Happy New Year!
The beginning of a new year brings so many promises. Just hanging up a new calendar – pristine and unencumbered by the past, brings a sense of renewal; a fresh start. And, so it appears for a few days. Out with the old eating, in with a new ‘diet’. Out with being a ‘couch potato’; in with our new found love of exercise.
Then, January 10th hits (or, about that time) – and, the diet is gone, as is the newly promised exercise routine. We know we had good intentions, so what happened? Sure, we get back into our old routine – but, why can some people seem to make the transition – while others seem to fall back into old patterns? How can I get to be one of those ‘lucky ones’?
It is not an easy question to answer – but, if I had to guess, part of the issue is that you have not changed how you think about yourself. Oftentimes, we sell ourselves short. We often have a worldview that we are weak, unhappy, unlucky, we are in a bad marriage, have a bad (or no) job, are sick and so on. But, these are conditions – they are not who you are. Conditions don’t change your destiny – you can rise above them. It just depends on what you want to focus on.
You see, the circumstances that we find ourselves in (and we all have them) only have power over us if we choose to give them that power. Let’s repeat that “the circumstances that we find ourselves in only have power over us if we choose to give them that power.” That’s right – it is a matter of choice! It is a matter of your decisions.
So, what are your thought patterns? Are they negative, disempowering, self-limiting? Remember the old adage “Whether you think you can, or you can’t – you’re right”. Are you scared of failure or being uneasy about trying something new? Or, are you willing to be comfortable with a little amount of dis-comfort? What do you desire in your life and are you willing to take on the discipline to do it?
“But, what if people make fun of me and tell me it won’t work?” To quote Brendon Burchard in his book “The Motivation Manifesto” – “you don’t need permission from the ‘masses of mediocrity’ who never approve of anything that is ‘out-there’.” Forge your own path. Don’t consent to creep – soar!
- So, what are your goals for this year? Have you written them down and discussed them with someone that you know will support you? Have you mapped out a strategy to attain them? And, for some of us – have you aligned them with a Higher Power? What is the first action you are going to take? What actions will you take when you trip up? How will you get yourself back on track?
- Or, are you going to let that piece of paper sit in a drawer and collect dust?
There it is again – it is your ‘decision / choice’. It is not about blaming conditions. That is a royal cop-out. And, we don’t do that. Say it out loud, ‘I don’t cop-out’. You are responsible for the energy and emotion that you bring to life and how you live it.
And, that is how this relates to joy and gratitude. Let’s be honest – we are going to trip up. So, having a strategy to overcome those times is critical to our success. Can you look at each slip in a way that you are grateful to learn something about yourself and how to do things better – not beating yourself up in the process? That’s a true sign of emotional well-being.
So, whatever your goals and journey – enjoy it. The ‘trials’ are not unfortunate accidents. I truly believe that God (or whatever higher power you ascribe to) has put them there to help us grow. Be grateful for the trials (this will take some time – it doesn’t come naturally) and the joys that happen along the journey. Joy is a choice – it is conditioned and willed; it doesn’t happen by accident.
Our moments are precious, don’t waste them!