When it comes to a motivational speeches, I often fall short. It may stem from a personal belief that motivational speeches are good for one time, short time lapse events. My philosophy has always been to persist, adapt and move forward every single day in some small way instead of trying to take giant leaps forward on rare occasions. That works but sometimes people need a little pick me up. So this is as close to motivational as I will get.
Starting My Movie Speech Right (3, 2, 1…) Now
January 1st is a great time for people to look back and reflect on the past year, right. I could have made a long post all about how much I accomplished this year and how this was the best year everâ„¢!
It wouldn’t have been true but it would have sounded nice. Professionally, I moved on from one of the best jobs I’ve had to one of the most challenging and difficult positions in my career. I made significantly more money than the previous year but more of it was eaten up courtesy of medical bills. I started a different website, merged with a social network but I am anxious to take it up a notch and deliver something with more “pow.”
People who had a great year want to do a 2008 year in review of their life because things were awesome. People who had a crappy year want to look forward to 2009 and hope that the things that sucked in 2008 will no longer be there. The people who have great perspective will talk about where they are now (only in slight relation to the past or future). Why do I think that’s great perspective?
January 1st Is Just A Date
People who get it know that the present is the most important state. So whether you evaluate your life on January 1st or May 12th or September 23rd, you still have to do something about it. The problem is if you are only evaluating where you are once a year, you aren’t getting a full year’s perspective and you don’t have much experience in adjusting yourself incrementally.
January 1st is another day. It isn’t a new beginning any more than any other day is. If you fail on your new year’s resolution on January 2nd, start again on the 3rd. When you fail again, start again. You are always one year away from being one year into your resolution.
Your goals and resolutions are destined to fail. Over and over again. If you can’t stand failing consistently day after day, forget about a new year’s resolution.
Don’t Resolve To Do It, Just Do It
I drive past Nike World Headquarters nearly every day and their slogan is “Just Do It.” You aren’t yesterday and you aren’t tomorrow. You are today. What you are doing right now? That’s you. And if you don’t like waking up to the you of today every morning, then it doesn’t matter if it is January 1st, May 14th, June 22nd, September 3rd, or any other date. The you of tomorrow can’t do anything because there is always tomorrow (with only one exception). The you of yesterday can’t help because time travel is fictional no matter how many times you watch Back to the Future.
Unfortunately, the you of the present has to take care of business. And the only way that person can take care of business is if you do like Nike suggests. Take your lumps, failures and set backs and keep doing it.
Why Do You Care Ghost of New Year’s Past, Present and Future?
Is this turning into a New Year’s version of A Christmas Carol? Fine, I’ll get to it. Every year, people I come into contact from all walks of life want to change something about their life. Many of those changes revolve around their career. Some want a career change, a promotion, a lateral move, a raise, whatever… Nine times out of ten? Failure.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Every day is your January 1st. It is going to be a new challenge every day. Simply acknowledging that it is going to be an on-going process and you are going to fail often and spectacularly along the way of reaching your 2009 goals and resolutions is a difficult mental transition. And if you are still reading at this point, I have to acknowledge the fact that most of you who agree with this advice won’t change your thinking starting January 1st.
There are no quick take aways here other than the fact that I am annoyed by New Year’s resolutions and I want people to cut it out. If you aren’t making goals consistently throughout the year and if you aren’t taking the temperature of them along the way, you’re not only going to fail (which isn’t bad), you’ll also never progress.