The latest installment of The Bachelor starts tonight and I’ll be watching. It’s my New Year’s Resolution. Let me explain…

Resolutions made at the turn of the year, or goals declared at any time for that matter, are often the outer surface expressions of a much deeper desire. They reflect, usually through a vague declaration, fractional pieces of our individual life’s puzzle, unintentionally placing far more focus on “what” we would like rather than “why” we would like it. For example, if I were to resolve to watch less television or read more books, I’ve simply assigned myself a task without meaning or purpose. If, on the other hand, I resolve to spend more time with my family or learn to cook with nutrition in mind, then I’ve given purpose to my free time away from the television or to my reading. Additionally, I have provided the flexibility and opportunity to actually watch some television or take a class instead of reading a book without feeling guilty so long as it facilitates time with the family or my nutritional goals. Which brings me back to The Bachelor.

My New Years Resolution is not to watch The Bachelor. Rather it is to become a better husband, father and man through the facilitation of relationships and experiences that challenge and inspire adventure, growth and creativity. There are few things as certain as the fact that my wife will be watching The Bachelor. By watching it with her, I get to enjoy the experience through her enjoyment. I get to spend time with my wife, grow our relationship, satisfy the intent of my resolution and earn some brownie points to boot.

By choosing a purposeful “why” focused resolution, I have given myself the liberty to make decisions based on the situation rather than on blanket obligations. This not only reduces my stress level but also makes my resolutions much more likely to be met. It opens up a world of possibility rather than pigeon holing me into a position of eventual compromise and failure.

The concept of choosing why over what is common in both successful personal and business strategies. For more on the subject, check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action or read The Compass and The Nail by Craig Wilson.

Be sure to check back at The Hero’s Handbook during this season of ABC’s The Bachelor for my take on Nick, the ladies and how they stack up as heroes and villains.

photo credit – ABC Television