Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” — Albert Einstein
Resolutions. New Plans. Truths. Call ’em what you want.
I’m calling mine for 2019, “New Year’s Re-Commitments.”
Here’s why putting together your re-commitments matter:
We all get lost, immersed and sometimes trapped in what we’re doing. Whether it’s good, bad, productive or time wasted, we don’t often know it in the moment. This is why perspective is so important. It’s vital to our success that we take a step back, take inventory of what we’re doing, where we’re going and whether it’s the right thing for us.
Then, it’s all about re-committing to what matters most. The problem is that we simply haven’t committed to doing them with consistency. We need to re-commit to things we KNOW are right for us, and we’ve likely already done. We haven’t made them habit. That’s exactly what this reckoning- this renewal of beginning a new year- a new season- is all about.
Re-commit to what will make you, you. Begin another chapter in productivity and being your best.
This takes time, and it’s not nearly as fun as socializing or dreaming about that big idea. Most people walk away from dreams, not because of a lack of desire, but because they’re simply unwilling to “do the work.” Whenever you hear this very important phrase, know that “the work” first involves a foundation of values and then planning.
This must come before anything else! If you just jump in without direction, you may succeed at first, but sooner or later you’ll fail. It’s not sustainable. Good luck with yours! Here are my “re-commitments” for 2018. These are personal but they have broad application.
I think you’ll find a lot of yourself in here. I hope they give you the courage and confidence to put together your own resolutions in an effort to live the life you truly want!
1. Be more PRESENT
Presence is more than just coach speak. It’s true immersion in the moment with your heart, mind and soul. It’s mental, emotional, spiritual and physical awareness in all that you do. Being present and focusing only on what matters in that moment is paramount. It eliminates distractions. It gives the present moment you in your truest, most authentic form.
Live in the moment, every moment. You will maximize your happiness and results.
2. Faith without (the bad kind of) fear
Out of all the re-commitments on this list, this is perhaps my biggest barrier to overcome. Maybe it is for you, too. True belief in yourself without (the bad kind of) fear is one of life’s greatest challenges. There are good kinds of fear. You know, like knowing when to flee a burning building. Seeing your life plan on the wrong track and being concerned that you’ll end up living someone else’s life.
There are good kinds of fear.
But the fear of success, the fear of accomplishing your biggest goals — that’s terrible. This is where maximum faith and belief in yourself come in. Sometimes, you need a few days away to rediscover yourself and to re-prioritize. Hopefully the Christmas break did that for you. If not, take a step back and rejuvenate yourself and build your faith back up.
3. Belief in Yourself in all Moments that Leads to Confidence and Consistency
Related, similar, but not equal to #2, this is the manifestation of faith into something bigger that leads to tangible, proven results. The more confident we are, the more we know ourselves and can bridge the gap between our thoughts and actions, the more likely we are to do the things we want — and to do them well.
Proven results lead to confidence, and re-application leads to consistency. To start, you must be committed. To finish and achieve your goals, you must be consistent.
4. No regrets. Acceptance for what’s happened.
All that matters is what’s next. All that matters is what is in front of us. That’s it. Sure, great memories will last us a lifetime. Memories are different.
In the world of results, output and achievement, all that matters is how we move forward to the next goal, journey, task or competition in front of us. Prioritization and laser-focus for what matters most will lead you and guide you. Don’t worry about what’s already happened. You can always write a new chapter in your story for all the world to see. Keep Going!
5. Become the expert — in a few things
I’ve written a successful book targeted to an audience that seeks to build their life on a rock-solid foundation of values and goal-planning. I’ve been recognized by my peers, gained acceptance in the writing community and had some awesome media appearances. Others are beginning to recognize me as an expert in this space. And I’m happy to walk through the door and live this.
My advice to you is to think of your greatest talent — your greatest skills — and what you spend your time on. Become an expert in one thing first, then you can start acquiring the skills and knowledge in multiple areas. But start with one thing first. Become the best. Become an industry leader and sought-after expert. Dedicate that time and keep growing.
For 2019, for me, it’s being the best coach I can be. And becoming a global thought leader on emotional intelligence. What about for you?
6. Leave the things behind that could be nice, but don’t fit my game plan
I want to be a New York Times bestselling writer. I want to be a keynote speaker at many different events. I want to coach more executives and leaders. But I’m limited by time. I’m limited by my obligations to my family and clients. I cannot do it all. And I’m OK with that. I’m choosing to focus on a few things and get great at those.
There’s always time in the future for all of our grand dreams. So, write those down. But don’t try to do everything at once. This leads to too much pressure and self-imposed stress. Instead, focus on your priorities and then plan.
Take this from Dr. Theo Tsaousides:
“One of the most important functions of the brain — and the most recent in terms of our evolution — is executive function, a cluster of cognitive abilities that evolved to enable us to set and achieve goals. This brain function is what sets us apart from all other living things. Most other creatures react based on instinct; we take action based on planning.”
7. Build lasting connections. Focus on quality and not quantity
Rock-solid relationships are born from devotion, empathy, care and concern for the other person. Lead with your heart and build relationships out of genuine care for the other person. It’s not about the number of followers or connections you have. It’s about the powerful, life-changing connections that you have. Spend your time on those relationships.
8. Greater personal ownership over decision-making
We all need others to rely on in life. But nothing is ever stopping you from taking greater personal ownership over your life. Nothing is stopping you from jumping in to make success happen. For me, this is about giving up “sitting on the sidelines” about the things I want most.
It’s truly about decision-making. Sharp, focused and committed decision-making. I know what I can do, and what I can’t. Hopefully, you will learn this wisdom in 2019. Take greater ownership over the things you can control and influence, and delegate the things that you cannot do. This requires a well-rounded approach of personal ownership!
9. Initiative is the name of the game
Turn to others for help. Please, by all means. But be willing to take the initiative FIRST on all that you do. Only then can you decide what you need to allocate or give to others. Go all in with supreme confidence and belief in yourself. When you know you cannot do something — or it can be done more efficiently elsewhere — then turn to someone else.
We all need people to help elevate and bring us to the next level. But take the initiative first. This could be:
- Starting that book you’ve always wanted to write
- Starting a new business
- Creating an app
- Reaching out to the business that you’ve always wanted to partner/work with and asking them for an opportunity to meet
Go for it and be unafraid!
10. “Playing with house money”
The concept, of course, comes from the world of gambling — using the money from the casino to fuel and drive future earnings. Remember, Las Vegas wasn’t built on winners! But it is the winners, that “let it ride” in thought, speech and action — those who lead with confidence — who define how they wish to live their lives.
Playing with house money is a gift, yet also a choice we have to make in how we handle our business. It’s one much easier made, from a psychological standpoint, when we’re not fearful of losing anything, even though we would be losing what we just earned! It’s a mindset of confidence that soothes anxiety and fear of loss, in addition to our aversion to risk.
11. Take the pressure off
“Be quick but don’t hurry.” Those are the words of famous UCLA head basketball coach, John Wooden. Here’s what it means to me: Stop worrying about a sense of urgency. Don’t rush. All that does is put more pressure on yourself and cause more worry. When you’re worried, anxious, stressed and living in fear, you don’t think as clearly. You’re a mess.
Being quick means executing off your game plan. You have to have a plan first. It surely helps to have values to rely on, and a routine that backs this up. When you have these things, you’re able to operate and achieve flow more clearly and fluidly. The game begins to come to you much more naturally. Because there’s no pressure stopping you from being your best.
12. More honesty, openness and vulnerability
This is a call to those of us who are simply trying to let our true colors shine through. I love this quote from Michael Thompson:
“The very thing you fight to hide more times than not is the very thing that connects you to others. The world has enough masks — I highly recommend taking yours off in 2019.”
13. Don’t revisit past mistakes
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with making mistakes, having setbacks or failing. What’s wrong is wallowing in those same mistakes and not putting in the work to move on and get over them. Don’t revisit what hasn’t worked for you. Find a way to build upon your setbacks, using that adversity to lead you on to a new victory.
Once you’ve made a mistake, do your best to not make it again.
14. Find time every day for reflection
Could be in the morning. Could be midday. Maybe it’s the thing you do right before you go to bed, or brush your teeth, or pray. But please, spend a few minutes in reflection. Couple with a meditation practice. It will change your life and give you quietness and stillness of mind.
15. Make people feel special
Everyone wants to be treated in a special way. We all want to feel valued. So, start with doing that for yourself. Be kind to yourself. And in turn, you can then be kind and special to others.
The people that I admire most are the ones that bring out the best in others. They seem to do it nonchalantly and without effort. But their thoughts, words and actions are intentional. They’re making the world a better place, one person at a time. They act with self-awareness, empathy and curiosity and a genuine desire to help others succeed.
Make someone else feel special and you’ll have a friend and powerful relationship for life.
Jump start your new year!
This article first appeared on Medium.