Don’t blink, because before you know it, the holidays will be over.  The time of year that you wait eleven and a half long months to arrive is over in a heartbeat and it is back to the real world, the grind and struggle to get through the year.

The end of the year brings, however, renewed enthusiasm and hope for a fresh start in the new year and sparks reflective thought on what went right and what went wrong in the year that was.  A chance to clean the slate and a chance to change those mannerisms and habits that might have set you back.

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions.  To me, I don’t think that change requires a start date other than “today.” Want to change things, start now, don’t wait for January 1.  What’s the common resolution?  It has to be the diet thing, right?  Get through the holidays, binge away on eggnog and yule logs and latkes and come January 1, hit the treadmill.  But it is so cold in January, who wants to get sweaty at the gym? Instead, wait until spring… nope, had to spend all winter indoors to keep warm so I’m not going to spend time in a gym, I’m going outside and enjoying the weather.  Summer?  No way, this is swimsuit weather and no dramatic changes in my body can occur in such a short time-frame, so let’s put it off a little longer.  Fall?  Fall might be the best time to work on it, but by then you are already looking forward to Halloween candy, Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, and then we are back to the holidays and if I am going to really enjoy all of the holiday goodies, why do I want to get in shape in fall, just to “fall” off the wagon again come December 1?

Well friends, for the first time in a very long time, I WILL be making a New Year’s Resolution.  No, it is not a diet thing, I worked on that starting in May and have enjoyed such a dramatic change that I don’t need to focus on that.

My resolution this year will be to stop procrastinating.  Procrastination is perhaps one of my least favorite words (along with catheter) and just gives me the willies.  It has such a nasty connotation to me, inferring laziness, lack of motivation, fear of the consequences of taking action.  It creates more stress, one of those things that if you had done it when it was first assigned, you wouldn’t be rushing to do it now.  Procrastination– such an ugly word from which no good can come.

I will choose instead to defer.  Nope, no more procrastination for me.  As a business owner we constantly avoid having to face uncomfortable situations.  But instead of procrastinating about them, take my advice and simply defer.  Don’t want to hold those employee review meetings?  Just defer to a later date.  Have to call the deadbeat client who owes money?  Defer it to next month or the month after.  Need to deliver some bad news?  Defer.

It’s an idea that came to me just this week.  As business owners, now is the time that year end planning ramps up.  Reviewing the books, checking out the potential tax affects and, if necessary, halting the collection of money, choosing instead to defer the receipt of income until next year.  Why pay tax on the income now when you can “defer” it to the next year?  But what is the difference between deferring and procrastinating?  Absolutely nothing.  Yet procrastination has such a negative connotation while deferring is not similarly perceived.  In fact, look up the definition of procrastination– to defer action.

Think of it this way: the deadline is 3 weeks away so you put off working on the project; 2 weeks go by, then you are down to the last few days and you start to work, rushing to get it done, cursing yourself for procrastinating.  Wait, rewind that!  Congratulating yourself for deferring until the last minute.  Ahh, it has such a more pleasant ring to it.

Of course, it doesn’t always turn out for the best, but nothing is ever guaranteed, right?  No son, I did not procrastinate about creating an estate plan, I simply deferred it to a later date.  It just so happens that I had that accident before the later date arrived… oh well, at least I didn’t procrastinate!  That would really make me look lazy and unmotivated.

And what does this mean for all of you?  Well, it means that I will no longer procrastinate about these weekly posts and wait until Sunday night at 11:00pm to begin work, racking my brain for subjects to discuss and praying that my bleary eyes can see enough of the spelling errors and grammatical defects so that I can blame “spell-check” if any appear.  I will simply defer the writing of these posts so that I have ample opportunity to consider the subjects I will discuss and properly frame my points.

Amazing how different the connotation is, just by virtue of the change in words.

But one thing that I will not procrastinate about, nor will I defer.  2011 is going to be the best year yet and it is my goal and my objective to assist each and every one of you in your endeavors.   On that I will neither procrastinate nor defer.  Let me help you.  It may not be that easy for me to decipher how to help you and it may require you to help me to help you, but you must call on me for that.  That is my ambition, that is my aspiration for the year.  Lean on me, I will be there for you.

Have a great week.  Have a Happy New Year.  Have a great and profitable 2011.  Don’t procrastinate, don’t defer, don’t wait for a specific date.  Do it now, make the change.


Twitter: robcohen13