Here we are, at the cusp of a new year. Any resolutions?
I find that the best way for me to stay motivated is to always have short and long term goals in mind, and to work toward them every day, even if only for a few minutes. There’s no dedicated start time, because I never tell myself I should do something. I just start doing it. Today. Now.
As human beings, we spend a great deal of time saying:
One day I’ll…<insert goal here>
And then we assume we’ve got unlimited time, and we wait. We wait for the perfect moment, for inspiration to strike, for life to get easier. To have more free time. Until the kids are a little older.
We wait for tomorrow. For New Years. Or a mid-life crisis. Or retirement.
I’ve made that mistake many times in the past, and now I try not to do it. Anything I want to accomplish, I’m doing a little bit of today. Each day, I write a sentence, or a few pages. I go to the gym and exercise. I eat (mostly) healthy foods. I spend at least a few minutes practicing martial arts. I keep up to date with continuing education for my job. I spend time with my kids and my wife. I garden.
Every day, I try to do the things I want to be.
I’ve learned - by making a lot of mistakes - that the little things I do every day, i.e. my habits, are the most important things in my life. They define me…and they define you. And in large part, they are the difference between us. We can’t control our personalities or our genetics, and we can’t change the past. But we can control our habits…and our habits are our destiny.
I tell my oldest son to do the things he wants to be. Not tomorrow, but now. Do them every day that it is humanly possible to. We spend far too much time making excuses for why we aren’t living the life we want. We blame our lack of progress on external things. But ultimately, if you write every day, you’ll finish a lot of books. If you exercise every day, you’ll be fit. If you spend time with your children every day, they’ll become as invested in you as you are in them.
Your most valuable resource is your time, and you only have so much of it. This isn’t a dress rehearsal. You can’t afford to waste a whole year waiting for the next inspiration to change. So stop making New Years resolutions, and start doing what you want to be. Every day, no matter what day it is. Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day.
Happy New Year, and good luck!