2013: Here we are again at the end of another year. Hard to believe, right? ( That is what we almost all say.) Christmas is over, families are shuffling back into some normalcy, and we just have this one last thing to get through, New Years Eve, the welcoming of the new year.
I dislike being so cliché with writing about the New Year and reflecting on how fast the previous one has gone, and about making 2014 the best year yet, but it is what we do. Most of us anyway. We think and reflect about what it was, and what the new will be, and how they will be different.
We mostly regain a new perspective and once again find it in ourselves to have a renewed hope for the things to come. (at least for that 24 hour period up to and including midnight today.) As I was writing I began to wonder, why does it always take a new year, to gain new hope? Most of us, myself included fail to remember that EACH day, is like the beginning of a New Year. For some people, the reality is, their “new day” changed everything; for others, each day just was just like the last, some spent hoping it could go back to one way, or push forward to another. And then the last group, those are the ones we all want to be like, the ones that seem to be taking control and making each day about a New Year. Ask yourself, Where are you? Did you wish the year away, Not even know or care a new year is beginning or did you make 2013 YOUR year? (Again, I know, so cliché).
Here is my challenge for 2014 for all of my readers, you have heard it a thousand times, but this time really read it and make the committment to make 2014 different;
1. Don’t make a half of page of 2014 Resolutions, First, you likely will not succeed, and second, you will feel worse when you don’t. Instead, MAKE ONE. Make one committment for 2014 and really strategize about how to succeed at it. In other words, don’t say you are going to lose 25 pounds this year knowing everyone gave you food gift cards for Christmas and you know you have no intention of eating better or joining the gym. Make the goal REALISTIC, and really think about HOW you can succeed. Understand your weakness and work with it, not try to pretend you can just suddenly overcome it.
2. Be accountable, somehow, to someone, or something. You cannot make a committment if you cannot be held accountable. We are the greatest liar and deceiver when it comes to ourselves. We can convince our own mind of just darn near everything. Have a partner when possible to hold you accountable. If you don’t have anyone you can personally be accountable to, write it down and keep it someplace VERY visible. You cannot write it and throw it in the drawer. It has to be someplace you ABSOLUTELY will be reminded of it. (Remember, we are liars).
3. Actually figure out a PLAN to achieve this goal. If it is to read more, then figure out exactly how that looks, don’t say, “I am going to read every day for 1 hour”, unless you can realistically, physically do that, if that is not realistic, MAKE it so it i. state, “I am going to read 4 books a year, one per quarter. I am going to commit to one hour per week on Sunday afternoon from 3:00-4:00PM” if that is something you can do. That is a plan to achieve it.
4. Schedule a time to actually achieve this goal. If your goal is to read more, then PUT IT IN YOUR CALENDAR – accountability again. If you learn to work from a calendar, you will be far more likely to be successful at this ONE goal.
5. Be Thankful. EVERY DAY; the good days, the bad days, the busy days, the sad days and the happy days, Every Day.
6. And last, reward yourself. If you achieve your goal for one week, treat yourself. Have a special something or tell someone you met your goal for the week. When we break them down into small victories, we have a lot better chance of actually achieving those goals. If you are SMART, you will achieve your goal, and this time next year, you won’t be wishing for 2015 or wondering about what happened to 2014.
Start every day with the feeling that it is December 31st, 2013!