It’s the start of a New Year and I suspect that you may be entertaining feelings of optimism, pessimism and uncertainty in both directions about what this year will hold. From where I sit as an executive life coach, I find that most of my clients, friends and acquaintances are now deeply pondering 2018 with excitement for what could be, but also in the shadow that this year may be no better than the last.
I think many of us are still scratching our heads in confusion over the fact that the holiday season has already come and gone – in shock that a new year is already here.
The truth is – Time passes quickly! It may sound cliché, but it’s a fact. Every year as we age, time (at least as we perceive it) speeds up. Ok, so if that’s not ringing your bell, let me just get to the point, plain and simple…
You’re not getting any younger! In fact, you’re getting older. Not only is time passing quickly, but the more time that’s in the rearview mirror, the less time there is ahead of us. More to the point, time is running out!
So, it’s the beginning of a new year and you and I . . . heck – EVERYBODY IS GETTING OLDER! Did you know that as each day passes, it becomes easier to get fatter, sicker, more saggy, more wrinkled, more depressed, more in debt and further down that path of no return. The more distance you travel in the wrong direction, the harder it’s going to be to……..(You finish the sentence – if you can!) Are you depressed yet? Well, I’m not finished, but it gets better…
“WHY – you may ask, are you stating the obvious, Rick?”
Because NOW – right now is the time (at the beginning of a new year – or – really any time, for that matter) for you to begin the following…
- Set goals and change direction.
- Change careers or get a new job.
- Start a weight loss program.
- Exercise and get in shape.
- Get right with God.
- Repair a bad relationship.
- Stop cheating.
- Clean up your diet.
- Explore a new hobby.
- Pay off debt.
- Become a better spouse.
- Get your life together.
- Conquer that addiction.
Did I miss something? Maybe you didn’t see your thing in the list above, but you know that there’s something that you’ve been ignoring, avoiding, or procrastinating about for quite a while now. Or, maybe you just feel like your life sucks and you need to do something to change it for the better. No matter what your deal is, you know that you’re sick and tired of the status quo and really need to move things out the “suck” zone and into the “super” zone.
2018 is your year…BUT, only if you choose for it to be. The mantle of SUCCESS isn’t going to just land on your shoulders out of the blue. Guess what – you’re not going to win the lottery either! These are simple facts of life – accept them as such and set your sights now on how you can change to make your future the best it can be!
I know, you’ve got all kinds of excuses why you can’t and won’t do or be what you need to in order to make that positive change for success. I’ve heard them all, in fact, I’ve used a lot of them myself, but let me remind you of my first point in this blog….
Time is flying by and you’re not getting any younger.
2018 is your year, or is it? It’s your decision. Nobody is going to do it for you. Glenda the good witch isn’t going to float into your life in a bubble and touch you with her magic wand.
Today, all I ask of you is to start this new year with intent, with purpose, with decision to make positive change for success. Success begins, I believe, first in your mind.
Ok, so have you decided that 2018 is going to be your year? Good, I’m glad to hear it. Keep reading, because here’s how you start…
5 Steps to Make Positive Change in Your Life
- Picture what you want in your mind (and be specific)! Some people call this “visualization.” Call it whatever you want, but you must first answer the question, “What is your goal?” If you don’t know where you’re going, then chances are you’ll end up somewhere that you don’t want to be. If you haven’t figured it out yet, don’t go any further until you do. Oh, and let me just say… be very specific about what your target goal is. Failing to be specific in setting a goal is one of the biggest mistakes that people make. Just because you want change doesn’t mean that all change is good. Not only can we change for the better, but we can also change for the worse. This happens when we don’t know what we want, so FIGURE IT OUT first!
- Plot your course! These days GPS has made navigating a cinch for most of us when traveling. Before GPS, we’d simply use a road map to find the best and shortest route to our destination. In like manner to make positive change, we need to figure out the best way to successfully get what we want out of life. This requires a strategy or a plan. This step takes some time, but it’s crucial if we want success. I hear people talking all the time about things that they want, but few seem willing to do the actual legwork to really achieve results. Take a look at someone who’s achieved a lot in life and you’ll find they had a very precise roadmap or specific plan to get where they are.
- Be laser focused! I’ll be the first to admit (as a guy who’s done a lot of different things in life) that if you’re not keenly targeted, with your destination in your crosshairs, you will miss the bullseye. Distraction and disorganization are your enemies. Most likely they will clobber you every time and will impede and delay the process of achieving success. The more nuance, the more variety or the more lenience you allow for your goal or destination, the more likely you’ll hinder or slow down your success. It’s worth mentioning here that if you don’t have a good plan (#2 above) you’re going to have a difficult time being focused on your target. It also goes without saying, that if you don’t know what your target (goal) is, that the subsequent steps are going to be impossible and irrelevant.
- Build allies for your success! In my experience, success rarely occurs in a vacuum. It usually requires alliances and a support network. I’m not saying that you have to partner with someone to meet your goal(s), but surrounding yourself with those who both share and support your vision will do wonders for keeping you on track. This may involve support groups, a coach or mentor, as well as good friends and family. It’s also important to realize that when you start to change, it’s going to make some of the people around you uncomfortable. You may find that those who are closest to you will oppose or criticize what you’re setting out to do. In my opinion, it’s important to minimize your contact with these people if possible. Anyone who sabotages your success doesn’t deserve your company. This is just my opinion, but in my experience, naysayers will do nothing but drag you down. If you must be around people who don’t share your vision, then politely ask them to keep their negative comments to themselves.
- Equip yourself! If you’re going to climb Mt. Everest, you’re not going to be very successful unless you pack for the journey. This requires everything from the proper clothing and gear to checking the weather and knowing how to survive treacherous conditions. Apply this principle to whatever you’re endeavoring to accomplish for your life. If you want to effectively grow your business, then start reading books and consult with successful entrepreneurs on how to do so. If your plan is to stop drinking alcohol, then consider a 12 step program and attend meetings, while practicing these other steps. If your goal is to lose weight, then learn all you can about healthy eating and exercise. Operating in the blind is never a good idea when trying to enact change for the better. Education is key. There’s a wealth of free or affordable knowledge out there available on the internet these days. Use the resources at your fingertips.
I could add five more tips on achieving successful change for the new year, but the truth is, if you seriously do these five steps, you will institute positive change for success in your life, period. And if at any time, you find that you’re not moving in the right direction, then I would suggest that you’ve shortchanged yourself by not seriously following each of these crucial steps.
Remember, 2018 can be your year if you choose for it to be! Positive change for success will only begin with your unfailing resolve and determination to be a success. If you need help along this path, you know where to find me.
Here’s to your success in 2018 and a Happy New You!