“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
It’s that time of year where we reflect on what we’ve done (or haven’t done) in the past year, and what we want to accomplish in the coming year.
Take a moment to reflect on your successes this past year. Maybe you think you don’t have any successes or you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to in 2011. That’s OK. Celebrate the mere fact you are alive and reading this. Stop being so hard on yourself. I find it interesting that although we don’t like bullies, many of us bully ourselves. We beat ourselves up because we’re not as “successful” or rich, or thin as we think we should be.
My Nana, just months away from turning 102, died on Christmas day. There is nothing like death to make you realize the preciousness of life and the gift of loved ones in your life. Celebrate your friendships and your family. Celebrate the love you gave and the love you received.
For some of you, this past year was tough, but you persevered through trying times. You put one foot in front of the other on days where you wanted to throw in the towel. Celebrate your determination.
After taking time to reflect on how awesome you are, think about your intentions for the year ahead. As I wrote about in Supersize Your Dreams, allow your mind to dare to believe for something big. Allow your mind to be impregnated with the possibilities of miracles. Allow yourself to imagine what your life could be like. I absolutely love this quote by Henry David Thoreau (I know I use this quote a lot but I find it so motivating):
“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavours to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Make a plan to take small steps at a time. Small steps will make the task less daunting. Sometimes the hugeness of the dream can make it difficult to do anything. As Nike says, “just do it!” It’s so true. My yoga teacher says this when we get to the part in the class where we have to balance on one leg. I hate the balance part of the class because I’m so bad it. I always hesitate to pick my one foot up off the floor. Then I hear her yelling, “Just do it…don’t think about it, just do it! Do it now!” (I thought yoga teachers were supposed to be nice????)
Here’s what I’d like you to do…don’t worry, I won’t make you balance on one leg. Write down in a journal or somewhere where only you can see, your dreams or your goals. Maybe it’s to lose weight, eat healthier, start a business, go back to school, save more money, etc. Whatever it is, write it down. Maybe it’s a smaller goal like to clean out your closet. Whatever it is, commit to taking a half-step towards it. Not a whole step. Just a half-step.
Commit to doing 10 – 15 minutes towards your goal, every day or every week…whatever you feel is realistic and achievable. For example, if you don’t currently exercise, saying you’ll work out an hour everyday may be unrealistic. You may do it for awhile but chances are you may not stay with it for the long haul. Consider committing to walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week.
I tried this trick when I had been procrastinating about starting this blog and my company. One day I started with the intention of working on this endeavour for 10 – 15 minutes. I told myself I could stop after 15 minutes if I felt like it. I ended up being so energized and inspired that I worked on it for over 2 hours.
I also use this trick when I have to do something I don’t want to do like cardio on the treadmill. I tell myself I only have to walk or run for 15 minutes and after that time I can stop. I usually end up working out for longer, because I discover it really wasn’t that difficult after all. What’s difficult is the starting.
Like the quote at the beginning, if we wait until everything is just right and circumstances are perfect then we may never get to where we want to go. Many of us wait until we feel like doing something before we do it. Let me tell you, if you are waiting until you feel like cleaning your closet or you feel like exercising or you feel like studying, you may never start. Many times, the feelings follow our actions. Just taking a few steps will give us unbelievable energy. And, when we’re done, we’ll feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
So I challenge you to just do it! Don’t hesitate. Go for it. Pick your foot up off the floor. You won’t fall. And if you do, you will land safely and you will try again. Celebrate your past, celebrate where you are now, and celebrate what is to come. Happy New Years everyone!