If you're like most people, you've got a laundry list of things you'd like to do, or things you'd like to learn. If you're like most people, that list doesn't get shorter. If anything, it gets longer because we don't make the time to do the things on our lists.
We have great ideas and moments of inspiration where we say things like, "I want to learn Spanish," or, "I want to play the guitar," or, "I want to write a book." But then we don't do much with that idea or inspiration.
Ultimately, we look back on those ideas and say things to ourselves like, "If only I had some more time..." The reality for most of us is this: We have more time than we realize. Sure, we don't have large blocks of time, but there are little chunks of time (10-15 minutes) scattered throughout most of our days. What are we doing with those little chunks of time? Most of us have defaulted to checking our phones (myself included). But what if we created a list of all the things we want to do and want to learn? What if we carried that list with us and defaulted to checking it instead of checking our phones? Let's call this list our "To-Grow List." It contains items that help us learn something new or move toward a specific goal. What if instead of checking Facebook or Twitter, we logged in to Duolingo and completed a 5-minute Spanish exercise? What if instead of looking at Instagram we practiced guitar for 10 minutes? What if instead of checking email we wrote a few pages of our book? Today I encourage you to create a "To-Grow List." What are some things you want to learn or get better at? What is something you put off to the side with the plan to come back to later? What are some actions that you know will move you forward if you can just find a couple of minutes to do them each day? Make a list. Carry it with you. Check it twice (at least). Use it to grow.
Make it a great day! Coach Chris
At some point today, someone is going to give us praise or thank us for doing something. We'll probably reply, "It was no big deal. Don't worry about it." We'll say this because we're trying to be modest. At some point today, someone is going to offer us help. We'll probably reply, "Thanks for the offer, but I've got it." We'll say this because we don't want to put them out.
We turn down praise and we turn down offers of help because we think we're helping the other person. What we're actually doing is robbing that person of the opportunity to give us a gift.
Think of the last time you did something nice for someone. It felt really good, right? You were able to lighten someone's load and you received the good vibes associated with knowing you helped someone. Think of the last time you paid someone a compliment. You got to see the smile come across their face, and you got to see their confidence level increase immediately. When we turn down compliments and offers of help, we are turning down gifts. We are preventing the other person from having the wonderful feelings associated with giving someone a gift. Accept the gift. Remember this today. It might be the best gift you can give someone!
Make it a great day!
I'm not giving up today
There's nothing getting in my way
And if you knock knock me over
I will get back up again, oh
If something goes a little wrong
Well you can go ahead and bring it on
'Cause if you knock knock me over, I will get back up again
Whoa oh oh oh oh, get back up again, whoa oh oh oh oh oh"
January 1st seems like such a clean marker to start or stop doing something. The new year brings with it new possibilities of better days ahead. Out with the old and in with the new!
January 1st is but one of 365 days in the year though. What's stopping us from using January 4th as a day of new beginnings? Or May 4th? Or August 20th?
When we put January 1st on a pedestal, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and we set ourselves up for disappointment.
I read an article in Forbes recently that said 80% of all New Year's Resolutions fail by the beginning of February. That's a lot of disappointment! That means 80% of us are feeling bad about ourselves between January 1st and February 1st. 80% of us think of ourselves as failures in the first month of the year!
The odds are against us to stick with a New Year's Resolution for the entire year. It's unreasonable when you think about it.
If you haven't worked out for three years, can you really expect the rather arbitrary turning of the calendar to be all you need to suddenly start working out 7-days a week? No!
Making resolutions, or simply committing to self-improvement is admirable. We should all be looking for ways to get better every day in as many areas as possible. And we're not failures if we're unable to go 365 days in a row doing (or not doing) something!
We're probably going to fall down. Making positive changes includes lots of barriers and stumbling blocks. The important thing is whether we get back up again.
You only made it three days in a row working out to start the new year before missing a day? So what?! Congratulations on doing something good for yourself. Today is a new day and a new opportunity for a brand new commitment!
You only made it one week without eating junk food? So what?! Congratulations of making good choices for a whole week! Each meal is a new opportunity to make healthy choices!
All wagon rides are bumpy, right? Falling off the wagon is simply part of the bumpy ride. We're probably going to fall off at some point. But every time we get back on, we bring with us new information about what works and what doesn't work.
Every day is January 1st when it comes to resolutions. We have to make a new commitment each day. Very few things that are good for us become second nature. We must choose to do them. We must commit to addressing them. We must make them a priority. We must do this every single day. And some days are going to be harder than others!
I'm reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer decides he's not going to talk anymore. He messes up a few times and then says, "Starting...
When you mess up/fall off/skip a day, take a page out of Kramer's book. Start over right there with a simple, "Starting NOW!"
Have a great day!