We're on the brink of a new year.
If you're like I am, that realization can be overwhelming. You have a blank canvas. You want to make every stroke count. Above all, you yearn to churn out a masterpiece with your dreams. But how? Where do you start?
I once had a conversation with one of my mentors about implementing change. So many times, something sparks us to make a huge shift in our lives – We suddenly find ourselves with what Good to Great author Jim Collins calls a "Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal" – living a healthy lifestyle, for example - We identify about 153 things that need to happen before we reach the summit of that mountain. And we want to be at the peak tomorrow. We expect to be.
The first day we even do all 153 things to make our healthy lifestyle happen. So far, so good. Day one, out of weeks and months, is in the book. Then something happens. The sun rises on day two, which is also a pretty good day, but not perfect like the first one. We only accomplish 151 things on our list. Five or six days in, if we are honest with ourselves, we can only check about half the boxes on the to-do list toward our big, hairy, audacious Goal.
Soon it gets to the point when we have all but forgotten about that larger-than-life goal. Except we haven’t forgotten. We haven’t forgotten because there was a reason we perked up and set the lifestyle goal in the first place. Now, all we are left with is shame. “It was a stupid goal anyway,” we say or “I was dumb to think I could do that,” we tell ourselves.
Fortunately for me and for you, my mentor offered a way to avoid this disappointment. His solution for the start of a new year? Instead of a huge list of changes to be made, ask yourself,
“What’s one thing I can do to show I am serious about change?”
Then do that one thing every day.
Simple enough, right? Now, what are you going to do?
As Tony Robbins says in Awaken the Giant Within, “More than anything else, I believe it's our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.”