No, you don't have to join the Army. We're talking self-improvement here. Amazon .com may have over 75-hundred books on almost every imaginable self-help issue but the best person to ask about self-improvement is Benjamin Franklin. The same kite-flying founding father whose face is on our $50 dollar bill.
According to US News and World Report, Franklin tried to achieve perfection in his life. An accomplished printer, author, postmaster, scientist, inventor, and diplomat who taught himself to speak five languages, this Founding Father never stopped striving to change for the better. And at the age of 79, he came up with a list of virtues to aim for. Here's his top 5: Silence, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, and Humility.
It makes sense that watching your spending, being honest, and being humble can improve your life. But how can silence help? In his own autobiography, Franklin says "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation."
And as for "Industry" he says "Lose no time, be always employed in something useful, cut off all unnecessary actions."
Hmmm, sounds like that means no TV. The bottom line is, we're all trying to improve ourselves one way or another, from losing weight to breaking bad habits. John Norcross, psychology professor and the author of Changing for Good, says you can't expect overnight results.
But the main key to being successful at changing is never give up! According to Norcross, almost half of us fail to keep our New Year's resolutions beyond the month of March. But anyone who has actively attempted to change and is willing to make a serious commitment, will be successful almost 80% of the time.
You just have to stick to the IDEA of trying. It may not happen the first time, or even the 5th or tenth time, but if you keep at it, you'll eventually achieve your goal. So if you gave up on your resolutions this year. Remember what Ben Franklin said, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."