If you successfully complete all of your New Year's Resolutions each year, you may stop reading and go to the next thing on your to do list, otherwise keep reading.
I have never been a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. Why not? That's easy - over 2/3 of resolutions never go anywhere, nothing materially changes, and after a few short "now I feel better about myself" workouts, healthy meals, or fewer cocktails...things revert to the norm, the old "reversion to the mean" theory.
Why is that? I think it is easy - resolutions are too broad - too unfocused - and typically not well planned. Similar to most people's goal setting process - there is no process. Little to no accountability. And no prize identified at the beginning, to work toward attaining.
How should you do it?
Be careful here - this is where the "watch out what you wish for" warning comes into play. Big, Bold Statement Warning - NO DREAM IS TOO BIG IF YOU WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.
There - I said it - say it with me - NO dream is too big if I want it bad enough.
As I cautioned you, be careful - this is how my Ironman quest began. It took almost three year to get there. Would you work three years for your dream? What about thirteen? Or thirty? It might take that long. But the journey begins in a matter of seconds - it's called commitment.
Here's another word you won't like - change. Yep, it's change. I know you don't like change. Get over it. It's a requirement. Don't kid yourself. It won't happen without change. Remember that whole "insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results"? That's also the definition of stupidity, dumb, simple-minded, frustration and failure. It doesn't work and it won't work for you. So suck it up, buttercup. By definition we agree change is required.
So here's how it work.
1 Select the dream.
2 write down the steps to achieve it
3 write down the obstacles
4 figure out what it takes to overcome the obstacles
5 determine if the steps to achieve and the steps to overcome the obstacles are "worth it" - in other words - is the PRIZE worth the PRICE.
Simple, right? Yes it is SIMPLE - just not EASY.
Lets look at each step, here's how my Ironman dream became reality.
1 The dream/goal/resolution: complete a triathlon.
2 Steps - the original triathlon I found in 2007 was a super sprint distance. Swim - 200 yards
Bike - 9 miles
Run 1.25 miles
Seemed doable but I needed a plan - so I found a training plan online. The training was reasonable and the time required to train was okay and the weeks left to train were acceptable. Lets do this.
3 Obstacles -
I don't own a bike.
I play in the water, I don't SWIM.
I haven't run in 25 years, seriously.
I don't know if I can do this. This was the big one.
4 overcoming obstacles.
No bike - Debbie said "buy a bike"
Can't swim? Do some research, maybe take a lesson. I think I can swim 200 yards.
No running for 25 years? Two feet, two socks, two shoes - start slowly and see what you can do each day.
The big one - confidence. Debbie was very supportive from the first mention of this crazy idea. She and our daughter Taylour were the only people who knew I was doing this - I didn't want to let them down. Or myself.
Was the prize worth it?
Oh yeah it was. That crazy little triathlon led to my first Ironman finish in 2009 but it also taught me a lot more. It taught me I could do what I wanted to do, if I wanted it bad enough. It taught me the process. It is a process that works in all parts of life when applied.
Two final thoughts - eliminate negative thought and talk. Nothing negative. Negative people in your life - avoid them. You may find they are holding you back. Look for reasons why you WILL do something - why you CAN do something.
Finally, share your plan with someone. Be sure they are positive and will support you BUT also hold you accountable. They can let you slack. They are there to help you achieve your dream. If you can't think of anyone to help you with this step, let me know. I will help you.
No excuses, dream big, do it. Commit.
See you at the finish line.