I rang in 2015 by joining a running club. OK, so this is not the first time I have ever “resolved” to be healthier at the turn of the New Year, but it is the most serious I have ever been about it. Really. I’m still in it to win it, and since I started literally at zero, my three-mile mark at mid-February is hugely encouraging. But that’s not the story here.
The accomplishment (so far) is even more meaningful to me because I’m not a likely candidate for running six steps, much less a mile. I’ve endured big orthopedic issues in recent years and entire months where just walking required teeth-clenching determination. Proud as I am of my perseverance and willingness to up the game, that’s not the story here either.
The story comes thanks to my running coach, who understands that overcoming resistance usually requires we roll a big stone out of our chosen path. As a runner, my key phrase is, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”
January: resolution time. Goals to assess. New leaves to turn.
Many of us will pledge to squeeze yet more high performance out of fewer hours. Doable? Likely. Desirable? Possibly. Stressful? Definitely.
The only question is whether the stress is working for you or not.
Take a minute to think about this thing called ‘stress’. In general it’s defined as bad news. Yet, as my friend and lifestyle expert Terri Trespicio points out, without stress, you’d never kick off the covers each morning. There’d be no point. Stress generates the passion and get-go high achievers need to build up and sustain their pace.
But excessive stress is indeed a trap. If you believe you should double your revenue or client base this year, and anything less is failure, you’ve built a pressure cooker. Without a clear sense of your motivation — the why behind the striving and stress — you’re courting unhappiness, failure or maybe even a chronic physical complaint.
So instead, let’s start 2015 with a revolutionary take of resolve. It’s time to deconstruct stress, and distinguish the bad from the good. The success and survival of your goals may ride on it.
Nature’s power of renewal is the hallmark of spring. Bidding farewell to the cold and winter layers is great too, but nothing is more inspiring to me than the crocuses, tulips and other hardy flowers working their way through soil and resisting the lingering cold. They always remind me that attaining my most important goals is going to take a lot of work. We all have to plow through dirt — and more dirt — to attain long-term objectives.
Spring housecleaning may seem a little bland when compared to the hardy, green shoots of life itself. But there is something powerful about clearing space — in your home, your schedule and your work — for new possibilities. So often I’ve found that the freeing time, space and energy benefits the present moment and serves my greater strategies.
Several years back, my goal as a financial advisor was to be working with 100 seven-figure-net-worth women, all of them working either in media or fashion. That was an ambitious goal; there would be a lot of dirt removal before I had a top quality, three-digit deep client list. But I wasn’t going to wait that long to feel satisfied.