2014 is nearly here! With the new year comes new year’s resolutions, which really are goals we set for ourselves, to better ourselves in some way. However, all too often, we fail to attain our glistening resolutions that have been sanctified in the clinking of champagne glasses and the exchange of new year well-wishes. Why?
I’m writing this blog mountainside, specifically fireside, from Colorado, where my family embarks every year the day after Christmas for a week of snow adventures. It’s my favorite time of year for a lot of reasons: We bond. We engage in unstructured time spent together. It strengthens us as a family, and it allows me to think about the past year- what is going well and what isn’t, what I like about myself and what I’d like to improve, what I am focusing on and perhaps what I should instead be focusing on. Reflect. Regroup. Part of making and attaining good resolutions is knowing where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go.
One of the main activities we enjoy as a family here on the mountain is skiing. Every year, I can’t wait to get to our favorite ski resort and hit those slopes. But every year, I forget that I am gripped with terror the first time I have to get on a chairlift and swing precariously over deep ravines. I forget that when my teenage kids push me to go higher and higher, down increasingly challenging runs, I balk. But guess what? Every year, I get on that chairlift, over and over. Every year, I go all the way to the utmost summit of this majestic mountain, and I ski all the way down. Every year, I feel a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of serenity with myself.
How does all that relate to resolutions or goals?
Sometimes you just have to take that first step and not over think it (getting on the chairlift). Trust yourself!
Don’t look too far ahead. Focus on what is right in front of you, and stay focused on the solutions, not the barriers. The big picture can be daunting and cause even the best of us to give up (going down long, hard, steep slopes).
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else - gauge your progress as just that - YOUR progress. It doesn’t matter if it’s fast or slow, fancy or simple. Progress is progress. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re maintaining success towards your ultimate goals.
Looking back serves a constructive purpose when it’s utilized to assess where you were and how very far you’ve actually gone. Don’t sell yourself short! Pat yourself on the back for the progress you’ve made instead of what haven’t yet accomplished.
Take risks, but make sure they’re reasonable and realistic. Be aware of setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun your journey. My kids would love for me to venture down the double-black (hardest) runs with “Extreme Terrain” signs posted. As much as they cajole me, I know this is out of my capability and an unnecessary risk. So I hold my “Um, no” stance.
We all want to be happier, better people, whether that means thinner, richer, nicer, stronger or funnier. It means something different for every single person, but it has to start with an honest self-assessment and then a commitment to move steadily forward toward your goals, focusing on what is going right instead of what is going wrong. It means pushing yourself, believing in yourself, and then applauding yourself! You can all do that. Me, the scared “little girl” who takes a deep breath and jumps onto that chairlift and then maneuvers my way down the most daunting of slopes, I am living proof!
Happy New Year and may each and every one of you find and maximize that dedicated achiever that lives in your own very heart!