It’s funny how you start hearing things differently as you get older. I’m sure we are all familiar with Nike’s slogan of “Just Do It” but has it really resonated with you?
Backing up a second . . . Happy New year! I can’t believe it’s 2020 already. So many 20/20 vision or tv meme’s out there to check out.
So here we are, at the start of a new year (let’t not talk decades just because it ends in a 0; unnecessary added pressure). And maybe you want to start your new year’s resolutions. Maybe you “don’t make resolutions” or maybe you do it later – I usually review life goals around Lent. At some point in your life (I hope), you are making your own personal goals.
But then the fear sets in. We may think “I want to lose 30 pounds” but by the time we write down the goal we say to ourselves – well, I don’t want to be one of those people that goes to the gym in Jan and is not there by March. Or how big of a number 30 is. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of our stretch goals. Or sometimes, and this is what a lot of us do, we make goals and don’t set ourselves up for success. If your goal is tied to things you don’t have or resources you don’t have access to, you will not succeed. Point Blank. So keep the goal but change the strategy.
If you want to lose weight, the first and simplest thing you can do is pick a day and time you will work out. Put it on the calendar. Make room for it. Life happens, but make it a conscious decision. If you can go to a gym, go to one. If you can’t – run outside or work out indoors. There are tons of free videos on YouTube.
Similarly, if you want a new job make tiny goals to get there – is your resume up to date? Are you on LinkedIn, have you practiced interviewing, do you know what you want to do? Do you SHOW UP at your current job? Excel?
Or if you want to feel more knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world – do you listen to or watch the news? (If you don’t like the biased main-stream versions, find one that appeals to you). Do you read books? Many free books at the library. Do you LISTEN or are you too busy TALKING?
Maybe you need a new [car/house/clothes/pet/attitude/diet] – do your research. Figure out what you need, and what it takes to get there. Save up. Use your time wisely. But most of all – JUST DO IT. Just start. You are guaranteed to fail at everything you never start. Who cares that you may go to the gym every day in January and then 3x/week in February. It’s between you and God what you do every day. As long as you keep progressing. You may start something and get bored, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you know your weaknesses, figure out ways to stick with it. Getting good at something isn’t necessarily about liking the mundane tasks, but agreeing to have the discipline to get better. You will be horrible when you first start playing the piano. No one will want to sit next to you to listen. But if you stick with it you will get better. You will be able to play songs you love.
In this INSTA-world, we don’t want to put in the hard work. We see YouTube sensations and things that go viral. Those are the 1%. If you want to be part of the 99% then you have to do the hard work. I love the quote “Failure is not an option” but it’s only half true. Yes, to truly fail at your goal is not good, but along the way there are tiny failures that we must be ok with. Perhaps the first 5K you run will be slow and you’ll finish in an hour or you don’t finish. That might be seen as a failure. But as long as you keep trying and keep pressing, you should keep getting better. Minor failures towards progress of success are going to happen. When we release ourselves from having to be perfect, we can enable this motivation to Just Do It.
You may not lose 30 pounds, but go to the gym anyway, because maybe you’ll lose 10. You may not get a new job, but get your act together so that you are ready when new opportunities present themselves. You may not be able to afford a new car, but used is new-to-you and you can keep yourself out of debt. You may not Beyonce but sing in the shower, dance in the kitchen – have fun doing it anyway. It’s when we don’t even try that we limit our possibilities.
ONE MORE THING: Be mindful of your cheerleaders. If you tell someone you are looking for a new job and you get an interview and don’t get the job and they say something along the lines of “I knew you wouldn’t get it” – THEN YOU NEED TO BENCH THEM! Surrounds yourself with people that will support you through your failures and that will be there when you succeed.
Life is short. No time for foolishness. Just Start. Just Try. Just Do It!