snowman (a very small snowman), made snow angels, and took lots of pictures. During the height of the ..er…. blizzard, I drove out to Brookwood to take some photos of the school under these most unusual of circumstances.

In addition to the unanticipated January snow came the predictable New Year’s resolutions. Nationally, the most common resolutions are to lose weight, save money, spend more time with friends and family, spend less time on one’s smartphone, get organized, and, perhaps the most ironic: stop procrastinating.

What we know about New Year’s resolutions is that most of them are unsuccessful. Research shows that 80% of resolutions fail by February.

Here’s the thing: success in life comes not from grand resolutions, but rather, daily habits:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

These wise words come from Aristotle and remind us that success does not come overnight. Habits are created by making — and accomplishing — very small goals on a daily basis, which become enduring behavior patterns. In an excellent book on this topic, Admiral William H. McRaven encourages us to start by making our bed eachmorning. This very simply habit will lead to other small victories that will eventually lead to large victories in life.

The bad news is that success takes time, motivation, and patience. The good news is that each day you are given the opportunity to begin anew by making small changes that will lead to great things.

While achievement is different for each of our students at Brookwood, I believe it is fair to say that all of our students are driven towards success. Approach each day as an opportunity to make small changes. Build habits and behaviors that will take you wherever you want to go in life.

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Considering reading “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World,” by Admiral William H. McRaven. This is a very short and inspiring read about turning small actions into great accomplishments. Thanks to Rozzie Davis for sharing this one with me.





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Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.