Another year has come and gone, and now is the time most of us will sit back and assess ourselves and our achievements, or lack thereof.
It’s New Year’s Resolution time!
Listen, last year is history.
2012 came and went.
Maybe you achieved your goals.
Maybe you didn’t.
Maybe the economy kicked your ass last year.
Maybe your boss or wife had you by the balls.
Maybe you even lost your job or got divorced.
Maybe you suffered chronic illness or endured severe hardship.
Maybe you completely lost focus and wandered down the wrong path.
Maybe this year you want things to be better.
A better job, a better relationship with your partner, to lose weight, to get healthier, to get ripped, to be a better parent, to go back to school, to start your own business, to make more money…
Or perhaps you are simply searching for truth, love, and contentment in life…
Whatever your goals are, now is the perfect time to go after them…and quite frankly, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t achieve a single goal you set for yourself at this time last year.
Leave it in the past.
Life is too short to spend it full of regret and looking back at the past feeling sorry for yourself over dashed dreams and “what could have been”…
2013 is here. It’s a brand new year. It’s a chance to take control of your life, to do things your way, to achieve new goals and live on your own terms.
Why let life slap you around for another 365 days without deciding to do anything about it…the time is now.
So where do you start?
Many people disagree with this, but I believe that in order to achieve success in any new chapter (aka a new year) we must think beyond simple resolutions. We must think long term. And build our futures from there.
What did you accomplish last year?
Are you a better person today than you were on this date last year?
What are your goals for the future?
What are the overall goals for your life?
How will the resolutions you set this year help you accomplish those goals?
Do you even know the answers to these questions?
If you don’t like the answers you came up with, perhaps it is time to re-assess your direction in life and get more serious about your future.
The late Jim Rohn once said, “I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps it’s because escape is easier than change.”
Don’t set weak, emotionless “resolutions” this year…
Don’t set fragile, generic goals this year that you only partially commit to…
This isn’t a Pac-Man video game where you get three lives, you’ve only got one life to live; so setting goals for that ONE LIFE should be taken very seriously.
That’s right. ONE life.
If tomorrow wasn’t promised to you, if you only had a few months, or weeks to live…what would you do today? Forget what happened last year. Forget any past mistakes or hardships. What would you think about, right now? What would you pour your heart into? What would you sacrifice everything for?
We only get one chance to live our lives, one opportunity to leave a legacy. One chance to make our mark on the world. And then we die. Then it’s gone.
We must always be on a relentless pursuit of constant self-improvement…on a focused, and dedicated commitment to greatness. Every second. Every hour. Every day. Every year.
And if you screwed around last year, it’s not too late to change.
You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. ~Jim Rohn
Ever since I was a little kid, my mom pounded this simple message into my head “Always work on trying to improve yourself, always work on getting better. Then work on being better than that. Try to be better than you were yesterday, and work harder at it today than you did yesterday. Always try to be better.”
So every day, every year I work on being a better person. Becoming a better man than I was the day or year before.
Your “better” could be anything…a better parent, a better brother, sister, friend, employee, whatever. Just get better at it.
Call it what you want, reinvention, evolving, personal development, progress, whatever…
I think doing the opposite would be the same as dying…
In my opinion, there isn’t anything worse than going through life and staying the same. Or even worse, going through life and regressing…
I’m a different person than I was five years ago, and I’d like to believe that I am a better person today than I was back then. I know I will also be a different person five years from now; hopefully a better, more refined version of my current self…and I wish you the same.
In biology, moulting, also known as sloughing, shedding, or for some species, ecdysis, is the manner in which an animal routinely casts off a part of its body, either at specific times of year, or at specific points in its life cycle.
My favorite example of this is the snake, and I like to think of the passing of each year and growing as a person sort of as a snake shedding its skin.
Leave the old, less sophisticated, less intelligent, less battle tested, weaker version of yourself in the past.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can never take a break on your quest for self improvement. You can never remain stagnant. You can never get complacent. You should constantly be focused on trying to better yourself. To be better tomorrow than you were today. And leave the old you in the past.
With all of that being said, I don’t think that any of us need to come up with any complex philosophical “resolutions” every year. Instead, I prefer to keep it simple. Just focus on improving a little bit each day. And improvement comes through focus and effort.
I know a lot of this new years resolution stuff can sound corny and played out sometimes, and I apologize if you’ve heard all of this stuff before…but if you’ve read this far I know that you “get it” and want to succeed more than the average person does. So if you’re still with me, here are a few tips to help make this year better than last year:
1. Avoid making “resolutions” and instead set a written purpose or personal mission statement. Write down your future goals and project yourself into the future. Where do you want to be 5, 10, 20 years from now? How will 2013 help you get there? Everything you write down must fall under the umbrella of your personal mission statement. Set goals that will back up your ‘purpose’ in life and then let your mission statement be the guiding force as you write out your master plan and goals.
If you have never created a personal mission statement, here is a great example. It is Merlin Olsen’s (NFL Hall of Famer) and one of my favorites:
“The focus of my life begins at home with family, loved ones and friends. I want to use my resources to create a secure environment that fosters love, learning, laughter and mutual success. I will protect and value integrity. I will admit and quickly correct my mistakes. I will be a self-starter. I will be a caring person. I will be a good listener with an open mind. I will continue to grow and learn. I will facilitate and celebrate the success of others.”
2. Eliminate the dead weight, deadbeats, haters, and useless BS from your life. A few years ago I cut all of the dead weight out of my life and now I only associate with hard working, positive thinking winners. From relatives, to friends, girlfriends, acquaintances, business partners, and all of the lazy, negative, blame the world for their problem types…I got rid of them all.
Look, I know it can be tough to cut people you care about out of your life…but trust me…if you surround yourself with negativity, your entire outlook on life and how you see the world will change. These people will drag you down. You will accomplish less WITH them than you can WITHOUT them.
We all become like the people we surround ourselves with. So try to only surround yourself with people who you want to be like. People who are headed in the same direction you want to go. People who have accomplished what you want to accomplish. People who support your dreams, goals, and vision.
Always remember this: there is no force more powerful to drag you down than a group of negative people…and there is no force greater to lift you up than a group of hard working, positive people. Cut the dead weight loose before it drags you down too.
3. Use a support team. It’s impossible to make it to the top or achieve any type of success without a solid support team to help you along the way. From my parents, to coaches, teachers, mentors, etc, I would not be the man I am today or achieved ANY of the success I have achieved in my life without their help and guidance.
My mom has been there for me in more ways than I can even count. Aside from the fact that she spawned me into existence, she has made countless sacrifices to help me succeed. All she does is give, give, give, and asks for nothing in return. I could not be more thankful to have been blessed with such a wonderful mother.
Let’s face it. None of us can do it alone. We all need a support system. With that being said, if you have a health and fitness goal this year I strongly encourage you join an online fitness community because the support you will get from the members, who are all pursuing the same goals you are, in a positive way, is priceless. If you’ve never joined an online community before, Jason Ferruggia’s Renegade Inner Circle and Tom Venuto’s Burn The Fat Inner Circle are two great places to start as you will be able to surround yourself with amazing, like minded people. It’s a fact that people who train with support systems achieve their goals much faster than those who try to do it solo.
4. Make the investment of time and pain. Now that you’ve written down a personal mission statement and come up with a few goals, it’s time to put in the work in order to make those goals materialize.
Never forget that a major goal can only be achieved by: (1) putting in the time, and (2) fighting through the pain, adversity, and hardship. Sure you can have a great plan to get there, but preparation alone (going to seminars, buying courses, ebooks, diets, making resolutions, etc) does absolutely nothing these days as it is easy to pretend to care when things are easy. It’s so easy to fake commit until the journey gets tough.
Of course we all want a better job, a better relationship with our partner, to lose weight, to get healthier, to get ripped, to be a better parent, to go back to school, to start our own business, to make more money, etc…but how many of us will quit at the first sign of difficulty? How many of us will pull the plug when adversity strikes? How many of us will jot down a few goals this year only to “get busy” or “get tired” a few months from now and give up on those goals until January 1, 2014?
Zig Ziglar once said that, “A goal casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle.”
Nothing that’s worth doing in life is going to come easy. We’ve all got to work for what we get. We’ve all only got one life to live, remember? Why spend it living in the comfort zone? Why spend it mired in regret? Don’t fall into the trap of committed failure, partial commitment, self-sabotage, and chronic failure.
So as you write down your mission statement and future goals, keep in mind that until there is a real investment of pain and time, your “efforts” don’t really count. There will be adversity, hardship, and pain to deal with along the way, and it will take time to reach your goals. The problem is that once people reach their pain threshold or go beyond their comfort level…they pull the plug…year after year…which leads me into my next point…
5. Have perseverance. As stated in number 4 above, this isn’t going to be easy, and things are going to get tough. That’s inevitable. The question is: will you hang in there long enough to reach your goals? Will you fight through any adversity that comes your way regardless of how much pain or hardship it inflicts upon you? Will you stand your ground when life comes at you with a flurry of body punches? Will you get up and keep fighting when life knocks you down?
The greatest warriors and athletes in history all had the remarkable ability to do one thing better than everyone else…they were able to persevere and sustain the durability of commitment. They refused to quit until the job was complete. They indignantly repudiated the idea of surrender.
This is a brand new year, and your future is in your hands. Go forth, and conquer. Never quit. Fight on.
Dale Carnegie once said, “inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
Thanks for reading, I wish you all the best this year and hope you achieve massive success in 2013 and beyond.
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