Happy New Year AGAIN!!
The New Year is here, along with your anxiety and adrenaline levels that are at an all-time high. Your mind is filled with the laundry list of things that you did not get to accomplish in the year that just passed combined with all the new things you are adding to the list.
Now your “To Do List” for January is over a mile long. Do yourself a favor, take a breath and relax. We may have just rung in the New Year but the “old you” woke up this morning. The first thing to do is realize there is nothing wrong with that. Things will not just happen overnight. Anything worthwhile takes time and this includes your personal growth, development and future success.
Here’s some tips to get you through the first month.
Moment of Reflection
Take some pressure off and recognize that you made it through another year. You may have encountered some defeats, but I am sure you can also list some great victories as well. Look at the things you did accomplish; allow yourself to celebrate the small wins. Recall the “ah hah” moments that helped you understand where you were going a little better. Reminisce on the heart-breaking moments and be grateful you maintained enough sanity to get out of bed every day and push through. Also write down the productive things that helped you get through the challenging moments, build on these as principles in how to respond to similar obstacles in the future. Memories carry a great deal of sentimental value, but they can also serve as fuel for your growth.
Emotion Free Zone
Leave the emotions out of it. The holiday sales spill over into the New Year madness and everything is geared towards to your emotions. The retail market is all too familiar with your desire to “start the year off right” and the list of good intentions we call resolutions. market quickly transitions from gifts for your loved ones to becoming flooded with products you need to meet your goals. Keep your emotions in check. Just because there is a sale does not mean you need to buy it. Lowering the price does justify the purchase if it truly is not a necessity.
As you begin to make a list of your goals, add a column next to it for matching resources you will need to accomplish this goal. Then before running to the mall or on-line shopping, reach out to your family, close circle of friends or loved ones and see if anyone has what you need. They might have a lightly used juicer that they purchased and never used. The point is, don’t fall victim to the New Year rush. Wait until your emotions are stable and you have planned with much consideration.
Use the month of January to plan and build momentum. Do not worry about losing ground, as Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. The most important time you can take is to prepare and plan; this is sharpening your axe. Every day set aside time to focus and strategizing the steps needed to get ready for the success journey ahead. So, it’s perfectly fine if you miss the sale for the gym membership in order to really assess whether the gym is the best option for you, your budget and your schedule. Take more time to plan out your healthy life style and fitness plan to determine what will really work for you in this season of your life.
Dedicate this first month, to build the momentum for the upcoming 11 months as you solidify your short term and long-term goals. The time you spend will allow you to make decisions with a level head and better insight. Additionally, you can quickly learn from the mistakes of others who have already started trying things that ended up not working. It will also allow you to consider the challenges you may face and create back up plans. Prepare for the opposition that will come when you make up your mind that nothing will stand in your way. Think about how you are going to tactfully combat the desires to fall back into bad habits. Be mentality ready for the fight as well as small setbacks.
From Comfort zone to Commitment zone
Nothing will succeed until you commit. In this month make a list of your commitments. My favorite definition of commitment is “doing the thing you said you would do, long after the feeling you said it in has left” (unknown). Commitment will take you out of your comfort zone because greatness does not reside there. Any goal you desire to achieve will bring you to a place you are not familiar with or it require you to do something you have never done. It is your commitment to that goal which will keep you. As you commit, acknowledge what in your comfort zone needs to change and then plan for how you will get out of your comfort zone. Some ways to accomplish this is,
- 1.Do small things to that challenge yourself
- 2.Work on overcoming your fears by analyzing them. For example, when do you feel most fearfully? Why do you think you are fearfully?
- 3.Begin to coach yourself
- 4.Take up lessons, webinars or classes in your area of interest. The more you learn and are exposed to the dynamics, your anxiety and discomfort levels will go down.
- 5.Network with others. One of the best ways to learn is from the experience of others. Place yourself in environments where others in your field of interest who have succeeded or done well can share their experiences.
Believe for Better
Along with your level of commitment, your level of belief needs to have a strong foundation. Whether it is based on spiritual values or business principles and practices; you cannot accomplish that which you do not believe is possible. The mind is a dynamic, complex and powerful organ. It will believe what you consistently tell it; regardless of the reality around you. When your fear arises, it is not always based on what is going on in real time, it is a projected combination of feelings and thoughts.
This same energy can be used to foster focusing on accomplishing the greatness you desire. The age-old saying mind over matter is the belief that we can overcome our limitations, influence the body through the power of the mind. Meaning get out of your own head and take control of your emotions. You can accomplish much of what you set your mind. If you can believe for it, commit to it and take the time to make a well thought out plan to accomplish it, you have the highest chance for accomplishing much of what you set out to do this year.
Move forward with confidence and expect great things from this year.