So here we are at the beginning of a brand new year and undoubtedly if you’re like the majority of people on this planet, you have some New Year’s resolutions, or new goals or as I prefer to call them – Outcomes.
Do you remember what you did last year at this time? What grand goals did you set for yourself? How close did you get to achieving them? Any of them? Now if you accomplished your goals then pat yourself on the back. You’re an achiever. Now you can add some higher goals to push yourself even further. If you are one of the many people who fell short of their goals, well stop beating yourself up. You still have an opportunity to redeem yourself.
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate New Year like it’s some kind of rare and spectacular occurrence? So many people go out and celebrate with friends, loud music, drinking and laughing on New Year’s Eve and wake up with a hangover on New Year’s day and if they are in the southwest United States or California, they eat Menudo to get over the hangover from the night before. Now I ask you; is this any way to ring in the new year?
Why not treat EVERY day as a new start?
I get it. A new year is a symbol of a new beginning and a new me and my opportunity to start over or make myself even better. I offer a crazy idea that works for me and well, I don’t know if it will work for you or if you’re interested in reading it, however, I bet you are, otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on the link to get here. So here it is. Just hear me out and as you think about it, you may see that it makes sense to keep reading and implement some of these ideas.
We all have the same amount of time. You and I and even Donald Trump have exactly 86,400 seconds or 1440 minutes or 24 hours per day. In that amount of time, each and every one of us makes many choices, which are based on our thoughts and beliefs and those choices lead to our actions which leads to our results. We then interpret those results as either positive or negative. How we define or frame those results or, experiences will determine whether we grow and expand our comfort zone or remain in our current condition or shrink to even smaller versions of ourselves.
The whole idea that we need to wait until January 1st in order to start over or begin anew, is as silly to me as saying I will be happy when I ______. Fill in the blank. Have you ever seen someone putting off happiness until they achieved something? I get it. Many of us, including me were taught that success comes from hard work and sacrifice. We are bombarded with messages of “Just Do It” or, “Go Big or Go Home” or, “Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy”, etc. It’s so sad though to think that it’s ok to delay joy and happiness for some future event.
You may disagree with me. Consider this though. You have a big goal you’re working for. You’ve been working toward this goal for 10 months. You are working 70 hours a week and you’re family is wondering if you are still a member of the family or if you care. You’re missing major events and special moments that can never come back. Now you are at the deadline for your goal and you achieve the goal, yet it means that you will work even more and put off happiness even further. Now what happens even more often is that a person misses their mark and they miss those opportunities that they passed up to work on their goal or build their empire.
I’m here to tell ya that you CAN have both. I am doing it right now. Have you heard the saying: Success is a Journey, Not a Destination? Here is how to make sense of that statement:
Have you ever noticed that when you start a new project that you are real excited and then as you move into the project and it’s no longer new; the tasks are now mundane and boring and then when you finally reach your goal and win the big prize; the feeling of exhilaration and fulfillment lasts only a short time?
Well there is a reason for this. The excitement is just there to get you excited to start. We call this the shiny object syndrome. How many people do ya know with that affliction? The next phase is the main part; it’s when the novelty wears off and the work looks like work and isn’t as much fun anymore. Well, we can’t stop now. Here is where you look deep inside. Listen to the voice that reminds you of the purpose and what benefit you’ll receive from the achievement of this goal and reconnect with why you started this goal to begin with. Lock in that feeling that comes from thinking of what success will look like and how you feel from the success. The final step is how you handle the attainment of your goal and you see the realization of your desired outcome. Celebrate the success and understand that the moment won’t last and that’s ok. It’s normal. Don’t get depressed. Simply move to the next desired outcome which will be slightly bigger than the one you just completed. Ya know… As ya think about what you’ve read so far and see how it could apply to your situation and hear the voice inside your head, you may start seeing how this could work for you and ask yourself what else you could do.
That is an excellent question. So here are 6 actions you can do this year and set up the following year for even greater success without waiting until December 26th to think of any resolutions.
- Start Small. The whole “Take Massive Action” is over rated in my view. I have seen it lead to burn out and start and stop which killed the desire to reach the goal after a while. Rather than focusing on just the big wins, (and later beating yourself up for falling short), look for the small things that you can do more often than not which will build momentum and a track record of success. Don’t keep from starting just because you can’t take massive action. You don’t need to join a gym and sign a long term and expensive contract. You can take a walk or take a couple trips up and down the stairs or even do squats and pushups and situps in your home. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
- Stay Consistent. Making progress is more important than being perfect. Doing exercises for example – starting with once a week for 20 minutes and then moving to twice a week then up to four times at an hour of working out per day until it becomes who you are. You can do the same with moving toward healthier food choices or making sales calls, etc. Don’t wait until you’re perfect. Just do it more often and reward yourself for taking action. You can start noticing how you feel after doing certain things or eating certain things and be more aware of the physiology and emotions and take actions that make you feel more positive. You don’t need to force it or deprive yourself. You will make the best decisions based on how the decisions make you feel and move toward those that feel better.
- Read a book. It is said that Leaders are Readers. Find a book that will help you in your career or with communication, finances or some other area of your life. Make a deal with yourself to read a few pages a day. That’s all it takes. You are making progress.
- Add, Don’t Subtract. Look for things you can add to get you where you want to be or who you want to be rather than cut things out. By adding things, you will eventually find that you no longer desire those older choices. For example, I added more veggies and veggie drinks slowly and it eventually helped me move off red meat and now I can’t even stand the smell of red meet.
- Attend a personal growth event. There are several available. Many are garbage. What to look for is the speaker provides actual value. The person should provide actionable information that you can use immediately after the event. I don’t like motivational speakers because the vast majority are like drug dealers. They hand out an expensive high that lasts only a few hours to a couple days after the event and your left with nothing to help you when you get back to the “Real World” and the bombardment of negative messages. If the person is good at what they do, they will have a ton of positive reviews and evidence their methods are successful.
- Look for every opportunity to enjoy the process, whatever the process is, find a way to enjoy it and even make a game out of it. See how much faster you can get through the mundane tasks and take time to plan a fun activity with loved ones so you don’t miss those special moments and increase the number of reasons to reach your goals so you can have even more opportunities to enjoy life.
So there you have it. As you read this list of activities and think about how you can apply them and start implementing them, know that it will feel awkward at first and like most things, you will get better and your comfort zone will expand and you will become the person you are capable of being. The best part is that you may see that by focusing on these regular constant and consistent activities, you will set yourself up for even more accomplishments on a more regular basis.
I’d love to read your thoughts on this or ideas you may have on this and definitely tell me your success stories.