Every January 1st, many people around the world start their year with a resolution to better their lives in some meaningful way. Perhaps they aspire to live a healthier lifestyle, as many often do, or maybe they want to be a better parent or partner and have an external impact on the lives of others. I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions, but this year is different for me - in a good way. The first week of January I came across some motivational videos on YouTube (because why not), and it got me thinking about what I wanted in life and why I wasn't taking immediate action to accomplish those things. The advice from the videos evoked an internal excitement in me unlike anything I had experienced in awhile. For the first time in months I felt inspired - not just to be happy, but to actively seek happiness. I reluctantly accepted that happiness couldn't just be a goal. It had to be a state of mind. So at some moment, during the middle of the video, I knew I had to set goals to reach that state of mind. I want to be happy. I want to be successful. I want to be my best self possible this year.
It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I came to that conclusion. Up until then I knew I wanted to be happy and achieve both personal and professional goals, but I made excuses and allowed myself to make little to no progress by telling myself that success would find me. In reality, I was being unsuccessful. When unsuccessful people set goals and start thinking about what's going to be required to accomplish those goals they begin to limit their expectations of themselves and what's actually possible. Specifically, unsuccessful people say three types of things:
First, they often times say "I don't know how to do that" - so they stop.
Or they say "I don't have those things" - so they stop.
Or they say, "I'm not like those people" - so they stop.
A successful person takes their limitation and puts it on their agenda as a goal to accomplish. When a successful person says "I don't know how to do that," they don't stop at that realization. Instead, they say "My job is to go learn that;" or when they say "I don't have those things," they respond with "My job is to go create those things;" and when they say "I'm not like those people," they reply "My job is to become more of that person who can accomplish those things." Successful people must first be their best self possible and that is why I am committing myself to becoming my best self this year.
But what does it mean to be my best self? How do I become my best self? In many ways I've already done so by simply committing to the improvement of myself - something I hadn't done in years. But it goes even further. Today I am better than the person I was yesterday, and the day before that, and so on and so forth. Tomorrow, I am going to take the things I learned today, apply them where necessary, and continue to inch closer to my goals. Being my best self means I change my attitude and approach life with optimism rather than pessimism. Becoming my best self means I act on my newfound attitude to create positive developments in my life rather than remaining complacent to current situations. All this must come from within, because only I have the power to make the most out of my life. I want to think this clearly everyday and remain just as determined on December 31st, 2016, as I am today.
So for this year I am committing myself to accomplish one major goal each month. These are goals, both personal and professional, that have been on my radar for quite some time now, and for one excuse or another have not received any momentum. This is not a New Year's resolution. Being my best self will be a way of life and that is partially why I am writing this. I want to be held accountable for my success or lack thereof, and you're going to help me do it. By typing this out I have now made family and friends aware of this goal. Those who know me well enough know that I am a determined individual who, in the past, has enjoyed participating in monthly personal challenges, such as No Shave November and adopting a vegetarian diet; among other things. While these voluntary challenges have allowed me to create fun tests for myself, I received little tangible benefit to personal or professional development.
I am starting the year off, like many others, with a goal to get into the best physical shape I have been in in a decade. And I don't mean I will be completing a couple reps on free weights. I'm pushing my limits. For the month of January I will run a mile in under 8 minutes - something I haven't done in probably 12 years. As an asthmatic who probably worked out a dozen times in my entire college career this is going to take some dedication. Since watching the motivational videos the first week of January I have made it to the gym almost every day; and that's damn good for me. Dedication leads to results so I am forcing myself to take a few puffs of the inhaler and reach intermediate goals leading up to the full mile, such as running a half mile in under four minutes.When you're body is healthy, all other goals become much easier to reach; and I want to reach this goal.
I'm not sure if I will record my goals in a public forum. I thought about vlogging, blogging, or even using snapchat to share my daily progress with everyone, but that just seems too ridiculous for some of my personal goals; and quite frankly I don't think I could provide much entertainment value aside from a monthly update. So now that you know my first goal to becoming my best self I will assume that those who care to know my other monthly goals will go out of their way to ask me and be genuinely interested in my growth. If you too would like to become your best self possible this year feel free to contact me - even if we haven't spoken to each other in a decade. Reaching our goals is always easier with support and encouragement from others. I'm looking forward to this time next year.