“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence” Vince Lombardi
As we hang onto the precipice of 2018 and get ready to jump into 2019 you can’t help but feel the pressure of setting goals for the new year. The ancient Babylonians are said to be the originators of the New Years Resolution (should we thank them???). Each year in March, which they identified as a new year due to new crops, they are said to have set things they resolved to change for the coming year ahead.
Over the years this has taken on many forms, but most recently it feels like something we do, to then feel bad about failing at later! New Years Resolutions have almost become something you almost aim to break. There is an amazing feeling of hope on January 1st for the year ahead. But then BAM something happens by noon on January 3rd that throws that hope and excitement off course and all of the sudden we have “failed”.
This concept that failure is finite is honestly what we need to change heading into 2019. We need to get better at striving to learn and be a path finder instead of just seeking the destination. What would happen if every time an NFL team lost a game they never played again? It is a crazy thought! It would never happen. Now let’s use this analogy to reflect on something you may set as a goal; saving money (this is statistically the # 1 New Year’s Resolution when surveyed). If your goal is to save $500 per month and in January you save $400. Have you failed? Do you say “I can’t do this?” and stop? Hopefully not! What if the amount is $100? Or even $0 that you successfully save? What is the number that defines failure?
The reality is that if you have changed habits over the month, or made changes that in the end will lead to more success than you have achieved more than if you had done nothing. The end dollar amount isn’t actually the victory. The new habits are.
When you are setting goals for the New Year (or even just for a Monday) recognize that you don’t get to decide what and where you will END UP. What you do get to decide is the habits you will implement every day. Those habits will decide your future and more importantly your future outcomes. When you focus on changing your habits and bettering your skills you will be more likely to achieve the goal. This is the PLAN in the saying “a goal without a plan is just a wish”.
I have said to my team for years, people don’t intentionally fail. They don’t show up and say “today, I am going to not succeed”. The reality is that as we work to improve skills that we have; there are some we will never be great at… even if we try really hard. And then there are the ones we are incredible at; when we work on these things- we become exceptional!
As you are setting goals for 2019, reflect on whether you want to make progress in an area, become proficient in that area or are you striving for perfection? Know that you will NEVER be perfect at everything and sometimes making progress in an area is actually amazing and will pay off in the long run!
Hoping you and your family have an amazing, successful and happy 2019!
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