A New Year’s Resolution – A Letter of Encouragement

Jan 17, 2020

It’s the middle of January. Not only is it cold, but it’s been a couple of weeks since most of us set our resolutions for the New Year. That excitement and determination we felt on New Year’s Eve about “training for an 8k” or maybe “giving up sweets” is starting to fall flat as thoughts like “running in January? No thanks!” or “Wait. Ice cream is amazing.” start to plant roots in your mind.

Last year I set so many goals for myself and I ended up falling short on many of them. I had a big vision and great intentions! But reaching a goal is like running a very long race – it requires energy, patience and sometimes your very own cheering squad (#GOPHIL!). This year I wanted to finish the race but realized that this time I needed to set myself up for success. I wasn’t going to reach my goals if I ran myself into the ground by thinking I could make tons of changes. Instead, I was going to focus on the three things that were the MOST important to me. Three goals that could change my life.

Did you know that less than 10% of people achieve the goals they make for the New Year? And most people give up by the middle of February! So, before you reach for that bowl of ice cream, think about joining me and committing to real change in the #3for2020 challenge.

My #3for2020 are:

  1. Be a better husband and father. I’m going to communicate better and be more present for my beautiful wife and our children.
  2. Increase my network of contacts by 500 people. This means meeting 1-2 new people every. single. day.
  3. Be a strong team member. I will consistently show appreciation for my team, even if it’s something as simple as saying “thank you.”

I will not let these goals die and end up in the graveyard of year end goals (like 90% of people do). These goals are too valuable, and I want to beat the odds and feel the deep satisfaction that comes from embarking on true change. If you’re starting to think the idea of running an 8k is ridiculous, please join me! Let’s stay motivated together by following a few basic principles to keep our goals alive:

  1. Simple but not easy: Don’t over think or over complicate your goals. Focus on putting one step in front of the other, each little movement boosting you towards the finish line.  Giving up sweets in the name of health is a simple idea, but we all know it’s not easy to execute when your colleague shows up with a dozen donuts from your favorite bakery on her birthday. If reaching a goal was easy, it would just be another item to cross off your to do list. It takes strength and determination to get there.
  1. Challenge equals progress: Every single hurdle you overcome along the way makes you stronger and more likely to succeed. If you aren’t challenged, you’re not changing. Don’t feel disheartened when faced with yet another challenge, think of it as proof that you’re making progress.
  1. Legacies are built in small moments: It’s easy to be overwhelmed thinking about a big change – 500 contacts to my network? That’s so many people! But obviously I’m not going to stand on the street meeting people until I hit my big goal. It’s about the small moments (the lady in front of me at Starbucks, the cashier at the grocery store). Records are broken in mere seconds. It’s that final push during a marathon that puts a runner ahead of another, then another. Don’t undervalue the impact a small moment can have on your life.

January will eventually end, and February will arrive. Most people will have completely forgotten about their goals for 2020 – Netflix (or in my case, Disney+) binges will replace evening jogs or trips to the gym. I want to stand out from the pack and feel as inspired and as excited about my goals as I was when I set them. I want to be mindful of how I’m progressing as February flies by and there are signs of spring.

I know there will be moments when an obstacle throws me off and I won’t know how to get back on track . . . but I won’t let a fall stop me. I’ll think about why I set these goals. My wife, my children, my friends and my co-workers are incredibly important to me – important enough that I’ll get up and start running again. No matter what.

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