Keeping the New Year Momentum Moving in the Right Direction
Johnny Martin, M.Ed, Director of Support/Aftercare
The old saying, “you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, there is no in between” is a great daily affirmation and reminder to self that there is only one direction to move. FORWARD. Although life requires us to pivot, adjust, and even step back from time to time; our mentality should be focused daily on forward progress. As our 2021 goals, plans, and wish list become more distant in the rear view mirror; this month is a great month to take stock in what’s working. Equally important is to critically examine the work you have done thus far and re-evaluate what needs to happen to continue onward.
My friends, this is historically where MOST of us begin to fall off, at least that’s the case for me. I come out of the gate like someone lit my ass on fire, and over time, the fire dulls and I’m not as pressed to keep pressing. Over the years, this very obvious personal trend has forced me to have some difficult conversations with myself. How committed am I? How much am I willing to sacrifice? How much time have I REALLY put into this? Who am I really doing this for?
If you’ve read the above passage and it resonates with you that’s great because it means you’re being honest with yourself. If you’re anything like me, and most of us, you recognize that’s often the hardest part; being 100% emotionally honest with ourselves. In order for us to keep on track with our goals, we have to spare ourselves the bullshit that stands in our way. A solid first step in to honestly assess our first month towards our goals and get back on track before it’s too late. “Too late” does not mean your path is FUBAR, it just means getting back on track becomes exponentially harder. Why? Because most of us find the easier reasons to give up, rather than the deeper, more difficult, and honest answers required to grow.
This month is YOUR month to evaluate, evolve, pivot, and press on.
This is a great time to critically evaluate your past month as it relates to your goals. If personal praise is warranted, it is perfectly acceptable to “drink that shit in” and recognize what you have done thus far. Just don’t get drunk on your own Kool Aid. Once the pat on the back wears off, it’s time to keep moving forward. If you’re off to a slow start; that’s ok as well. The mistake we often make is convincing yourself that “it”, whatever that is for you, isn’t happening fast enough. If you are in a better place than you were a month ago, no matter how small, that’s called PROGRESS. Well done. Lastly, if you are evaluating the last month and you cannot check the previous boxes, then it’s time to have a difficult and 100% Emotionally Honest conversation with yourself. Start by answering the questions below and remember, this is ONLY about YOU. There is no right or wrong, just be 100% Emotionally Honest.
1. Why did I set this goal to begin with?
2. Did I create a specific plan with daily action steps?
3. Have I chosen other “things” in place of the work needed to accomplish my goals?
4. Today, RIGHT NOW, do I truly want this?
The answers to these questions will give you all the insight you need to determine whether or not you are on the right path. They will also give you an honest look at whether or not this goal is the one for you. Regardless of the answers, there is no failure here, just lessons.
develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form.
By definition, this is precisely what “Daily Work” is about. Our own evolution, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, occurs gradually. This is a great term to focus on throughout your journey; and should be a daily reminder that you are headed in the right direction. These small steps equal huge progress when measured against the desired outcome. If we are evolving, and improving by 1% each day, in just over 3 months, you have gotten 100% better in the area specifically aligned with your goals.
If your personal evaluation left you frustrated, angry, and feeling a bit let down; that’s ok. It makes the following two choices much easier.
1: You have recognized that this goal, right now, is not for you. We can dance around this, make excuses, and refer to the best self help books out there about how to fix it. Most of that will be complete bullshit. Not because any of that information is not valid, but because it does not align with your journey RIGHT NOW. So this choice is simple; create a new goal that is more aligned with what you REALLY want; not what you thought “felt” good in January.
2: Things for you are moving in the right direction, you feel it, and the results are measurable, even if small. This choice is simple as well; it’s time to PIVOT. Anyone that is committed to a goal and has completed challenging obstacles in the past; knows that being adaptable is critical for long term growth. Take a look at what is working well and keep doing it. The action steps that aren’t yielding any results must be altered. Any wasted time spent on our goals brings us no closer to them. It isn’t always about abandoning those steps; sometimes they need to be taken in a different direction. The ability to pivot successfully means taking stock daily of what is working, and what is not. If your commitment remains strong, and you are doing the work, you are inching closer to your goal than the 95% of people who got stuck at the starting line.
If your goal matters, the amount of work you put into achieving it will matter as well. Refer back to the definition of EVOLUTION as your daily reminder you are on the right track. Pay particular attention when frustrated with the term, GRADUAL. Again, this is where most of us fall off. Sometimes our “gains” are almost impossible to measure. We cannot see them, feel them, hear them, or have them validated by others. Your unwavering belief in yourself, trust in the process, and faith in what cannot be measured daily, IS THE DIFFERENCE.
If this journey is worth it for you; then so must be the extraordinary effort required to see it through. You got this, especially on the days when you don’t feel like it. That’s what makes the doers different from all the rest.