Review Your Yesterdays to Motivate Your Tomorrows – Which Makes Every Day a Winner

Depending on when you are reading this, I am writing it as another year comes to a close and a New Year dawns. I tend to get very reflective at the end of the year. Perhaps even a bit melancholy. When I think about 2021, however, I am primarily happy and satisfied. Why? Because I see the growth I have experienced in myself by pushing myself to become better in just about every area of my life. 

Let me issue a caveat and a word of warning straight away. This growth was not automatic, instant, or easy. In fact, if I were to go back and relive some of the days, weeks, and months, they were harder than heck and there were plenty of times I was ready to quit. I’m so glad I didn’t. Because while doing what was hard, I discovered what was possible. I can do a lot more than I give myself credit for. And so can you.

My friends, despite all that has occurred in this crazy world in the last couple of years, we are all on an even playing field when it comes to needing and wanting the most valuable asset we can ever obtain and hold on to. The problem is we have no control over it and f we are not careful it is gone before we even realize we had it. What is this highly desired and valuable gift we all seek? Time. 

As I grow older, I am learning how precious this gift is each year and how quickly it slips away. We all know it and yet we also fill our schedules and even out “free time” with so many activities, we hardly realize what we have missed until, perhaps at a time like this, we reflect back and wish we could redo so many things.  

Before you get the wrong idea, let me say that my intention is to use this space to encourage you rather than discourage you. I want you to be where I am at this point next year where you can reflect back and be grateful for how you have spent, and even invested your time. I’m not one to set New Year’s resolutions. If self-motivation worked out to be a panacea, then we’d have no need for self-improvement, self-awareness, and accountability. But we are all in need of more of all of those things. 

With that being established, I want to encourage you to use your past as a motivator to propel you to a better future. Many of us use our past as an excuse or prefer to ignore it and just wish it would go away but I am here to tell you that is a mistake. Your past has plentiful lessons to impart and should be a tremendous motivation to go forward into the future.

All of us wish we could have “do-overs” on a lot of things from our past. But as Zig Ziglar famously said, “Failure is an event, not a person.”  You, my friend, are not only definitely NOT a failure, but you are quite remarkable. As the Bible says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  You were created on purpose for a purpose and I suggest you start today discovering what that is. And don’t stop until you stop drawing breath.

Yes, the past can show us where we have made mistakes and how we can use those mistakes to propel us to do better in the future. If you don’t like the results you’re getting, you’ve got to try things you’ve never tried and do things you’ve never done. Otherwise, where’s the joy and adventure in life? 

With a little bit of time, along with a journal or a laptop computer, I believe you can very quickly review the past year and set yourself on a course to end up with new, different, and better results in the New Year. If you even take only a few minutes to ponder the following simple questions, I believe you will be well on your way.

What was your biggest accomplishment the last year?

What enabled you to make that accomplishment possible?

What was your biggest disappointment in the last year?

What will you begin to do today that will turn that disappointment into an opportunity for growth?

There are many others that you could consider but these get quickly to the heart of the matter. Then, you are ready to move on to a few questions related to the future. These are all related to where you want to be at the end of this year. 

What do you want your biggest victory to be? (This could be personally and/or professionally)

Who is the person you need to become in order to gain that victory?

What would that person do that you are currently not doing?

What steps will you take to get out of your comfort zone and to bring about the change you have been seeking, perhaps for a very long time? 

I promise you that you are able to do more than you think you can. When you get to the point that you want to quit, push yourself one step farther. That one step one time will lead you miles down the road if you keep taking one step further every day. Don’t wish you had started yesterday. Start today and see how great tomorrow can be. In a year you will be glad you did. And so will a lot of other people.

Happy New Year!

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