We are down to the final days of 2016. Many of us are looking back on our year and making plans for the one ahead.
The first day of the new year comes with a tradition in western culture where we promise ourselves that we will accomplish certain actions. We call them new year’s resolutions and while many people make them every year less than 8% actually accomplish them.
I have watched this unfold year after year at various gyms across the country. January rolls around and they are slammed full of people for the first week making it hard for the regulars to get in a good workout. Some people begin the month doing two-a-day workouts. By February 80% are no longer working out. The excuses are always the same: I’m sick, my children are sick, I have no time, I got hurt, work is busy, I’ll do it home. Sadly, by March 98% have quit. The key is not two-a-days, the key is patience: slow and steady progression.
Last year I decided that I would not eat refined sugar and I decided to stay closer to my former fight weight. It seemed an impossible task. I eat healthy for the most part, but I enjoy a few treats. One in particular that I enjoyed is candy corn. I love candy corn, and they have recently come out with so many new flavors that I have wanted to try! The end of the year is now here and I have made it the whole year without eating a single candy corn!
Another goal I had during 2016 that has been very hard for me to do is to let go of grudges and anger that I had towards others. I have made progress, but this is a lifetime goal and will take a lot more work.
I had a few other goals in 2016, all of which I worked on bit by bit, and accomplished. This year I have a few new ones.
I will start by defining my goals with a definite finishing point. Goals don’t begin with, “I will try,” or “I would like to.” They will be goals that while difficult are achievable with hard work.
I will have to be patient, because nothing will happen over night or even in a month if it is worth it. It is hard to see progress, but change will come.
If your goals are fitness related, you will reach a plateau – most likely more than once – on your quest. This is where it takes strength to keep going. When you make it past these difficult points you will notice notable, change.
I speak to a lot of people who tell me they wish to write a book. A common reason for not writing it is time. Everyone can find an hour a day to write. If you cannot write at home, go to a coffee shop or a library for an hour. It is work, you have to do it on a regular schedule. The more you do, the better your work will be. Don’t worry about getting it just right at the beginning, because the first draft never will be right and neither will the second. Instead, get it on paper from beginning to end and then go back and make it better.
Vocalize your goals to others, they become real when you state them. It helps when others are involved and keep you accountable by asking about them.
If you do something every day it is like putting money in the bank. Some days I do not feel like training, but I do. Writing is the same, but as long as I do something, it will be better than nothing.
If something beyond my control happens or even if I just get lazy, I make myself get back into it right away. You might feel that you are starting over. It will be easier if you string together as many days as you can without missing any.
People often say Friday is my cheat day, or rest day. Try to avoid that and keep a floating day off instead. This way if something comes up on Sunday or Monday take that day off from your schedule and then go right through the rest of the week.
This year I will read the Bible start to finish. I will also write two books. My last goal is to have a podcast or a radio show of my own.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself.