We’ve all found ourselves far from the path we set out on. By the end of January, many of us look back at our well-intended New Year’s Resolutions and wonder where we went wrong. Maybe at the start of 2017 you had a clearly defined goal to lose weight. Maybe that goal had to do with finding a new job or going back to school. Whatever the case may be you had a crystal clear perspective and drive to be a better version of yourself. But as days, months, maybe even years past you found yourself slowing down the race towards your dream. You became complacent with what you had and started to find ways to live with where you are in this moment. Before you know it those dreams and goals you had for yourself come back and tap you on the shoulder reminding you of what you don’t have. If you’re reading this, you’ve decided to take a stand and fight on towards the dreams you set for yourself. The question still stands, how do you keep history from repeating itself? How do you make sure 2017 doesn’t look like years past?
In order to overcome the barriers that prevent you from being successful you must decide today that excuses are no longer an option. Whatever prevented you from being successful before no longer has a hold on you. You have to decide that you are the only person that determines your destiny. This looks different for different people. Your goals could be something tangible like losing weight or getting more active in your community. You might be looking to make some type of spiritual change to who you are as a person. Whatever the case may be know that you are the only person that determines the amount of success you achieve.
Understand that you have more potential than you realize. Potential is a funny thing. Some of us grow up hearing about the potential adults see in us. Some of us don’t hear about our potential until we go through college or trade school. Take a moment to think about what your potential is and how you currently use it. What areas of your life are you holding back? Where could you grow in these next few weeks, months, and years? Whatever potential you think you have exponentially multiply it. There is nothing standing in your way of reaching your goals this year. But remember potential left to untouched is like milk left out. It spoils as the window of opportunity closes.
Set realistic goals and stick to them. When I am goal setting for the new year I tend to think big and lofty goals. I want to lose 30 pounds in two months, overcome my bitterness overnight, be a better daughter, student and Christian. The fact of the matter is change does not happen overnight. Big goals are made up of smaller steps that help you reach the big picture. I like to think about it like I would going to the doctor. When you go to the doctor for an illness you rarely come out of the office one hundred percent happier and healthier. You usually to make some lifestyle changes, take some medications, and follow up with your practitioner to determine if any change happened. The same goes for goal setting. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds don’t let the fact that you lost 5 the first month stop you short on your goal. If your goal is to overcome bitterness or regret do not chastise yourself for having a hateful thought or being angry. Set a smaller goal that you can continue to alter to reach closer and closer to your goal.
Find an accountability partner when situations get difficult. Most of us stop short from reaching our goals because we allow the barrier of negative thinking to destroy our productivity. Sometimes it becomes impossible to talk yourself out of whatever thought you might be stuck on. When you find yourself circling the “I can’t” find an accountability partner to remind you of how far you’ve come. Be completely honest with this person when it comes to how you reach your goals. When you get discouraged allow for this person to encourage you and offer a fresh perspective. When you are celebrating a win allow this person to celebrate with you. Accountability partners are for the good times and bad, so be sure to use them!
Understand the fear of falling short is much worse than the shame of stopping short. You might find yourself afraid to even try at all. Maybe you’ve tried losing weight before to no avail. Maybe you’ve tried to make changes to your personality you couldn’t achieve. Whatever the case may be the fear of falling short hurts much worse than the shame of stopping short. If you never try you will never know what you are capable of doing. Even your potential has potential do be more than you thought it could be. If you give something your all and come up short you always have an opportunity to try again. You won’t live with the “what ifs” if you give something your all every time you go for your goal.
Barriers come in all shapes and sizes. They could be physical barriers such as monetary or physical limitations. They could be the emotional barriers you’ve put up telling yourself you can’t do it. Recognize what the barriers are and realize that they only have the power you give them. Don’t beat yourself up for the setback, simply see it as a setup for things to come personally and professionally. You are stronger than you think in every way. If you started 2017 with goals for yourself take some time to reflect on these goals and determine what you can do to live this year with no regrets. If you go through this year wanting no regrets no barrier will get in your way to becoming the person you want to be this year.