Whether you had a good year or a bad year, let’s step it up and do everything you can to make 2012 the best, most epic year yet. In order to do this, you need to first define the outcome. What will make it the best year ever for you? What’s the one goal that if you accomplish it, would literally make your year?
I realize that goals should be a on-going thing and not just a New Year thing but since it’s the New Year, let’s just use it as an excuse for those of us who didn’t bring our A game to 2011 to have a fresh start. Whatever failures and disappointments you had, it’s time to take whatever lessons you can from them and toss everything else aside. Regardless of how your results have been the past year or several years, this year is going to be different.
No more wishy-washy, half-hearted attempts at achieving your goal. It’s time to get serious here. Whatever excuses you’ve been using to prevent yourself from living the life you want, it’s time to stop running away from your challenges.
That’s right, every time you make an excuse as to why you can’t take action towards your goal, you’re basically cowering to the challenges in front of you. Every time you give into that voice inside your head that tells you to do something later that needs to be done now, you’re letting your challenges nudge you off course, little by little.
So how do you deal with this? Here are some suggestions.
1. If you’re competitive by nature, you need to set your goals higher. You need to set it high enough where you know you’re going to be the underdog. One of the most exciting things to see in sports is an underdog defying the odds and coming back to take the game. It’s easy to say you’re going to give it your all but let’s be real here. Unless the challenge is big enough to force you to give it your all, you’re not going to give it your all.
If you play a sport, then you’ll know you improve the most when you play someone who’s way better than you. They force you to step up your game to levels you’ve never been at before. Your mindset is completely different. Although you may know you’ll lose, you make up your mind that you will refuse to go down without an epic fight. You will force your opponent to acknowledge your presence and even induce moments of fear of being over taken by someone that probability says cannot win.
You need to set goals that are high enough that when you achieve it, your perception of what’s possible in life will be blown away.
Keep in mind this usually only works for people who thrive on huge challenges. For them, many times the problem is that they set their goals too low. It’s still tough to obtain but not tough enough to force them to rise up to a level they’ve never played at.
If you lift weights, you know your mentality is different when preparing to lift 10 pounds under your current max and 10 pounds above your current max. Both weights are still challenging but when you go for that new record, you go into beast mode.
You’re not going to let a challenge scare you away are you?
2. If you thrive on proving others wrong, every time you think about the challenge in front of you, put a face on it. Think of a person you just want to shut up once and for all by producing massive success. Whenever that laziness inducing voice in your mind starts trying to convince you to not take action, imagine it’s that person you want to prove wrong saying those things to you. Every time you’re thinking of giving up, imagine that person standing right in front of you saying, “I told you so.”
There was a story of how this person got through college. His sister-in-law, who basically disproved of him marrying her sister because she thought he was a lazy bum, told him he wasn’t smart enough to finish college so what he did was put a picture of her on his study desk and every time he felt like procrastinating, we would look at that picture which reminded him to prove her wrong. I forgot what book I read this from but the author ended up being quite successful.
It doesn’t have to be another person that you have to prove anything to. It could be the person you see in the mirror. So you think you got what it takes? Quit talking and prove it!
3. If you don’t handle challenges too well and get discouraged easily, then you can try getting help from other people. If encouragement is what you need, start spending a lot more time with people who are positive and supportive of your goal. Now instead of just relying on them to give you words of encouragement, you’ll need to do the same back as well.
When you root for someone to succeed, it can build confidence and excitement for you to achieve your own goal as well. When you encourage people often, the words you say will eventually show up in your internal dialogue which will help you push through your challenges.
Don’t have such people in your life? Then go out and look for them. Start a group using Craigslist or join online forums that are full of supportive people.
You can do this. Past failures don’t mean anything. The life you seek really is possible.
4. If you’re an all or nothing type of person, meaning you’ll either take action or take no action, then here’s something you can try. Instead of having days where you fall behind on your goals and completely quit all together until enough pain builds up to get you motivated to take action again, try the something-is-better-than-nothing technique.
Let’s say you’re supposed to hit the gym at 6am and it’s 6:20am and you’re still in bed. Now you could say, “It’s too late now, I’ll just work out tomorrow”, or you could say, “Something is better than nothing” and get up and maybe work out for just half as long. If that’s too hard, get up and do 50 jumping jacks or push ups, anything.
If your goal was to study for 2 hours a day but you’re feeling a bit lazy today, then remember that something is better than nothing. Study for 1 hour or 30 minutes or 15 minutes.
If your goal was to eat healthy foods and you find yourself eating something bad, don’t just toss the diet out the window all together. It’s better to fall back to eating mostly healthy foods with some bad foods than to just go back to eating mostly bad foods. If you “fall off the wagon”, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon the wagon all together. If you can’t get back on, then at least hold onto it and just walk alongside of it for now until you have the mental strength to jump back on. I hope this makes sense.
The point in doing this is so you get something done rather than nothing. On top of that, many times, you’ll discover that once you start doing something, you’ll build momentum and continue taking action.
Remember your motto: Something is better than nothing.
What 2012 will hold for you will largely depend on the decisions you make and the actions you take or choose not to take. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do what it takes to make 2012 the best year yet. I know it will take hard work. I know it will take some sacrifices. I know I’ll have to deal with moments of discouragement. I know that even if I give it all I’ve got, there’s still a chance of failure. However, I also know that by pushing myself, I will grow in every aspect. Going for a huge, out of reach goal will cause you to grow more than going for a goal well within your reach.
Going against an opponent who is 10 times bigger than you, will make for a better, more epic tale than to go against someone your size.
Let’s make 2012 an epic year that you’ll remember for years to come. Let’s stop playing small. There’s no magic and excitement in that. Let’s also quit thinking we’re going to live forever. If you want to build and experience the life of your dreams, the time to do that is now. Giving out excuses at the end of the year as to why the year didn’t go as you wanted is getting old don’t you think?
The excitement level will be high for the first month or two of the year but once that settles, it’ll be up to your determination and resolve to make sure you do everything in your power to reach your goal.
The whole point of all of this is to help push yourself to your absolute limits. Far too many of you underestimate what you’re truly capable of. All it takes is just one year of solid persistence, iron will, and relentless determination to prove to yourself that what you’ve achieved up to this point in your life is nothing compared to what you’re capable of achieving. It’s time to take off that blindfold of limitation and see what’s really possible.
Are you ready? LET’S DO THIS!
I’d love to hear how you plan to make 2012 an EPIC year.