Who do you want to be one year from now?
But what about the real you? Are you achieving your wildest, scariest, biggest goals? Or are you saving those for someday?
While the year winds to a close, we come face-to-face with our last-year selves. Remember those resolutions we made in January? Uh-oh. We’ve reached the last page of a calendar, but have we achieved the goals we set when the calendar was fresh and clean? At the end of December, almost of us fall into one of two camps:
“2018!! This is going to be the year!”
This attitude can also have a couple of flavors. One of them is unrealistic enthusiasm. Have you seen the gym parking lot in January? Packed! It’s hard to find an empty locker, too. Who are all these people? By March, the parking lot is near-empty again, and your favorite locker is blissfully vacant. Where did everyone go? Enthusiasm can only carry you so far. You need a plan, too.
The other flavor of the gung-ho go-getter often gets derailed by the wording. By saying, “This is going to be the year!”, we offer that ever-so-narrow loophole to ourselves. Do you see it? It’s the word ‘year’. That wording lets us put off our actions until tomorrow, or next week, or two months because, you know… We have a whole year! No worries. No urgency.
Seal up that escape route by saying, “2018! This is going to be the day!” Yikes. Feels a little more urgent, doesn’t it?
“2018?! Why bother? It’s pointless to try…”
Maybe you feel this way. “You know, every year I say the same things, and I never get where I want to go. I give up. What’s the use of setting resolutions that never happen?”
I hear you. It seems like there’s no emotion quite like the shame we feel when we let ourselves down, knowing we didn’t live up to our potential. We make excuses that, deep down, we don’t really buy. But we cling to them like a life preserver because, otherwise, the truth is difficult to accept.
Last year, I had to get really brutal with myself. The reason I hadn’t achieved my goals was one simple truth: I didn’t want them badly enough. Didn’t want to do the hard work required. I like sleep. I like the couch. Also, I like what my mom calls “piddle-pooping around”. Consequently, it wasn’t until I got brutal and held myself totally accountable that I started to make real, tangible progress.
And it cost me. But you know what? It’s incredible. This has been the most exciting, exhilarating year. I’m jazzed to get out of bed every morning. I’m learning so much, it feels like my head’s going to explode. So if that sounds like a year you’d enjoy, think about the cost. It’s high in the short-term, but not nearly as expensive as the long-term debt of regret.
Today, do this one thing:
And really let yourself feel it. Feel the emotions of where you will be on this date, one year from now. What does it look like? How does it feel to have achieved your heart’s dearest desire? What does it mean for your family and loved ones?
Write it down, then say it aloud. Also, listen to this podcast for a guided visualization. (But be warned; once you visualize that wonderful possibility, you’ll never be able to forget it 🙂 )
Next month, we’ll look at a few baby steps that will move you toward your goals for 2018 — real, concrete actions that will make a difference. Do you set resolutions or make plans? How do you check in throughout the year? Did you reach your 2017 goals?