As we reflect on the events of the past twelve months, we are inundated with advice regarding New Years Resolutions, why they fail and what we need to do to achieve our goals. Like most of us, I look forward to the beginning of a new year with positive anticipation. However, while I do believe in setting objectives, I don’t make resolutions, nor do I place unrealistic expectations upon myself. Instead, I’ve come to the realization that if I wish to change any aspect of my life, the process starts with my attitude. I cannot create new outcomes without adjusting my thinking.
Consider the words of Zig Ziglar: “Most people take aim at nothing and hit their target with amazing accuracy”. Perhaps this is a somewhat harsh perspective on personal ambition, although it summarizes the results for many people when they contemplate the year that has just passed, and the well-intended resolutions that yielded nothing.
Staying stuck in any situation that becomes untenable will invariably take a toll. Many of us procrastinate because it is a convenient excuse for not stretching ourselves, ever so slightly, out of our comfort zones. Rather than owning up to our own engrained patterns of behavior, it often easier to look outside of ourselves, even if we are doing so unknowingly.
Over the course of the next 365 days, we will invariably experience setbacks, disappointment, sadness, pleasant surprises, a series of unexpected circumstances, positive or otherwise. Although we cannot control any of these situations, we can choose our interpretation.
Where are you at now and where do you see yourself a year from today?
No amount of wishful thinking can bring you to a healthier lifestyle, a new career, better relationships or living a more purposeful life. However, an honest appraisal of your current reality followed by the willingness to take action and move in a new direction regarding one aspect of your life at a time is a powerful first step. At a deeply unconscious level, we have the capacity to either sabotage or create a new beginning. Ultimately, it is the energy of our thoughts that sets our direction and influences all our choices, regardless of the date on the calendar.
About the author
A former media executive and highly sought-after business speaker, Michelle Ray (@michelleraycsp) has delivered has delivered her powerful messages on leadership, accountability and engaged workplaces to the C-Suites of global corporations, academia, diverse association and government groups since 1995. She is the author of Lead Yourself First! Indispensable Lessons in Business & in Life and founder of the Lead Yourself First Institute.
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