As we begin a New Year, I hope that, as I do, you feel a sense of hope and opportunity to start anew. Sure, the fact that we have turned the page in 2021 and opened the book in 2022 doesn’t change many things that happened and are still valid from the past year. But at the beginning of a new year, I hope you develop the mindset of thinking about infinite possibilities instead of limiting beliefs.
I also want to say that possibilities, opportunities, and real growth do not come easily. It likely will take a great deal of effort. And this is where often the people who make progress get separated from the people who are progressively stuck in the same ruts year after year. As always, it is a subtle difference but with considerable differences in outcomes.
It is trite but true, as I have learned. No pain, no gain. Sure, you may be able to cut a few corners and achieve some advantages – in the short term. But if you want real, lasting, and sustainable growth, you’re going to have to work for it. Sometimes you have to overcome physical or financial limitations, but the biggest hurdle to overcome is your mindset.
How willing are you to get uncomfortable? Be careful how easily you slough off or dismiss that question because the point of accepting pain and uncomfortableness is arriving at the launchpad for growth. Often, with just one more step. One more question. How much effort do you put into trying to avoid difficult situations, conversations, and people? You can continue to do so. As long as you’re satisfied with achieving the same results you’ve been getting.
I love to use an example with people I coach and speak to about my growth. It is just one example in one area of my life, but the lessons I have found are applicable for everyone in some, if not most, areas of life. Almost two years ago, I started a membership to a new gym that opened close to my house. I was there for the opening night of the gym, and I’m still a member. Not only am I still a member, but I also still go there at least 4-5 times per week.
My whole life, I have struggled with my weight and have never really had a consistent exercise routine. Like so many other people, I tried many diets, programs, and classes to lose weight and get fit. I don’t mind giving a plug to my gym at all. For some reason, for me, Orange Theory Fitness is the place that has helped me transform my physical health. I am a very competitive person, especially with myself, and they have gamified fitness works for me.
Here are the lessons that I hope are meaningful and applicable to you. First of all, say I go to the gym 15 times a month. Probably 12 or 13 of those days I don’t feel like going when I wake up in the morning. I know myself, by the way, and if I don’t work out first thing in the morning, it is not happening the rest of the day.
When I wake up, I can quickly think of excuses for why I can’t go today. But I do it anyway. Even when I get to the gym, I still don’t feel like exercising. But I start regardless. And I keep going. Generally, about 15 minutes into my workout, I feel like doing it. But sometimes, it doesn’t happen until I’m finished. However, what happens every day is I feel great. Mentally unstoppable. Sure, I’m physically tired, sore, and in need of rest, but I am mentally secure in the fact that I have done something that I didn’t want to do, didn’t feel like doing, and frankly, if I thought about it enough could have convinced myself I wasn’t capable of doing.
Knowing that I conquered my fears and doubts gives me many things, not the least of which are self-confidence and a desire to do even more. Not just at the gym but in almost every other area of my life as well. Suddenly, my past struggles, current fears, and future doubts begin to melt away. That is a powerful feeling, and if you haven’t had that feeling lately, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to experience it as soon as possible. So what giant do you need to face today?
Finally, and this is the best part, once you and I develop the habit of overcoming our doubts, and our new practices become so routine we either don’t even think about them, or we even enjoy them, we begin to see real change. It’s not evident overnight. But within a few short weeks, you will notice the difference. And then a few short weeks more, and your family begins to notice, and finally, everyone sees the difference. And you, my friend, have turned a weakness into a strength.
Maybe you need to do as I have outlined and begin with a physical goal? Or perhaps where you need to start first is mental, spiritual, or financial? My encouragement to you is to pick one. And work on that one until you have mastered it. Allow yourself at least a couple or three months. But guess what? If you start today and develop three or four new life-changing habits this year, just imagine what will be possible a year from now? Dream BIG and share with me your thoughts and results!
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I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These special hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.