Looking Forward Into A New Year

Friends

I'm planning a very big night tonight. Yep, it's 3pm and I am sitting at my laptop thinking about the year that's wrapping up. So before rushing off to crush loads of drinks, I wanted to spend a couple of hours to myself, collecting my thoughts and sharing them with whoever cares to read. And then... I shall drink! 

2016 - A Year To Remember? 

Family

Strangely, I've heard very few people talk about 2016 fondly. Perhaps I'm closed off to the greater perspective but amongst my friends circle, the majority are glad to see the back of her. I think in part, it's a reflection of the current landscape of international uncertainly. We've had big personalities die, an escalation of "terror tension" on the global level and the assumption of "free world leadership" by an arrogant, obnoxious, racist, sexist soon-to-be president. It's hard not to be slightly concerned about this. 

But as with all years, the personal highlights are there if you look hard enough. For me, it was hitting two goals I had set out a long time earlier - to write and publish a book AND to become a qualified Personal Trainer. These were goals that were personal challenges for me and were never about making money. I'm proud to say that in having achieved these things, it's allowed me to empower others to do the same. 

Celebrating Your Wins

One of the most important actions to take tonight is to stop and think about what you have achieved or experienced this year. Too often, we enable the days to roll into weeks, weeks to roll into months and fail to take stock of how much we have grown. We chase the next sugar-hit without first taking the time to savour what was beautiful. 

I am the worst at this. I am so ambitious about pursuing my goals that I find it difficult to rest, to stop and "smell the roses". Why don't we have a toast together, now, to acknowledge the work promotion you got, the 3kg you lost or the charity contribution you made? Before you consign these things to history, pat yourself on the back and recognise your efforts. These things are the fuel for your fire into the new year. 

Resolutions and Goals

Two facts:

  1. I am massive on goals, dreams and aspirations; 
  2. I am not massive on NY resolutions. 

A man without goals drives a car to an unknown destination. Yet setting yourself up with traditional New Year's resolutions that are poorly thought out, poorly constructed and unlikely to be attained will feed your self-limiting beliefs in the statistically likely outcome of resolution failure.

I love the concept of a "fresh slate". A new year provides that room for space and creativity but you shouldn't rush to fill that with items that mean little to you on an emotional level. For instance, stating that you want to drop 10kg next year is fine, but I'd ask a load of questions to clarify your buy in:

  • Is 10kg realistic? 
  • By 10kg, do you mean pure body fat? 
  • If you lose 10kg by December 31st 2017, will that be a success? Or are we talking sooner? 
  • What is the reason you're wanting to lose weight? What is your 'why?'
  • It's great to state that you want to lose 10kg, but have you really thought about how? Do you have the tools, the knowledge? 
  • And even if you have the tools, do you have the willpower? 
  • What will happen if you don't lose 10kg? Are there consequences? 
  • Do you have a support network to catch you when you fall? 

You see what I am saying? A recently inspired NY resolution might actually work against you in terms of achieving what you TRULY want. 

Friends

Keep It Simple and Realistic

Rather than coming up with a list of feel-good ideas that you might be able to connect with, leave your goal-setting until the 3rd or 4th of January, 2017. Let the hangover wear off before you decide what the one or two things are that you would REALLY like to commit to. Nothing good will come out of you deciding on a $60/week fitness program that you'll never use when you're in the depths of your "beer fears". 

When you feel you have the space to really set some concrete goals, I'd suggest reading this previous post about the SMART format of goal setting. This will really assist in the formulation of well constructed goals. 

After you have compiled you concise set of goals, I'd review them, asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does this goal mean enough to me that I am willing to push through pain to achieve it? If not, you won't achieve it...
  • Is this goal under-pinned by an emotional 'why?' - a higher reason that makes achieving or experiencing this goal a key priority for you in your life.
  • Are you equipped with the information and support to make achieving this goal a likely outcome? A good tradesmen never blames his tools but it's pretty hard to build a house without a hammer. 

Good luck with this and importantly, enjoy the process. If the setting of your goals doesn't fire you up, then perhaps they're the wrong goals. 

11 Lessons Learned in 2016

I apologise for the somewhat ad-lib, scattered layout of this post. This writing is as much for me as it is for you. 

I wanted to finish with a short list of the 11 things I learned or reaffirmed in 2016 and which shaped my year. I hope you enjoy! 

  1. You are stronger than you know and it's a damn shame for you to not realise this EVERY day. 
  2. People are inherently good. They fuck up at times, as I do but it's what makes us mortal. 
  3. There is zero wrong with living it up at times. Blow off some steam. If it helps you to regain your presence, then that's a worthwhile investment. 
  4. Finding presence is very hard but if you can keep yourself rooted in the now as often as possible, you will experience more happiness. 
  5. The ONLY person you can REALLY trust is yourself. This is not a negative statement, it's a simple fact. You mean the most to yourself. 
  6. Good, loyal, honest friends show up when you need them most. You don't have to see them every day, they're always there. 
  7. Opportunities come out of the most unlikely experiences. Don't close yourself off to possibility be being narrow-minded. 
  8. The easiest way to change your internal state is to change you external state. Building a physically and emotional fit body does incredible wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. 
  9. You get what you tolerate. You put up with shit, you get shit back. Don't tolerate stuff you're unhappy with. 
  10. Spend more time with your family. Work, fun and Facebook will be there when you come back. They'll forever be there, your family won't. Love and embrace them. 
  11. THE SEXIEST THING in the world is a radiant smile. One of those big toothy smiles; the one's that show the canines! So sexy!
Happy New Year brother! And here's to a magical 2017 - Now let's get on those beers!