Darn resolutions! Here we go again. Why should I make them if I can’t keep them? What if I put the X factor into each of them? (Drum roll)
What is the X factor? Here is a boring definition. In mathematics “X” is a variable used to represent an unknown number, which influences the equation. In other words this unknown quantity is pretty important. You just have to find it.
You may have seen the popular television show by the same name, X Factor. The winners of this performing contest possess the X factor and that’s what sets them apart from the others and that’s why they win. The quality that each possesses is hard to explain but it is present in one person or group but not another. It could be an incredible stage presence or great performance style. The one with the greatest X factor wins.
You have known people who possess the X factor. How about John “Duke” Wayne, The Beatles, John Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Kennedy, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Teresa and some might add, Barack Obama or even Adrian Peterson.
All of these individuals have something about them that causes us to pay attention. It could be there presence, their speaking style, their compassion, their commitment, the way they do things, their leadership, or their attention to detail. There is just something about them that is different. If you have seen the movie Lincoln, you know what I am talking about.
The X factor may have begun with an American comic book series published by Marvel Comics in 1986 called the X-Factor. It featured a five-member team. One of the members was “Angel” who was capable of flight by means of two feathery wings extending from his back. There was “Beast” who was a brilliant scientist possessing bestial strength and agility. There was also Cyclops who had the ability to emit powerful “optic blasts” from his eyes.
Each had an important quality possessed by no other person. Wow! So how can we put the X factor into our resolutions?
Here are a few of the top resolutions people make every year: spend more time with friends and family, get fit, get slimmer, quit smoking, quit drinking, enjoy life more, get out of dept, and learn something new. Maybe one of the reasons why we can’t or don’t keep them is because we lack the X factor. Now is the time to put it in. (more drum roll)
Let’s say one of our resolutions is to lose weight. We can put the X factor into our resolution in the form of a phone call that we are going to make every time we step on the scale. We are going to report our weight to a mentor. People go to Weight Watchers and other weight reducing clubs, which are good, but we are going to go a step further and report our weight every time we step on a scale in our home.
The X factor might also mean purging our house of all of the sweets and sugars. Get rid of the pop, the candy, the cookies, the cakes, the sugar cereals, and the ice cream. That is a pretty good start. Put them on the side of the road with a sign on it that says, “free food”. (Just kidding, but do get rid of them.)
If our resolution is to spend more time with our family, our X factor is going to be to have a family meeting every Sunday night where we are going to select those things to do the following week. We are going to record the event, date and time and put it on the refrigerator.
If our resolution is to write more, which is going to be one of mine, I am going to put an X factor into my resolution by making sure every time I enter my office my desk is going to be clear of clutter. Right now I have all of this stuff sitting on my desk that just bugs me so I am going to clear it off even it means putting it all in a box – out of sight, out of mind. The only thing that will be on my desk will be my computer. Yes, yes, yes!
Remember, the X factor is the important variable that sets your resolution apart from all of the others or from what you have done in previous years. If you are really serious about accomplishing it, putting the X factor into it is what you need. You can do it. (More drum roll)
JOHN R. EGGERS of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.