New Year, but New You?

Written by on January 1, 2018

Welcome to the Monday Mindwash. We’re here to give our minds a little scrub, get some of the dirt out. This weekly blog will challenge your mind, body, and especially those beliefs you store within. Well, you don’t actually think they’re your beliefs, do you?

This week I posed the question of whether or not you plan on having an actual 2018 or would you prefer 2017 part 2, 2016 part 3, or even 1995 part 23. It may sound silly, but most folks around you will choose to do a repeat of last year. Same career, same pay, same stress, same drama, same financial woes, and ultimately the same complaints and wishes for something better.

The dirt: It will get better this year, just hang in there.

While anything is possible, do you really expect it to get better on its own? Oh, this and that will change, but how many times have you gone for a drive blindfolded and just happen to end up in a better place? If you don’t know where you are going, every road will take you nowhere. A change will surely happen, but will it be the change you want?

What if you set one goal, that if achieved this year, would have a significant positive impact on your life?

Not 5 goals, not 10 goals. What most people do besides not setting any goals is they set too many, giving 10% to each of 10 goals and end up accomplishing none. It can demoralize us right back to that dreaded rinse and repeat.

Instead, let’s choose a goal that lights our fire, kicks our butt, raises the flagpole, or your local euphemism for the kind of giddy that comes from Christmas morning when you’re 5 years old. Something so incredibly exciting to us – not to our parents, neighbors, or best friend – that we don’t even have to set the alarm to wake up in the morning. Leave realistic for the losers, we’re looking for remotely possible if you gave it your all.

Once you have it, it’s time to write it down. Now. Seriously, right now. Go get a pad or paper. I’ll wait. Well? Don’t worry, they say it’s only weird the first time. Now every morning when you wake up, you must write this goal down. Not when you feel like it, not when it’s sunny, or when you’re in a good mood. Every. single. day.

How do you write a goal? While writing anything about your goal is better than nothing, here are a couple of things to consider:

  1. Be specific. Do you wish to be wealthy, happy, healthy? What is wealthy? Is it $100 or $100 million? Instead of a goal to be happy, make your goal that which will add to your happiness. Great to lose weight, but how much would be fantastic?
  2. Have clarity. Can you see it, touch it, taste it, feel it, and experience what it would be like to have accomplished something so great? If you can’t see it in your mind’s eye, it will be difficult to achieve.
  3. Set a deadline. Why do you think so many folks file taxes on April 15, the last day, 3 months after they could have?
  4. Write it with assumption. State your goal as if it were already obtained. “I would like to earn $100k this year” means that your goal is to “like to” earn money. What if your goal instead read, “I have earned $100k by Dec. 24th, 2018”? Can you feel the difference?

Hand-written is orders of magnitude better than typing. There’s a special power in writing since what flows through you, sticks to you. Plus it keeps the goal in the front of your mind. Naturally, this is not sufficient alone to achieve a goal, but it’s the first step. If you miss the first step, the second step may be too high to reach, leaving you on the ground floor forever. Can we agree that the whole point is to not stay at the bottom?

I realize I’m not asking much here. Write the one thing you really want to accomplish, on paper, with your hand, every day. But if you can’t do the easy stuff, how will you ever do the hard stuff? There’s an exciting year ahead, I expect you to be along for the ride.

“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” — Robert Heinlein US science fiction author (1907 – 1988)

Meet you at the top (because the bottom’s way too crowded),

Josh Zepess


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