FINISH STRONG

2013 is fast heading into the rear-view mirror.  2014 is on the horizon. Most people are anxious and maybe slightly depressed at the way 2013 has panned out for them. What you DON’T need to do is beat yourself up for goals you didn’t yet accomplish. You’ve got plenty of other people who are happy to do that for you.  It doesn’t serve you to belittle or berate yourself for not accomplishing everything you set out to do.  In fact, if you did accomplish all of your goals for 2013, I could argue that you may have set them too low.

If you are like me, then each year you set many bold, daring and challenging goals.  In fact, the goals I set for a year are usually so audacious. But by setting the bar so high, I end up achieving great things – even if I only accomplish 60% of what I set out to do.

So don’t go negative.  Celebrate the progress you have made, and set your plan for what you can still accomplish by year’s end.  Then get to work today there is still plenty of time in the year to finish strong.

1. Acknowledge. You’re not the same person you were in January and you are not yet the person you are going to be in December. Take a look at the goals, resolutions, or intentions you had in January. Make sure they are still a good fit for where your life is now, and where you are headed. Eliminate anything that you adopted to please someone else, or because you thought you should. The hardest goals to achieve are the ones that were never really yours to begin with. Don’t hesitate to change course! I totally do not understand the social stigma associated with saying “I changed my mind”. To me, that statement means you’re thinking rather than blindly, numbly staying the course.

2. Forgive yourself. Once you acknowledge where you are and what’s not working, you’re all about moving on.  If you haven’t made the progress you intended so far in 2012, admit to yourself that you messed up, and then give yourself another shot.  No drama.

3. Stop sitting and get going. At this point in the year, stay fully cognisant of Isaac Newton’s wisdom: “An object at rest tends to stay at rest; an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” As you reassess your year’s goals, do not get frozen into a state of analysis paralysis. It’s often more productive to make a move, in any direction, even a wrong one. Once you’re moving, you can decide it’s not the right path for you and then change accordingly. However, the longer you sit without moving in any direction, the harder it is to get going. With your list paired down to the objectives that really mean something to you, and having dropped the unneeded bag of guilt over what hasn’t worked, you can start to move forward with renewed conviction.

4. Make a promise – to yourself. You make promises to other people and bend over backward to stay true to your word. Unfortunately, you probably don’t give yourself the same consideration. When you make a promise to yourself that you will work on something, you are making a commitment. Your promise is a vow you won’t break. Your word to yourself needs to be as meaningful a binder as giving your commitment to someone else. It’s time to make yourself a priority and put a laser focus on what you need.

Drop the guilt baggage on the side of the road. You are moving on to finish your year strong.

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