It’s January 15th. Have you made any progress toward this year’s goals? Yes? Great! No? Well, you’re not alone. January is a tough month for me. The fourth quarter of the year feels like a sprint. I’m racing to finish out the year well at work and get ready for the holidays and after a short break I have a tough time starting all over again. The Christmas decorations are stored away, day after day of bitter cold weather sets in, and my older kids head back to college. Let’s just say I’ve had a few false starts already.
With tomorrow’s Martin Luther King holiday, some of us may have the benefit of a long weekend. Let’s use this weekend to erase the false starts between January 1st and now and start fresh.
Are you with me?
Here are some thoughts I’ve jotted down to help us:
- Get freaky or conquer your fears to get out of the funk. Whenever I’m “in a funk” I try to shake things up. This could be something simple like getting up from your desk, blaring some music and dancing around the room or coming face-to-face with one of your biggest fears and conquering it head on. For example, if you are afraid of heights, go on a long, steep hike with some friends or take downhill skiing lessons. I often exercise in the privacy of my home, alone. This Christmas I asked for tennis lessons so I could get out of the house, interact with others and get better at a sport. My husband did a ton of research and provided several options in our area to take lessons. This week I’m going to explore those options and register.
What will you do?
- Figure out how badly you want it. If you’ve set a goal then you have to change your behavior to have a shot at achieving it. For your behavior to change you’ve got to want to achieve that goal more than anything else and rethink your priorities. Yes, that means making sacrifices, but if those sacrifices make you a better person in the end, they’re probably worth it. When you sat down on January 1st and said: “my goal this year is to….,” had you truly thought it through? Did you prepare yourself for those moments of temptation when you knew you’d want to drift away from the goal? Sit down and ask yourself: Why is this so important? What will I gain from achieving it? Why should I make this a priority? If you can’t answer those questions honestly, then maybe you need a different goal. I’ve already started rethinking some of my goals to better align with who I want to be at the end of 2017.
How badly do you want to achieve your goals and why?
- Just do it! If you’re like me, you may have a tendency to fall into “analysis paralysis.” I spend so much time planning, preparing and waiting for the right moment that I never start. We’ve got to just dive in! Take the first step without fear of failure, without inhibitions, without worrying what other people will think. It probably won’t be pretty, it will feel weird and awkward but good things come from EXPERIENCE, not from sitting on the sidelines. My husband says this to our teenagers all the time. Good, bad or indifferent, every calculated risk gives us a learning lesson.
What actions will take today to move you closer toward your goal?