There’s a real buzz in the air. I can feel it. Parties are being planned with precision and resolutions formulated.
It’s like some giant human Whirlpool stuck on the same cycle: rinse and repeat one more time.
The New Year has arrived.
With it we’ll make promises. Tonnes of them. Promises to shed kilos, promises to get fit, promises to quit smoking. Plenty will be broken before the sun sets on January.
And it’s no wonder. Many goals are pure pipe dream, born as they are from a heady, intoxicating mix of aspiration, failure and social expectation.
Still, big goals are great. They give meaning to personal sacrifice. They make getting out of bed worthwhile.
Yet sometimes big goals are just that, too big. By their very size and nature they become intimidating, frightening even. The excitement they generate holds within it the seeds of failure.
For the path between success and right now is littered with obstacles. As we gaze with excitement to the distant horizon it’s easy to overlook the dangers around the very next bend.
Still, big goals need not end in failure. To the contrary they often become the catalyst for significant, lasting personal change. Many are the stories of personal salvation gained through triumph over difficulties and demons alike.
Yes, big goals demand more. More commitment, more sacrifice, and definitely more planning.
Obstacles are where goals are derailed. The first chocolate bar when the mid-afternoon munchies arrive without warning, the allure of a third beer after a tough day at work, the first cold, wet morning when sleep feels so much better than running in the rain.
It’s what happens next that counts. It’s right here, when the rubber meets the road, that the questions asked by circumstance are answered by actions.
And those actions are the result of intention filled planning that set in place strategies to cope, not with the easy but with the hard.
Often these strategies are mechanical. They demand prior thought and a level of proactivity not required in ordinary moments. Be in bed before 10, drink a glass of cold water on waking, put both feet on the ground before turning off the alarm. Simple mechanics that each, in their own small way, take us one step closer to a goal.
With enough of these small, forward steps, these tiny wins, that success emerges just as surely as night follows day.
So, as the clock ticks over to a new year, it’s worth knowing what’s going to happen next. After all, it’s up to you.
Photo credit: amaynez on Flickr