It is about time for a check up.
We are in the final stretch of 2013. Less than 90 days separate us from the beginning of 2014.
What have you accomplished this year?
Have you met or exceeded any or all of your goals?
Or, are you still just trying to hang in there and survive 2013 in one piece?
I have met or exceeded every single one of my goals for the year, thus far. I am going for transparency here; not trying to sound arrogant. This is probably the first year ever that something like this has happened. Normally, I set lofty goals at the beginning of the year and then just switch over to cruise control. I make out just fine, but I have never really exceeded expectations. Not for myself anyway.
I have always just been average…
That is until this year.
I don’t know if it was getting a real, full-time job, graduating college, or getting engaged and married that motivated me most, but I made a fundamental shift in my thoughts and actions that has turned my life upside down in the best possible way. I have been focusing on intentionality.
I have gone from having minimal focus to waking up each morning, being locked-in and motivated with a purpose for the day ahead. I do this to make a difference in the lives of others.
While that is motivating, there are 2 other sources from which I draw my continued strength and renewed energy every day.
Number one is what you would expect. My wife.
Providing for her, caring for her and loving her are the things that help me roll out of bed every morning before the sun has even thought about peeking over the horizon. She encourages me and loves me well and I strive to return the favor as best I can.
My other primary motivation is notably more selfish, but no less powerful.
I am terribly afraid of my life peaking.
I am not sure anyone wants to end up as the guy who is stuck living in his high school or college years. We all know them. The people that never left our hometowns and love reliving their high school athletic glory days. Or the people who went to college, but could never pull themselves together to leave the college town. They continue to drink and party their way well into their late twenties before they realize they long ago summited a peak in their lives and have been stumbling downhill ever since.
I never want to peak. I would prefer my life to look like this:
But I am perfectly content with this:
I do not ever want to stop climbing and striving for greater things in my life and the lives of those around me. Between this compulsion and the motivation I described that comes from my wife, I am set for life. As long I keep focused on the things that matter, I will always continue to climb. I may slide every now and then, but I have no doubt that my supports will catch me and help me back up.
So how do you avoid peaking?
What has worked for me is finding a source of motivation that is a renewable. Just like hydropower or solar power, something that will not run out, but can be used again and again.
Set short term goals for yourself. What lofty things could you accomplish between now and the end of the year to set yourself up for continued success in 2014? Chances are you do not know your own limits and the only way to find out is by pushing the bar.
Get a pen and a piece of paper, sit down, and think. How can you focus and be most successful in the next two months? Set attainable, but hopeful goals and hit the gas. When 2014 comes, you will be that much more prepared for whatever else you want to achieve.
In the words of C.S. Lewis,
“Come further up, come further in!”
And No peaking!
What an excellent post! I keep thinking about the year end. I didn’t do well setting goals for this year, but I have learned and acted much this year. Is it too early to start setting goals for 2014? Thanks again.
Thanks Tony! It’s never too early to set goals! Go for it! Stay on top of things now!
Brady McDaniel says
I did a horrible job setting goals for this year too, but I did start going to the gym, I started a blog, I dusted off a book project that I started 5 years ago and set a goal of finishing writing it before Christmas, and now it looks like I’m going to be self-employed before the year ends.
I find it hard to set goals because I completely shift courses so often, I never know where I will be 6-12 months from now.
You are definitely right about not wanting to peak though.
Daniel Kosmala says
I can completely understand. I’m just now getting over a phase in my life where my ambitions changed almost hourly. It was really hard to settle down and set goals for myself, but I had to start small. Long term goals are great, but you have to start somewhere and generally that means beginning with baby steps!
Thanks for reading Brady!