There is one mistake folks make over and over again with New Year’s resolutions.

I see it year after year. Everybody gets excited about the coming year. They start creating goals to lose weight or start a business or spend more time with their family.

People come up to me and say, “Bo, this is my year. … THIS is my year.” Then the next year rolls around and that same person says to me, “Bo, no, not last year. THIS is my year.”

Everyone talks about making the coming year the best year of your life. Forget about  a year! The reality is it’s just too short a time to have any kind of transformation.

If you really want to be the best—and I hope you do—you need to think bigger.  You need to ask more of yourself.

I don’t want you to make resolutions. I want you to make a declaration. Plant your flag and tell me exactly who you are going to be 10, 20 years from now. That’s a dream worth fighting for.

I could never have become the best safety in the world in a single year. It’s impossible.  So I didn’t make a “New Year’s resolution.” Instead, when I was 9 years old, I made a declaration. And that declaration drove me for the next decade plus until I became All-Pro in the NFL.

After my career in the NFL ended, I made a new declaration to become the greatest stage performer of my time. It was a big dream. It took years of training with the best—including Al Pacino—to hone my craft and command the stage. But it was all worth it when my one-man show opened on Broadway.

Stop thinking small. You cannot become the best in the world in just one year.

What you can do now is to start making strides today to become the best at what you do.

  • Think about your life right now—where are you in terms of your personal life, your work, your health, your relationships, etc.?
  • Where do you want to be in 10 years? Twenty years? What does “the best” look like to you? Be very specific. Your declaration should ask everything of you. Write it down.
  • Next, think about the obstacles that may be standing in the way of where you want to go. Don’t hold back. Be brutally honest.

I want you to imagine yourself at the finish line, having achieved your declaration.  Imagine standing on the top of that mountain looking back at your journey. Tell me about all the blood, sweat and tears it took to get here.

Imagine what it feels like to fight for a dream that asks everything of you. That’s what the best do, and that’s what I want for you. Forget about New Year’s resolutions, you were built for bigger swings.

Editor’s note: The temptation in January is to focus on the year ahead—Bo Eason knows we’re capable of more. You can set the tone for the next decade with Bo Eason and his new Masterclass: 4 Steps to Turn Your Dream Into Reality. Register here for that special event.