New Years Resolution: Second Chance

Yes I realize we are way past the New Year’s resolution phase on the calendar….but hey…there is good chance you already blew those resolutions. So with this post I’m offering you a shot as redemption.

A clean slate if you will.

Let’s start over….. today.

I’ll go first….

Here goes…. but first….a thoughton why….. why resolutions are difficult to keep.

I believe that I know why many continually fail to meet their New Year’s Resolutions.


How many cliché resolution on Facebook did you skim through and not really read?

How many Facebook posts do you read and say, “Yeah right he will never lose twenty pounds by Easter.”

You know the ones….that talk about hitting the gym, quitting the smokes etc, etc, etc!

Why can’t they keep resolutions?

Why are some people already back up five pounds or smoking two packs a day by April?

What about that gym membership that hasn’t been used in weeks…… you know the one……the gym takes the money out of your account automatically….. you don’t use it…..but either are too embarrassed to cancel and admit failure or you have convinced yourself that you’ll get back at it next week!

All right I will tell you why I think this all happens.

It is because people haven’t cleansed their soul of these demons. They haven’t figured out the root of their demons. They mask the root and try to attack the behavior.

I’m not going to do that with this post. I’ m going to open my soul and show you my demons.

So here it is…….I’m gonna level with you….I need major work.

I need major work. You heard it here first and I am going to work on it as soon as I cleanse my soul here on this blog.

This year has been a blur as you can see from my year in review post.

I’m not going to lie to you…..I needed to reevaluate (which I’ve done) and do some reflection on how I can improve. I need to adjust some things in my life….. hence this post on resolutions.

Most of you know I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the active Army. I live and breathe service to the nation. More importantly (to me) I would lay down my life for by brothers and sisters in arms. The Army has been my number one priority for a very long time. But that has changed.

I’ve written a book I ‘m convinced is going to be highly successful, once it is published. I just finished the sequel. But none of this means anything without the love and support of my family.

You see……(most of you know) I became a father this year. Brady Thomas is now my numero uno priority.

So I’m struggling to balance (as I know most do) work and family…..and also my aspiring writing career. So I’m here today to cleanse my soul. Admit what I’ve been doing wrong at work and home and right myself before it is too late.

Wrong: Singularly focused on work.

Analysis: You come home from work (normally about seven to eight) and get on twitter and Facebook. Maybe edit the work you wrote that morning before work. You are too focused on goals, the challenge of something new. In this case publication, increasing web site traffic and working on your next novel.

Correct: Kiss my wife, hug my child and play with him until it is time for his bedtime. Assist my wife Megan with putting Brady to bed. Clean all the dishes while she lays him down. Fold laundry that she didn’t have time to fold because Brady dominates her world.

Bottom Line: Stop being so self-absorbed.

Wrong: Weekend work.

Analysis:  Every weekend you work on your aspiring writing career until 1200 on Saturday and Sunday. Even longer if you are on a self-imposed deadline. Stop being such a schmuk Hanrahan.

Right: Commit the entire weekend to my family. (As a concession I will be allowed to work on Saturday morning till Brady wakes or a little bit during nap time) Save weekend work until I am actually on a deadline from a publisher. Cherish every moment with my little boy and wife.

Bottom Line: Stop being so self-absorbed.

Wrong: I don’t read anymore. (I’ve only read six books this year).

Analysis: You don’t have time. Your wife Megan isn’t a reader so now you aren’t either. Yet you have time to watch Amish Mafia and Wicked Tuna. Really dude? You can’t sit on the couch with your wife when she is watching the Bachelor and read.  Seriously?

Right: Commit 30 minutes a day to reading. Keep track of it. Make it happen.

Bottom Line: You miss it. You love it. Get back in to it.

Wrong: Wage war with time sucking trolls on social media networks.

Analysis: Trolls get their kicks surfing the internet, twitter, facebook etc to cause havoc. They attack your position/ thoughts/ work and then begin attacking you as a person. They leave comments to your blog that don’t add value and question your manhood on twitter. This year you had an apithiny and deleted all Troll comments on your website. You even ignored the nasty comments on Business Insider when they published your stuff. But what is your issue with Twitter? Why do you allow them to suck you in!

Right: Ignore Trolls. Trolls, please be advised that you can’t win. I will ignore you once the conversation ceases to be a discussion of ideas and opinions. Not everyone will agree with me. I can’t please everyone.

Wrong: Be embarrassed when someone asks you when your book will be published.

Analysis: Now that you have a literary agent some folks expect to see your first novel on the shelf immediately. Did it sell yet? No. Why? It just doesn’t work like that Hanrahan! Why? The novel is going through a refinement process with your agent prior to submission. Why? So it sells and doesn’t sit in the publishing house slush piles.

Right: Be zen baby! Focus on my next novel. Work on my platform. Have fun connecting with future (hopeful) book buyers. Let the system run its course. Have faith in someone I barely know, but have a binding legal contract with. (I couldn’t resist that last one!)

All right folks…..those are my major issues.

I just read this post to my wife and it is by far her favorite. Affirmation for what we have been arguing about for the past six months.

So I’ve promised you a second chance at resolutions.

Who has a resolution they are working on?

Has anyone blown their resolution and want to start over?

Please share!

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28 thoughts on “New Years Resolution: Second Chance

  1. Jean Brashear

    Kevin, kudos on recognizing the importance of family. Trust me, you will turn around and Brady will be 16 and you’ll wonder where the time went! As for the embarrassment when people expect your book to be on the shelves and it’s not even sold yet–been there. Most people have zero knowledge of the Ice Age time frames traditional publishing works on, and their eyes will glaze over if you try to explain. I’m cheering for you in all these very worthy resolutions!

    P S Consider going indie publishing. You have a platform, and no publisher will ever pay the attention to your work or be as proactive on your behalf as you will. I can’t imagine ever going back to trad publishing, where a book has the lifespan of lettuce, but they hang onto your rights for-freaking-ever.
    But only my .02. We each have our own journeys–may yours be under blue skies!

    1. Carole M. Di Tosti (@mercedeskat45)

      Jean, I agree with everything you said. I would also add that Indie publishing is a good way to go but everyone has to work out their own path with happiness and a bit of fear and trembling, Profits are essentially yours when you self-publish and regardless, publishers expect you to do your own promotion. And then you are working for the publisher when you do your own promoting. Many publishers help only if you are the President or a celebrity or friend of a friend and hooked in via their network. But you never know…

    2. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Jean. Thank you. I think sometimes I become too focused on things…… and can forget to strike that needed balance. I preach balance at my day job to those I work with… I need to practice it my own life.

      Indie publishing is there if I want it……that is so reassuring to know. But for now I’m going the traditional route that I’m on…… though I know that many indie writers do quite well…..

  2. Carole M. Di Tosti (@mercedeskat45)

    I finally stop blowing resolutions and did start over for good, losing 120 pounds. My blog is devoted to the start over and in various posts discusses how I lost the weight. Now, I’m working on a book to help others…find their best way to get the weight off and keep it off. Will get it done this year or drop it and move on to other writing.

    1. Carole M. Di Tosti (@mercedeskat45)

      Thx, Kevin. Encouraging others is also the way I’ve been…I was a teacher, also, a part of it, I guess. ;-)

      Jani, you said a mouthful about forgiveness. Forgiving self is the hardest thing to do sometimes, true forgiveness that helps us not repeat the same old mistakes and propels us to move on spiritually and in every aspect of our being.

  3. Jani Muhlestein

    Easter really is the time for making resolutions, because it is the time when we celebrate the ultimate clean slate. The ultimate do-over. And it comes down to forgiveness. We must forgive ourselves, or nothing will ever change. Ever. We keep our bad habits as a way of punishing ourselves, sometimes.

    And she’s so right about the kids. You’ll just turn around and they’ll be gone. Because kids are just visitors in our lives, really. If we do our job right, they move on and have their own lives. Ain’t easy to let go, though.

    But you got one minor thing wrong. Your first focus, aside from God, must be Megan. She is the most important person in your life. If you focus on her happiness above all, everything else will follow from that focus. And it will give you that single, overriding purpose that you driven types need.

    I believe in you, my friend. And you have inspired me to work on my own mea culpa.

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      That is a great point Jani……I think your right…..we do sometimes punish ourselves….as if we aren’t worthy to have it any other way.

      Now Megan is really going to like you…..focus on her huh…..did she call in a favor and ask you to write that in there? It’s ironic that we have our challenges mainly when things aren’t going well with Brady….. either when he doesn’t nap, eat….has a runny nose, etc, etc, Isn’t he suppose to stick to his schedule and be in perfect help?

      OK, I did deflect your comments a bit…… I will work on Meg being happy! :-) Thanks Jani.

      1. Jani Muhlestein

        Remember that Megan needs to feel like she isn’t a single mom. I’ve been there, done that, and it’s one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever faced.

        And no, Megan didn’t call in any favors. I just know how a happy marriage works, because I asked. My parents were married for 52 years–ending only when my father died. I asked each of my parents what the key to a happy marriage was before I got married. Both of them said the same thing.

        I didn’t get the happy ending. Yet. But now that the 15-year old is heading off to college, maybe it will be time for me again.

        You got your happy ending, Kevin. Everything you need is right there in your hands. The sun, the moon, the stars, all in that woman’s eyes. And everything else will follow.

        1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

          You would be proud Jani…instead of going to the gym I went on a long walk with Megan and Brady. Then I picked up a wooden high chair and ordered Brady’s 1YO birthday cake! See, I can be trained!

          Your time will come my friend. My first was unhappy as well….with age comes wisdom.

          1. Jani Muhlestein

            That is an excellent start. Mind you, you can’t neglect your health. But it sounds like it was a wonderful evening. Being devoted to each others’ happiness makes for very long, very happy marriages. For you, and your kids. Otherwise, how will they know what a happy marriage looks like? I’m so happy for you. Kiss a sweet boy for me and give Meg hugs.

  4. Carrie

    Kevin you have all the correct answers to all the difficult questions. Everything has it’s season. I believe right now the season is for your wife and child. Cherish this time together and all the other things will fall into place at the appropriate time. The most difficult part is recognizing where we fall short. Once we do that, the rest is easy squeezy.

  5. Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

    Great job on this blog, Kevin. You’ve done soul-searching and you’ve sorted out your priorities. Work is always an important aspect of life; no argument there. But family is a treasure beyond words. It’s so precious and must be nurtured every day-like a beautiful garden it it’s to flourish.
    Best wishes on your new novel. No doubt it will be incredible.

  6. Kathy Marks

    As a wife, a Mother, and a Nurse, I loved your post! I have many resolutions, but very few things that are truly important in my life that need to become my real focus.
    I will not ask when your book will be on shelves, but as an avid reader and lover of your blogs, I WILL be buying your book on day one of its official release.
    Thank You for your service, your dedication to our Country, our Soldiers, our four legged Soldiers and to the Civilian’s at home watching “The Batchelor” comfortably on their couches.
    Enjoy your time with your Family. As the Mom of 5, I can tell you; yesterday they were all little, today they are grown and starting their own Families.
    Enjoy reading. It’s good for the Soul.

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Thank you Kathy. I am going to work really hard to sit through the Bachelor…..though I believe the next series will be the Bachelorette….or so I am told! That will be excellent reading time for me!

      I do appreciate your support. I talked with my agent today…… there are a couple threads in the novel that need some revision. Tomorrow I am jumping on those issues!

      Today I read while the Chiropractor had traction on my back! So I just need 15 more minutes today to meet my goal.

  7. Carol Batten

    As for trolls:Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.~ Mark Twain

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Thanks for pulling that quote our Carole….love it!

      I just have to tell myself no matter how much I guide them down a path of understanding they already have their opinions and I’m not going to change it.

  8. RD Meyer

    It can be hard when you feel so focused on a goal(ie, finishing a novel). However, balance is always the key, even if that means taking time off.

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      I also think I have to find ways to reallocate my time. I wish I wrote fast like you Russ!

  9. Leslie Sneed

    Having always been blessed with wonderful relationships and being ordained, I am not going to tell you how to run your marriage. (not to mention that my honesty would probably piss some people off) May I suggest that you please set aside 2 hours a week for alone “free” time to yourself? Like maybe fishing and listening to music? Something that you can totally lose yourself in. I also recommend that your wife does the same. If we are truly happy w ourselves and have a partner that is, I find that all the other familial issues of running a household tend to fall into place. I also believe that New Year’s resolutions at New Year are good. Lenten season is when we do an overall inventory upon these principles. I, personally, try to take personal inventory every morning, but alas, I digress. God bless You, your Family and your furries.

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Leslie.honestly my “Kevin time” is when I exercise….. I get lose in my thoughts……have countless inspirations and ideas……and feel better about myself. My challenge is getting my wife to take this time for herself…..though she does go to the YMCA, I need to make sure she has time to just for herself. :-)

  10. Keith Baron

    Hello Kevin. I know from experience how hard it can be to balance your service life and your family life.I was married at 20 and a few months later I was sent on a years active service in Borneo and my wife had to stay at her mum’s house.In those days we could only send letters by BFPO – no cell phones then ! We still have our many letters in an old suitcase.On my eventual return we had a lovely son and a daughter and ,as someone said ‘kids are just visitors in our lives and they eventually move on to live their own lives’ So true with ours but we still see them every week and still love them both to bits. We have been married for 49 years and our love has grown stronger over the years.
    It is different for each person but,for me, my wife and children have always come first and
    my careers second.I feel that you will make the right decisions for you,your wife and your son and also for your outstanding service to your country.
    Good luck with the book,I will certainly look forward to reading it.

  11. Kehaulani M.Punilei

    You know, I’ve broken many resolutions in the past that were for most part unrealistic or life gets too busy. So this year, I decided to make my resolutions a little more realistic. My resolution is just to enjoy life a little more…smile, laugh, spend time with friends and family (4 legged family members included). I know quite a few people around me who are just flat out miserable and life is actually a lot shorter than most of us understand and entirely to short to be unhappy all the time. Live….laugh…love! I’m a happy person in general…but we all have our moments where we are down, angry, complain, etc. That’s just part of being human, right? But I’ve done very well in keeping this resolution so far! :)

  12. Okie Spirit Horse

    Wow!! Your blog really nothing like my Tweet profile except we both love animals. I don’t know if that is why you followed me. I’m just so glad you did. An honest soul search followed by deep and compelling discussion.
    As a single Mom of a 15 year old Son, I can verify some of what has been said. I can’t wait to read more. I can’t wait to buy your book and another for my parents. My Dad is retired Army-I know they would be interested in what you have to say.
    Also, my job requires alot of writing. Don’t be afraid of blood on your page-but don’t let others change the context of the message you need to send.
    Best regards,

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Diana….you know with Twitter I just don’t get too worried…..I see some with similar interests then I’ll follow…… even those with different are interesting to me……I honestly don’t over think Twitter. :-)

      I sure won’t……I don’t pretend to have all the answers!

  13. Juli Adcock

    Kevin, great post and excellent advice that even though I know it, I still struggle with. I’m with Keith Baron, cherishing family first keeps everything else in line. I’ve come to understand that is part of developing excellence. Without the family foundation, excellence in the holistic sense of life is very hard to achieve. Keep up the great work and looking forward to your book.
    As for trolls, such a sad pitiful lot that being so miserable, they must spread it around.

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Juli. Thanks for sharing your thought. Balance certainly is the key…..sometime I do a better job preaching it to my soldiers than practicing it at home,I need to work on that.


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