I just wanted to take a moment and wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season! I pray that you take time during this season of life to discover the real meaning of Christmas and consider all of the things that you are grateful for. Take time to learn from this past year, rest and recharge for the next year, and renew your commitment to be a leader within your sphere of influence. We look forward to connecting with you in the new year. Let us know if we can do anything to help you maximize your potential and achieve your goals in the areas of sports, business, and life. You can connect with me at my email address. Also, check out some of our leadership development programs and coaching services on my web site.
It’s time. When it comes to accomplishing your goals, maximizing your potential, multiplying your results, growing your relationships, and leaving a legacy, it all comes down to time. How you invest it is your choice. At the end of one year and the beginning of a new year, we all experience a range of emotions. Some are elated that they accomplished so much. Others have regrets that they did not achieve their goals…again! Still others are just limping along waiting for the calendar to start over at 1 so that they can say goodbye to the sorrows of last year and hope that the new year will bring more happiness and joy.
No matter where you are in this spectrum of emotions, the beginning of a new year always seem to bring a feeling of promise and hope. In order to make this promise and hope a reality, here are some things you can do to prepare for making this your best year yet:
- Learn From the Past – It’s easy to get caught up in the past and have regrets of what you could have or should have done in a certain moment over the last year. If we continue to lament and live in the past, we will never take hold of what this current moment and the moments to come have to offer. Instead of living in the past year, we must learn from it. Take time to reflect on what went well and those things did not turn out the way you wanted. Instead of reliving it all over again, write down what you learned from both successes and setbacks and apply the learning in the new year.
- Prepare for the Future – Given your wisdom gained from reflection on the past, apply it toward this new year and beyond. If you need to get back to the basics, do it. For me, I am applying some new things that worked for me in the past that I have not applied in awhile. For some of you, you need to stop trying the same thing hoping it will yield a different result and move on to a new approach. I believe preparation for a new year involves leveraging what has worked when you have been most successful and learning and applying new insight to yield new and better results. Write down your goals, and document an action plan to achieve each goal. A dream only becomes a goal when you write it down and back it up with some actionable steps to accomplish it. Don’t leave your dreams on the doorstep of despair.
- Perform in the Moment – When all is said and done, it all comes down to time and how you invest it. In this new year, make sure to connect your roles, priorities, and goals to your weekly and daily schedule. You don’t want to find yourself on December 31 of the new year having regrets over the past year and offering the lame excuse of, “I didn’t have time!” If it is a true priority in your life, make it one and schedule it. The future is only affected by what you do today, so perform in the moment and advance the ball toward your goals.
Here is one final thought as you begin the new year and consider the goals you are going to achieve. Research shows that people who write down their goals are 4-5 times more likely to accomplish them versus those that do not. When you tell a few others about your goals and ask them to hold you accountable, your probability of success goes up even more. Find a group of mentors or peers who will serve as your accountability group in this journey.
As John Wooden, the Hall of Fame basketball Coach for UCLA, always told his players, “Make each day your masterpiece!” This is your year! Don’t waste it! It’s time!
Preparation and meaning
I was hitting the golf ball well in practice and trust I can hit the ball anywhere I want to, but I don’t always trust this club and I have been working on a swing change and….
One of my best golfers had just uttered this long run-on sentence during one of our on-course sessions. Somewhere in the midst of the forest of fear and doubt, I discovered some trees of truth and decided to focus on it. “What did you say at the beginning of that sentence?” I asked. She responded by saying, “I was hitting the golf ball well in practice and trust that I can hit the ball anywhere I want to.” I immediately jumped in at that point and said, “PERIOD.” Now, go do it. Feeling a little cut off in the conversation, she obliged, went through her pre-shot routine, and hit an incredible right to left shot that bounced about 7 feet from the hole. As she turned around to look at me elated, surprised, perplexed, and confident all in the same moment, I told her, “You must put the period at the right place in the sentence.”
Some people don’t know how to punctuate a sentence. In fact, if we’re honest with ourselves, we have all made this same mistake at some point in our lives. We string words together and when it comes time to putting the period at the appropriate place we extend the thought with additional, not so helpful connectors and phrases. In my experience in coaching athletes, executives, and entrepreneurs, it looks like this:
- “I know I have the skills and talent to make this team, but…”
- “I feel good about the direction I am going, yet…”
- “I have been practicing great over the last few weeks, but…”
- “I have a great business idea and know it can be successful, but…”
- “I feel like I am a great mother/father, but…”
- “I want to lose 10 (or insert magic number here) pounds, but…”
Don’t get me wrong, conjunctions can be very constructive when used in the right way; yet, we often used them to hedge and limit ourselves in what we are able to accomplish. Or, we allow thoughts of fear, doubt, and a lack of confidence to oppose the truths about our talents and opportunities.
My mom was an English teacher and taught me that punctuation is important. Not ending the sentence in the right place can be very detrimental to our performances in sports, business, and life. Negative self talk can lead you to believe and buy in to a false narrative that causes a treacherous downward spiral in your performance and also your self worth and identity. Make sure that you conclude your thoughts in a way that is constructive and can help you achieve the goals and opportunities before you.
Disclaimers and qualifiers only detract from the impact of a powerful, trusting statement about the abilities that you possess and the opportunities that you have to display those talents to the world, thereby making a positive impact in the process!
Question: What have you found helpful to replace the thoughts of fear and doubt with thoughts of trust and belief? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
You are 4-5 times more likely to reach your goal just by writing it down. I know this to be true from the external research we have observed and studied and the work we have done with high performers in sports, business, and life. I have spoken about this to groups and taught this in workshops and in one-on-one coaching sessions with my athletes. I have also experienced this to be true in my own life.
Yet, there was a time when I had not written down a goal in a certain area of my life. It was National Running Day, and the Rock-N-Roll Marathon Series ran a special one-day rate if you signed up for any of their marathon races. I committed and signed up for the San Antonio Marathon.
The context for this is that I had been running a lot over the past year. I had also been telling my friends and fellow runners that I was going to run a marathon, but I never got around to it. I was telling them as well as myself that I was in “marathon training;” yet I was not committed to a specific race – i.e. an end goal in mind. When I hit “Submit” on the web site, everything changed for me. I became committed to an end goal and all of my training took on a new meaning.
It is easy for us to go through life like this – to espouse what we are about or what we want to be about but never do anything about it. Some people want to lose weight. Others want to be a better spouse, parent, or leader in their organization. I have learned that it is easy to be a goal espouser, but sometimes harder to be a goal achiever. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just talk about goals, I want to achieve them and be better because of the journey to reach them.
I sincerely believe that the first step to goal achievement is writing it down, which is why I love Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever program for writing down the right goals for your life! I used this system last year and achieved some strong, lifetime goals in my life and have signed up for the VIP program again this year!
If you want to get serious about achieving goals – the right goals – I encourage you to sign up for this great system that incorporates a process and program that will serve as a major catalyst in your quest to be more than just a “goal espouser” in the new year and beyond!
For more on the benefit of writing down your goals, check out my friend Michael Hyatt’s blog entry about the benefit of committing your goals to writing.
Question: What goal or dream has been lingering in the back of your mind that you need to commit to by writing it down and then pursuing it passionately and purposefully? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
It was 20 minutes before the gun was to go off signaling the start of the Chevron Houston Marathon. The forecast was not good – rain, 15-17 mph winds, and low 40s. On a side note, I like to race in the low 40s, just not in combination with high winds and rain. As we waited in the corral anxiously anticipating what the day would reveal, the rain began to dump on us dampening any last hope of outrunning the rain. As I looked around at the other runners and surveyed my own emotions, I realized this would be a unique day with plenty of lessons to be learned. Maybe, not the ideal, PR-setting day, but a day of growth for sure.
Distractions are a part of life. We can embrace them, be annoyed by them, or strive to ignore them, but they always seem to appear at the wrong time. No one plans for a good distraction in his or her life. They don’t pull out their iPhone and schedule a good dose of fear or doubt at 8:07 am. Distractions appear from behind the curtain unannounced, uninvited, and unwanted. Here are three things that I learned from one of the hardest races of my life that apply to all areas of our lives:
- Distractions Can Bring Focus – The distraction of being wet and running in the rain actually helped me focus on the next step in pursuit of my goal. I was not thinking about the 3-plus hours that I would be running or the 26.2 miles that I would be traversing. I was just focused on the next step in front of me. Step by step and stride by stride was my mantra, and it served me well in reaching my goal. In order to achieve your goal in anything in life, you must learn – sometimes “in the moment” – how to narrow your focus in the midst of distractions and focus on the next step in the journey.
- Distractions Can Reveal Faith – During the race, I was praying that God would carry me through this race. It was not like I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my training as well as the gear I was wearing to weather the “storm,” but it was in the midst of this distraction that I re-discovered where my real strength comes from. It is in the midst of a distraction – major ones like cancer, death, sorrow, broken relationships – that we discover the source of true peace, joy, and perseverance and how faith can help us conquer our fears.
- Distractions Can Fuel Fulfillment – While I did not reach my Boston Marathon qualifying goal on that particular day, I truly appreciated what I and thousands of other fellow runners accomplished on a day such as this. To look back and say, “I conquered that!” brings a great sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. When I look back at other times in my life when I have faced even greater life distractions than a little bad weather, I always appreciate the way that I grew from that experience, what I learned in the moment, and what resulted from that moment.
Your trajectory can tremendously change when you learn to discover that distractions are a part of life. Don’t be shocked when a distraction drops onto your doorstep. Stay focused on your goal, allow faith to conquer your fears, and look forward to the fulfillment that you will feel when you persevere through this moment!
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