This is my first post of 2016! Happy New Year to you :-) Did you get a chance yet to look back at your last year's goals, mull them over, set new goals, or are you finding you're setting the same goals again, because last year, they just didn't happen?
I was determined in 2015 to achieve some bigger goals that have been on my annual goal list, shall we say more than once... Here are my 3 biggest achievements.
1 - I lost almost 70lbs in weight, and was able to fit into clothes that wouldn't have fitted me even as a teenager.
2 - I've always wanted a beautiful view of the ocean from my home, and I moved into a new house with just that, plus panoramic rolling hills, olive trees, and snow capped mountains.
3 - I finally replaced my failing car that we'd used to travel from country to country with a new car.
This is just to mention a few, I also did my first ever 'live' public speaking gig, and finally got my iPhone 6 (I had an iPhone 1!) and then it got me thinking... What was different last year to all the years before, and what makes us think that life is any easier for other people?
We all have challenges, setbacks, and many of us at some point could have said, 'I don't have enough money to do that, or time to do that' etc... The usual excuses as to why we don't achieve our goals that year.
The thing is, I've realised for most people life doesn't suddenly grant you a favour, we're essentially all in the same boat. We all have 24 hours in a day, and everyone no matter who they are, and how successful they've become have done it because of the way they chose to use those 24 hours and what they did in them.
So what did I do differently last year? I stopped making excuses. Yes I run a business, and a home, I have 3 children... This isn't unusual, and I realised that if I kept telling myself I can't do this because... or I'll do that when I have... Then those goals are just going to stay at the back of my excuses.
So I decided I was going to make time for myself, make time to get some exercise, educate myself on my body and food, to cook healthy meals, to find that home with my dream view, and to replace my car. There were times when I was concerned if I could really afford to do these things, I'd move forward sometimes not knowing where additional funds were going to come from, and even wondered if I was just destined to be overweight and maybe it was my metabolism or some other convenient belief that gave me permission to get to the end of the year again, without achieving it.
But I ignored those excuses, and didn't entertain them anymore as an option. Opportunities, ideas, solutions and even money just dropped into my lap when I could never have predicted it.
We really do all have the same 24 hours in a day, the people who succeed, the people who fail, the people who are happy, the people who are sad, the people with their health and the people who are unwell, the people who are rich, and the people who are poor, there may be some of us who appear to be more blessed than others because their life challenges are just different, you might consider them lucky, but perhaps it's not luck, it could simply be that they refuse to accept that life could be any less than what they want to make it, and then when that happens, the strength, the resources and even the time within those 24 hours, will present itself in some way or other no matter where you live or how many kids you have or whether you have the money to afford things right now or not. Yes, maybe it will be more challenging for you, yes maybe it would be easier under different circumstances, but what choice do you have other than to start where you are right now, and move forward regardless?
Whatever you choose to do this year, the best advice I can give you based on my experience is to listen to your excuses as to why this goal can't or won't happen, and don't accept them - make it your action to believe there is a solution and to seek it out. Attitude and action can change everything. I had the same 24 hours a day to accomplish these goals last year, that I'd had every other year before, I could even argue that my circumstances last year were more challenging than previous years, my father died, I have a little one year old, my older kids are presenting me with new parenting challenges, but I decided to believe in the possibility that my goals were achievable in my circumstances, exactly how they are now, and go from there.
Be mindful of those 24 hours each day and how you use them, anything is possible.