Well, that’s it.
My final post of 2017.
I can’t believe I am saying such a thing.
Two years ago, I didn’t even have one post, and when the idea was suggested to me that I start blogging, I found the thought over-whelming.
I remember thinking to myself back then, "I can’t write a weekly blog post". Now it has become a regular part of my business, a regular part of my routine.
I’d be lying if told you I just sit down and pour out reams of excellent thoughts and ideas. It still takes work and lots of thinking. That’s because this blog is not just for me, it’s also for you. I really want it to help you in some way.
So in today’s post, I want to encourage you to do something you haven’t done before, something you might think is beyond you, something you’d like to reach for.
It’s at this time of year that we think about such things. It’s the time of year when we take stock and make plans.
Making plans is not always easy. There’s a lot that can get in the way but it’s usually one big obstacle - ourselves!
But there’s a way to use ourselves to overcome ourselves and here’s how…
We all have our lists.
This coming year I’d like to _________________.
Pick your goal - lose 10 pounds, get out of debt, get a better job, make more money, enjoy family more, travel more etc.
The problem for most of us is that when we see a big goal, we fill our minds with all the work it’s going to take to get there. We see the challenges and the reasons we could fail. Those stand out like big neon signs.
It can be difficult to put all that out of your mind.
And once you start thinking like that, it makes that mountain even higher, even harder to get started with.
I know because I have had much experience with negative thinking over the years. They say that artists and musicians keep negative thinking around like a dog hangs on to his favorite bone.
Brag a little
Google Analytics tells me that you readers are of a certain age. This tells me that we both have been around long enough to have some accomplishments under our belts. We have both lived a little and that’s a good thing (even though we might not move on the dance floor like we used to - or is that just me?)
I’m also going to assume that, like me, you’re busy and you don’t usually take the time to appreciate some of your accomplishments.
But you need to.
I’m not saying you need to brag to others, but you do need to brag to yourself.
You have overcome some challenges.
You have done some things that you are proud of.
And let’s not forget your mistakes. You’ve made some good ones, haven’t you? I know I have.
(BTW - if you’re still feeling beaten up by your mistakes, you’ll want to read this popular post.
These mistakes are what got you to where you are today. They’ve been part of your journey.
Now take a moment. Think about a couple of your proudest moments.
Actually, make a list – a list of things that you’ve accomplished, that you’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into. I’ll bet you have many. It’s ok. I’ll wait….
Here’s a few from me.
I think of the times (and there were many) when I was really nervous for a performance and ended up having a great show. Like when I played in my first Broadway musical as a substitute. (That means no rehearsal – I just practiced my part on my own (to a recording) and then played a live show along with the regular players who had done it so many times that no wrong note would pass unnoticed.
Or even just a couple of years ago, playing a very delicate exposed solo to open a concert in front of a large audience at Koerner Hall in Toronto.
Or my first really big gig as a corporate speaker doing a program on collaboration for 200 Hewlett-Packard employees some 20 years ago.
There’s lots more too, and that’s a good thing.
When you get your list, I want you to hang it somewhere where you can see it for the next few weeks, especially when you’re thinking about goals for 2018.
Do you see how huge this is?
Any time you have a goal, it’s very easy for the dark side of your mind to creep in and tell you you’re going to mess up or that you can’t do it.
Big goals take time, and they take effort. They are not accomplished over night but by discipline, hard work and perseverance.
The thing that has always gotten me through those situations is reflection, i.e. remembering the little successes that happened that maybe only I know about.
That’s what I did with all those high pressure gigs. I put the fears aside by thinking about things I have done and done well. I put them aside by remembering my hard work.
And by the way - here’s the thing about hard work. It’s yours. Nobody can do it for you and no one can take it away from you. You own every bit of it. Maybe people helped you and supported you, but you did the work. Never forget that.
Speaking of support, I’ll bet you have some. Even some you haven’t used yet. Don’t be afraid to share your goals with friends or family (the supportive ones, that is).
For me, I think about my colleagues who have supported me by their compliments or by their recommending me for other work. I think of clients who have reached out to me with their kind words or passed my name onto others.
And you have those believers too!
How awesome is that!
So as you sit down to think about the coming year and what you’d like to do or accomplish, don’t do some willy-nilly list-making over too many glasses of bubbly (or especially the morning after).
Give yourself some time to think about those great accomplishments from your past. Take the time to recall your best you and what you can make happen when you really want to.
Now write down those goals and make a realistic plan about how you’re going to get there.
That’s what I did with this little blog and, as I tell people who say to me they don’t know if they can do their own blog, if I can do it, anyone can. You just need to reflect a little.
Have a great holiday season and, as always, I welcome your comments.