The wonderful thing about a new year is the promise of fresh beginnings and the realignment of goals. The truth is we don’t really need an event like a new year to begin anew or set new goals and targets for ourselves. Still, as humans, the idea of a societally accepted line in the sand is a tempting proposition that we can use to realign and make new promises to ourselves. The problem often is that the motivation to be better starts to falter within the first two weeks of the new year. A study conducted in 2018 claimed that most people give up on their new year’s resolutions by 12th January! That’s not even two weeks into the new year. Are we as a species really that effete that we give up on our most important goals as soon as it gets difficult?
I have mentioned in previous blog posts and continue to tell my students in class the problem with using motivation as a tool to reach goals. The mistake most people make is they are using the wrong tool to achieve their goals. Motivation is a fantastic tool to get you started; this is why the first few days of your new year, you are sticking to your plan. But as life gets back to normal after the holidays and old thought patterns creep back in, motivation disappears, and this is when most people go back to how they were before.
The tool that is so often lacking is discipline. It is discipline that keeps you going when motivation has got you started. And discipline is rooted in the foundation that is resilience. The ability to face discomfort physically and mentally and not be halted or even destroyed by it. Be resilient and have discipline, and I promise you, your life will transform for the better.
“I can’t because...........” is the thought pattern that will always sabotage you. It is harmful and keeps your ego safe in its current state. Everything that has gone in your past, positive or negative, achievements and failures only matter if you choose to hold on to it. You are who you are today, and you have the power to achieve anything you want to achieve. You just have to get out of your own way. So promise yourself that you will get out of your own way now, and walk into 2020 with the most significant obstacle that is yourself left in 2019.
I hope you all have a happy new year and I look forward to helping you achieve your goals in 2020. I’ll end this year with a question to you from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus,
“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?”