Can you believe it? We’re on the very cusp of a brand new year with all the immediate excitement and anticipation! Plus, if you’re like most people, myself included, you’re already looking forward to, and planning for all the changes, or rather, improvements you’re going to make in 2015! 2014 has taught you a lesson or two, and frankly, you don’t want to repeat them. As we stand on the cusp of a brand new year, we know that we are more than equal to the challenges and goals we have set ourselves…bring it on, we cry!
But that enthusiasm is in stark contrast as, once again the old year draws to an end and we feel the inevitable disappointment of things that could have gone better this year, or, worse, we reach the year end with the usual mixed feelings of having started out with great intentions, but somehow, because life threw so many curve balls our way over the preceding twelve months, there was no way we were ever going to achieve the goals or resolutions we had set for ourselves. In fact, we tell ourselves, we’ve done well just to keep our heads above water!
But is this true? Do you feel satisfied with this justification?
Are the failed goals you’d set yourself worth the distraction of the curve balls that came your way?
Only you can answer this question, but with hindsight, do you feel that you could have done a little bit more, made just a little more progress or been a little more disciplined with yourself so that the curve balls were merely temporary distractions rather than an ending in themselves?
The truth is, difficulties, distractions and lack of discipline beset us all, but, in the larger scheme of things these difficulties, distractions and lack of discipline are only temporary. It’s our tendency to allow them to infiltrate our psyche as a permanent feature that ultimately leads to failed goals rather than the distraction itself.
It’s New Year…So Let’s Get Fit!
Take for example the classic New Year’s resolution to lose weight and/or get fit. It’s become a laughable tradition that new gym memberships and kit are purchased, all the Christmas leftovers are thrown out and new healthy options bought and stowed neatly in the kitchen cupboards. For most of January, gyms are stuffed full with great starters and good intentions and these are backed up with salads, veggies and no alcohol!
But January grinds on with cold, dark and dismal nights and Spring seems such a long way off. One by one our fitness compatriots start to miss training sessions “I’ll be there tomorrow!” they assure us as it becomes easier and easier to find a free treadmill (well that’s a positive!). But the real question is whether you’ll be the one to stick with it or will you be one of the many who succumb by Valentine’s Day and instead indulge in a box of chocolates?
But it’s not just weight loss and fitness; many, if not all of our good intentions have fallen by the wayside by the time we’re two or three months into the year. They become forgotten ideals that sit just outside our comfort zone, like beautiful flowers behind opaque glass.
So ask yourself this: was this goal really as important to you as you first thought or were you just being swept along with the do or die mentality championed at the start of each New Year? Your answer to this question is very important because it will really help you to recognise whether you are truly motivated for this goal or whether you are in fact a fair weather participant. In the end, there’s no shame in whatever choice you make, but, will that choice be the same one that crops up again on the cusp of New Year 2016 with renewed enthusiasm but no staying power?
Make sure you really want this because it’s going to be a challenge
Be prepared this time for any knock backs, and be determined to get back up and keep going. It’s ok to fall sometimes, everyone does, but this time be the person who always gets back up. Always see a new day as a new opportunity for success, however slow that success may be in arriving. Always look to progress, no matter how small the step forward, always progress, progress, progress.
Make sure your plans are more powerful than the curve balls that are coming your way in 2015, because I can guarantee you that they are waiting in the wings! But this time, will you succumb and give up or will you acknowledge your moment of pain but keep going anyway? This is what it’s going to require because in the end, there’s no mystery to success. It’s having the audacity to take what life throws at you and retort “Is that the best you can do?!”
Be prepared for others to try to knock you off course
It’s inevitable, unfortunately, that if you’re going to take the road less travelled you’re going to be in the unpopular minority. By definition then, others are going to try to pull you back into their team of mediocrity. But always remember, as you inch your way to success their attitude will change and they will eventually start to admire your progress and seek your advice so that they too can join your winning team.
So why not make this time your “once in a lifetime” effort? Instead of coming back to this very same place at this very same point next year, why not choose to crack it in 2015? Why not, this time, be a worthy contestant of the effort it will require? The choice is yours.
Leave a comment with your goals, I’d love to hear what you’re all up to and maybe it will help to keep you on track!