It's New Year's Eve, that frantic time of year when people beat themselves up for all the missed opportunities of the passing year and promise that this year, THIS YEAR DAMNIT, will be the year they do everything perfectly and never miss a moment to Savor Life and Live Each Day to the Fullest. So, yes: it's the day that gym owners love because tons of guilt-ridden people sign up for memberships that they'll use, oh, maybe five times.
So possibly, right about now, you're partaking in the time-honored tradition of hating your life and making a list of all the amazing things you're going to do in 2014 to change it. But before you decide you're going to learn French, finish your novel and start a cooking business, just humor me and do these two things:
1. Choose Yourself. Whatever it is you want to achieve in your life, no matter how big or small, choose yourself to do it. By that I mean, don't ask anyone else for permission, or approval. Give yourself the approval and permission necessary to achieve your goals. You're the one who is going to have to do the hard work to create these goals out of thin air, so yours is the only damn approval that matters. I have clients, for example, who will say, "Oh, my mom thinks I could be a great doctor." Cool, and when I'm coaching your mom, I'll ask for her opinion, but right now, I'm trying to help you, so let's immediately stop worrying about whatever anyone else on the planet thinks and focus on you. You absolutely have to choose yourself to succeed, because no one else can or will. Perhaps when you were a kid, you had people who took you by the hand and worried about you, and led you to success. If so, you were very lucky. Go call those people right now and thank them. Today, you're going to have to lead yourself to success. You're going to have to decide that you are worthy, that your goals are important and, spoiler alert: you're going to have to keep choosing yourself, on bad days; when you're feeling exhausted, lonely, depressed; when you've made mistakes; when you want to bang your head against the wall; yes you're going to have to keep choosing yourself. Over and over. But: You. Can. Do. This!
2. Commit to Yourself. I started my coaching business about five years ago with nothing but a six-figure law-school debt load and some determination to my name. No wait, that's not entirely true: I was also desperate. I was desperate not to remain a failure. I was desperate to make this business, which I hadn't entirely figured out yet, work. And so, I committed. I figured that if I didn't commit right then and there, I was going to end up like those people who hate their lives and do the same thing over and over and over again, but every December 31 get excited for "new beginnings!" Hmmm. I also didn't want to be one of those people constantly starting new enterprises who then say, "Well, I hope this sticks." If by "this," you mean, "you," then yes, so do I. I'm not rich or famous, but I am now, finally, reaping and creating opportunities that five years ago would have been purely fantasy. Brutal as those five years were, I'm grateful beyond words for all they taught me. And what they taught me is that without commitment, nothing will work. Whatever it is you want to achieve in 2014, and beyond, I firmly believe you can achieve it, but ONLY if you commit to yourself.
It's a new year, and the choice is yours. I believe you deserve your best, and I hope you do as well.
Happy New Year!