New Year, All Year
The beginning of a new year wipes the slate clean, bringing new hope and optimism. Our resolutions are set and we get revved up to tackle everything in four weeks – exercise more, lose 14 pounds in two weeks, learn a new language in three weeks, read four books a week, get a new job or a new perspective on our current job, spend more time with family… All worthy resolutions, but by February 1st we lose our motivation and give up. “I don’t have the time to do it now, but I’ll get to it someday when I have more time.”
Even though it hasn’t worked in the past, we still believe in the short cut. When it doesn’t work, we shift our attention to the next thing. In reality, there are no shortcuts. It takes hard work that happens through the steps we take every day, through little victories. And it’s more important to keep showing up and trying again and again to build the pattern and commitment. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint.
Every year, I run the Resolution Solution 5k on January 1st. It’s usually 10 degrees out with a brisk wind off the lake. It sounds good when I sign up in November and then it quickly loses its appeal when the alarm goes off and there’s a wind chill. It’s hard but when I am done, it’s rewarding because I didn’t click the snooze alarm and blow it off, I did it. If I signed up for a marathon and didn’t train and dropped out, I would feel like I failed. But I never gave myself the opportunity to succeed by actually preparing for the challenge over time. We need to prepare and work for the “wins.” I posted my bib number from the event as a reminder to carry my January 1st motivation through the year, a visual reminder to keep my resolve, a race at a time.
So this year, I am going to keep taking steps each day to achieve my resolutions and goals. “More time” never comes. The 30 minutes that we carve out every day to work on our goals adds up over time into meaningful results. Train for the next “race” daily, set the bar higher and stay motivated to have a new year all year. So next year, you can have new resolutions, not a repeat of this year’s. What are your goals and what are you going to do everyday to move closer to success? See you at the finish line. I’ll be cheering for you!