Start Where You Are

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It’s a new year and with that comes all the hope and anticipation of something “new”.  We set our goals, choose our word, dream big dreams, and maybe even put some new habits in place to accomplish our new plans.  Some goals never even see February 1st.  If you are like me (a self-diagnosed procrastinating perfectionist) then you may not even make it to January 8th.  Oh it is not because we don’t have the best intentions in the world… WE DO!  We are sincere in our desire to start a new habit, to change our path, to work harder, be more organized, stop yelling at our kids, cook healthy meals… you know what I mean.  There is NOT one bad goal or intention on the list… they are all good and would really make positive changes in your life if you implemented them.  So why do we feel like we are living the same year over and over again when it comes to goal setting?  It’s as if we have found the perpetual worm hole of excitement -> determination -> resolve -> circumstances -> excuses -> abandonment … Groundhog Day for New Years.  We keep reliving the same cycle over and over and in that “hope for something new” discouraged is really where we end up every February 1st. Then we tell ourselves we’ll do better next year.

In a desperate search for a way out of this cycle, Jason and I attended Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever Live event this past week in Nashville.  There was so much awesome packed into those 2 days that I couldn’t possible share it all with you here, but I will share 2 takeaways (among the many) that have me cautiously optimistic for 2018.

1) Start where you are!  It seems so simple, but for me this is really hard.  I want to organize it, purchase the right tools for it, set up a detailed plan to implement it and before I know it… I HAVE DONE NOTHING toward my goals. I have spent a lot of time and money, and I am already defeated.  Michael told us that setting up elaborate action plans is just a fancy way to procrastinate… AMEN, Brother!  I almost wanted to shout “glory, hallelujah … I confess”.   I get so caught up in “setting up my success” that I NEVER even start.

2) CLARITY!!!  This was the overarching message to my mind and heart this week.  I have discovered that my idea of clarity is a nice little packaged up vision or direction that comes with a road map and a British accent calling audibles along the way.  You may be surprised to learn that most of the time in our quest for direction and purpose it requires a lot more faith and risk-taking.  One thing that Michael said that I underlined and starred. “Clarity comes as we move toward the goal.”  Standing still does not improve the visibility of our direction. As we move forward, we gain more sight for the path in front of us.  Sometimes, we can barely see the next step.  For me this has been totally paralyzing at times.  My need to know the entire route before I even start has been detrimental to any hope of progress.

This year I am going to start!  I’m going to take one step at a time and correct my course if necessary.  My biggest goal?  Keep moving and  next year my starting point will be different than this year.  Super simple to “say” and terribly hard to “do”.  The proof will be in the movement not the goal setting or fancy plans.  Will I start even when it’s unclear?  Will I keep going in the messy middle when it gets hard to be consistent?  Will I finish what I started?  The only way to really know… is to START!  To quote lyrics from TobyMac’s song “Hey Now” … “so lace up your shox, get yourself in this race cause this little thing here gonna set a new pace.”  My previous pace was standing still, so I may end up with a slow trot or even a crawl at times… but I’m going keep moving.

All I know for sure?  I want to finish in a different place on 12/31/18 than I started on 1/1/18.  I have some goals written down.  I have some dreams and plans for 2018 and now I am going to start.  What about you?  What do you want to start?  

 

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