Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year Reflections

I usually post this time of year reflecting on the year that just passed. I've logged the majority of my highlights in this space of the internet already so it seems a bit redundant. Also a bit self absorbed, especially considering everything else going on in the world right now. The one focus I strive for is to make each year stand out - so I sit here at this time each December and think, man, that was quite a year! If this was the case for anyone else that may be reading, congratulations! Take the same approach and set some high standards for 2009. If the year passed and all's that you are focused on is the negatives, than it's time to rethink your approach and get on a new path. That's the cool thing about a new year - you are starting with a clean slate.

Here are some of my tips to make this coming year a special one:

  1. Stop watching the news. Stay up to date with current events through periodicals instead of the screen. What's portrayed on the news is usually a sensationalized view of the reality. Funny, I talk with many different business people daily. Very educated people who have interesting and powerful career positions. Each one I talk to gives me a totally different view of the current economic crisis, and what they foresee in the future. What I've come to conclude is that each persons view is based solely on their personal situation instead of looking at the global situation, even if they think they are looking globally. This is regardless of whether they are optimistic or pessimistic. My point is that A. I don't think anyone really knows what the hell is going on, and B. we need to be more proactive instead of following the news and advice of people we think are in the know.

  2. Start each day by asking yourself what you are going to do that day that puts you ahead - that separates you from the ordinary. OK, I know this is hokey, but get in the habit of looking in the mirror each morning, telling yourself it's going to be a great day (even if it is a grey Monday in February and -2 degrees outside), and asking yourself this question. Instead of rolling your eyes, just try it for two weeks. What have you got to lose?

  3. Don't accept routine, normalcy, or complacency. Easier said than done. Many have fallen into the habit of doing the same things each day, week, year. Those racing endurance events feel they are putting themselves out there, but the truth is that many of them are doing the same exact things they have done for the last five years. Switch it up. Stretch your goals a bit. Decide that this year, you are going to throw in one off the wall or bizarre or out of routine training session each week. The Tue night MTB ride reintroduced to me the fact that as much as I love swimming, biking, and running, I had become to routine. When was the last time you finished a day feeling re-invigorated and full of new energy that you couldn't sleep? This happened to me after the first few night rides. Something new and exciting to switch up the schedule a bit.

  4. Get out and train with others at least once a month. For some, that's a not a common thing. If you typically train with the same people, aim to train with some other athletes as well at least once per month. I have this Sunday morning run and it's been mostly just Ken and I. We do different courses, throw in hill repeats, trails, ... Most don't want to drive to run, and do the same long run each week. I've watched Ken go from a 7 min/mi racer to a 6 min/mi racer. Good stuff.
  5. Don't accept what others say. Being told that you are not capable of doing something that you truly believe in should just fuel you. People in life, for some reason, are constantly offering their unasked for advice to others in the form of negativity. If you believe what they tell you, then it will come true. If you have your sights set high and people tell you that maybe you should lower them, you can believe them and not even try, or you can defy them and prove to them and more importantly, yourself, that you are capable.
  6. Smile more. Ok, once again, a bit hokey. But studies prove that those who smile more have more energy and carry through on things.
  7. Surround yourself with influential, positive people, and dismiss those who drag you down. As we age, time becomes more and more precious and why waste it with those who don't contribute anything positive at all?

That's enough for now. Sure, we've all heard these things but how many of us are following all of them? If you are one of the few who is, then you are way ahead of the game and will have a brilliant 2009, congrats. If you are one of the many who is stuck in a rut, the choice is yours right now. You don't want to reflect back on a year, or worse, twenty years, thinking I coulda, shoulda, woulda.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well put and not hokey at all. I look at it this way: to just go through the motions and not have goals or a real point to life you're wasting your already too short time here and are disrespecting the gift.

All this is covered in the movie "Into The Wild". I can't get than damn movie out of my head (esp with Howard Stern on vacation).