So many New Year’s resolutions are destined to fail. At the start of a new year, people vow to quit smoking, work out, and eat healthy. In January, my barre class is packed, with a waiting list of 20 people waiting to get in. By March, people lose sight of their goals. Maybe life takes over, energy is redirected, and, as a result, the classes are much easier to get into. All those good intentions fall by the wayside.
“Resolution” means “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” If we want to achieve what we set out to do, we have to make that resolution a conscious decision. Whether we are talking about losing weight, becoming healthier, learning something new, or reaching specific goals in our businesses, we must first decide that “this” is the way that it will be. It’s not enough to visualize a dream. It’s essential to take action every day to support that decision.
In the past, I was overly optimistic about what I could achieve. I often set unrealistic timelines for reaching my goals. As a result, I would become frustrated, distracted, and ultimately would give up. Things might have been different if I had resolved going in that I would stick to my plan and then would work each day to support that outcome. Anything worthwhile takes effort. We have to be present in the journey, learning along the way. Setbacks are expected, but if we remember our initial decision, we won’t let anything stop us. It’s all part of the journey of getting there.
One of my favorite quotes is from Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair of Disney: “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.”
There are many people that have taken non-conventional approaches to achieving their goals. They have found success on their own terms. However people define success, they have three attributes in common:
- Decided Mindset: Their mind is made up on what will happen. There is no plan b and no turning back. What they resolve is what will happen.
- No looking back: They aren’t hard on themselves about failed New Year’s resolutions of the past. Instead, they get up every day and they work from wherever they are. They take the hill so to speak, even if progress is only one inch at a time.
- Action takers: They take action every day to support the decisions they made. Obstacles are seen as part of the journey and part of the process of reaching success. It’s one thing to aspire to something, but it’s quite another to wake up every day and take radical actions to achievement.
It’s rare to have perfect conditions and circumstances for achieving what we desire. To be successful, we must create the conditions and to be willing to face forward, use our decided mindset to move through difficult obstacles, while working every day to take the actions that support outcomes. Failures are part of the learning process, so we don’t need to look down upon upsets or throw away those experiences; instead, we learn to leverage that well-earned wisdom as more data points on the path to success.
May you all decide what life you are going to live and take massive action toward that decision, making 2017 the best year ever!
Top photo from Bigstock