Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Few Things That Do Not Belong in 2017, 2018, 2019, etc.

As the first day of the new year comes to a close and the hype leading up to it starts to fizzle, it is high time that we address the elephant in the room. New Year's resolutions. Though well-meaning, many of us have told ourselves some big fat lies about how this year is going to be better than the last. And the one before that. And still, the one before that. This is the year that we become the best version of ourselves. This is the year that we lose the weight. This is the year that we finally write that book, start or grow our businesses, and kick that dreaded smoking habit that everybody keeps nagging us about.

Why haven't we managed to check at least one of these things off our lists thus far? Consider this. Before we can change our conditions and solve our problems, there must be a shift in our thinking which will lead to a change in the folks in our circle. We have to be willing to let go of people and behaviors that do not serve us well. Let's face it. Not everybody is meant to travel with us along every leg of the journey. Their doubts, insecurities, and fears magnify our own and keep us off the path of progress. If we decide that we will only permit positive, forward-thinking thoughts to take up residence in our minds, then we will only permit positive, forward-thinking people to take up space in our lives.

Here are 10 behaviors that we need to change immediately. That's ASAP. Right now. Today. More like yesterday, really. And pronto. The sooner we send these spirit-killing, brain-draining activities packing, the better off we will all be. Here goes nothing.

1) Self-Hatred: If we don't love ourselves, NOBODY else will. We must stop telling ourselves that we are unworthy of our blessings. We have gifts, skills, and talents that we have an obligation to use. We must rid ourselves of people who do not recognize and celebrate our value. Tell them and the little haters inside to kick rocks. Oh, yeah. They need to take those who try to hold our pasts against us with them. None of their BS is welcome here.

2) Fear: We must have faith and just take the leap already. We must be decisive and move out like what we aspire to do is already done. The best part of success is failure. It is better to do our best and learn a lesson than it is to do nothing and have regrets.

3) Jealousy and Envy: We must immediately stop worrying about what other people are saying and doing. What is in front of us requires our full and complete attention. What we have been blessed with is enough to accomplish whatever it is that we set out to do. What is ours nobody else can take and what somebody else has is for them and them alone. Put on the blinders and keep running.

4) Procrastination: No one is promised the next 5 minutes, so I'm not going to waste time explaining this one. Get up off your duff and get moving. We got work to do.

5) Lack of Discipline: We are the boss of ourselves and we must take ownership for our lives. There are certain things that we must do consistently to make progress. It might be studying, writing, training, planning, etc. Having discipline means that we do what we need to do whether anybody is watching or holding us accountable. No babysitters needed.

6) Lack of Focus: This is a common problem that we can tackle if we simply put clear, measurable, goals down on paper and assign deadlines to them. An example might be that we must start writing by 9 am and reach at least 1,000 words by 12 noon every weekday. As a safeguard, there might be a self-imposed ban on social media until the goal is reached. Oh, and that includes anything or anybody else that takes our focus off the tasks at hand.

7) Entitlement: Look, nobody owes anybody anything. Whatever it is that we say we want, we must earn. That is all.

8) Pettiness: Every minute we spend engaging somebody in foolishness is a minute we could have and should have spent doing something positive and productive. Let small people be small. Their diminutive lives are none of our business. Small minds breed small results. If you want the little bit of something that they have, then do the little bit of something that they do.

9) Dishonesty: If our efforts are not yielding the results we desire, we have to be willing to face some hard truths about ourselves. We must also strive to be honest in our dealings with others. Our successes and failures are wrapped up in how we play the game. Being deceptive is a recipe for disaster, likened to a house of cards built on a mound of sand. We all have mirrors. Let us use them, shall we?

10)Indecisiveness: There is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind. Let's make a decision and move out on it to make it a reality. We can have whatever kind of life we want if we just choose it.

I pray that you and yours will have peace and prosperity this year and in the years to come. And remember, keep your pen to the paper! Inspiration is everywhere...