It’s New Year’s time folks and that means it is the season to reflect on what you did this past year and make changes for the upcoming year. Do you plan on losing weight? Do you plan on quitting an unhealthy habit? What ever your resolutions may be I want you to understand something: according to Michael Hyatt only 8% of us are successful with our resolutions. That stinks. In other words, if we all were taking a test then 92% of us would fail that test. I don’t know about you but I would rather bat .900 than .08.
Instead of focusing on goals or resolutions I want to instead turn your attention to the year in general. Focusing on the year itself might actually help you with your individual goals. When a person comes to renovate your house he or she is probably going to start with a basic question like, “What do you want to accomplish with this renovation?” He or she is not asking if you want travertine or marble counter-tops to start with. They want to see the forest first then look at the individual trees.
Below are some general thoughts when I think about looking at your 2016 as a forest. It is the first of two posts where I try to get you to think “big picture” when it comes to 2016. You only have a couple of days to think about it so first I want you to think of 2016 as the worst year possible. What would it look like if 2016 were your worst year? See if you agree with me on these.
2016 will be my worst year ever if…
I continue to harbor resentment and begrudge people.
Nobody likes a bitter apple and the same goes with a person who is angry and won’t let go. We all have lists of people who have wronged us leaving wounds that hurt. Many of us have not allowed those wounds to heal into scars and so we live our lives bitter and cold. Maya Angelou once said: “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” Want to make your year the worst? Stay bitter and don’t get better.
I make it all about myself.
Have you noticed that many of our resolutions tend to be about myself than others? Many want to lose weight so they can have a killer body and look good in a particular outfit. Many want to make more money so they can have bigger and better toys. Losing weight and making money are both good but when we make it about ourselves we lose the focus of helping others. I am losing weight this year so that I can be healthier for my wife and kids. Want to ruin your year? Be selfish.
I don’t embrace challenges.
My brother-in-law is helping us repair some flooring in our kitchen. We have encountered some challenges that we didn’t foresee. He told me, “Anytime you do renovation it’s like this man. It’s never easy.” We could give up, turn inward and mope about the challenges or we can embrace them and learn from them. If nobody embraced challenges then we would not have discovered electricity, walked on the moon or dunked on Patrick Ewing. I have learned that whenever there is a challenge presented, there is a lesson I need to learn.
I don’t seek help from a mentor.
This may sound like the weirdest thing you ever heard but it is so important to learn from people who are far more experienced and successful than you are. Plutarch said, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” The problem is that too many of us got the IHAVEGOTITFIGUREDOUTATITIS. It is a dreadful disease and usually leads to little or no growth. Nicole Fallon writes a good piece called, “5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Mentor” that is well worth your time. Of course, if you have it all figured out then have the worst year ever and never learn. But you already knew that right?
I insist on being a dirt bag.
“When you are pursuing your dreams, they will call you CRAZY because they are LAZY. They never know you are a HERO who just jumped away from step ZERO. Stay away from negative people; they will only pollute you” (Israelmore Ayivor). I am tired of negativity. It is like an infectious parasite that infiltrates every fabric of our being. Some people are just, as my father-in-law so eloquently says, dirt bags. These people have huge issues with their self-esteem so they find it important to bring everyone else down to their level. It’s like someone who is overweight and does not want you to diet because they do not want to diet either. Confronting their pain is far more of a task than to manipulate the pleasure of others. Want to make your year (and everyone else) the worst? Be a dirt bag.
In my next post I plan on building off of this post to discuss how you can make 2016 your BEST year.
What would you add to this list?