NEW ENERGY FOR THE NEW YEAR

For many people, the gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it is vast. This is true for most aspects of life. Many aim to improve throughout their lives: to become a better person, a better friend, and yes, even a better Jaycee. If we intuitively know what it is we need to do to become new and improved versions of ourselves then why aren't we making those positive changes? "Old habits die hard" is an adage that fits well here. A change in a well-established routine can be about as difficult as it is painful. We get ourselves into habits easily and unknowingly. After all, we are creatures of habit, right?

Is your new year's resolution just a dream? Why would you just dream of being a better Jaycee when you know exactly what action to take to make it happen? The question isn't what to do or how, it's whether or not you'll take the energy to implement.

Change is hard. Complacency is easy. Even though making change will significantly improve your life in the long run, the fact is that it takes time and energy now. Many of us want what we want- now. It's all about instant gratification. The time and energy investment now to reap a reward at some unknown point in the future can be painful. Make a list of how you are going to deploy your energy: *Chair a project *Recruit a new member *Serve on a board *Mentor someone *Ask for help *Show up.

There are several common Jaycee ideas: make positive change, dream big, create impact, just to name a few. There are not too many new and original ideas to be had. Most success is rooted not in a new idea, but in the implementation of an existing one. Ask yourself, "How many ideas do I simply need to implement to be successful?" Most success is simply a matter of executing on an old idea or improving it slightly. Hold yourself accountable. Remember- successful people are willing to do the things that unsuccessful people aren't willing to do.

I sincerely hope that you will join me in making 2015 the year to be active, to implement, and to make myself and those around me better young active citizens.

Matthew A. Sernau
91st President
Michigan Junior Chamber