Want to Guarantee a Happier New Year?
2019 was a hard year for me.
Our dog Jake died suddenly one summer day in July.
I visited my grandmother. She’s 102 years old. She’s happy and reasonably healthy. But her mind is not what it was. I know one day soon we’ll say our final goodbyes.
It seems that as soon as we finish grieving for one thing, another moves in to wreck our happiness.
If all that death wasn’t enough, a few of the business opportunities I pursued fell through. I know that’s the nature of the writing business, but enough is enough.
Life broke my vision for a perfect year into a million pieces.
Humpty Dumpty had better odds.
Throwing the old word out the window
I grew up wanting to be perfect.
I wanted good grades.
I wanted to stay out of trouble.
I wanted to be happy all the time.
Who sold me that fantasy?
It doesn’t matter.
If you’ve struggled with perfectionism, you know good is never enough. Great never satisfies either. Depression and guilt are constant companions.
I didn’t see the light until I was 23 years old.
The ultimate unattainable standard
I looked up the word perfect in the dictionary.
Three words describe it:
I’m not complete because I’m still alive, still learning, and still growing.
I’m not unblemished because I have weaknesses, struggles, and failures.
I’m not faultless because I’ve offended people, broken my word, and lived below my potential.
Jesus was perfect.
I can either feel guilty or just do my best.
Do you struggle with this?
Quit trying to be perfect.
I chose this word for 2020
I want to be happy.
So I chose a word I can throw all my energy into.
Ready for it?
My word is…
I chose this word because it’s attainable.
Here’s what it means:
more useful, desirable or suitable
How much more?
That’s up to you.
One step. One action. One experiment. Do that five times a week and I guarantee your year will be better.
Zoom out to the big picture
You’ll still have weeks that suck.
Your blog post — the one you pour your whole heart and soul into — will bomb before it has a chance to fly.
Your great idea — the one that makes your heart sing — will get a lukewarm, even cold response from your target audience.
The client who hired you to coach them sets the appointment and agrees to your fee — then you never hear from them again.
Over the course of a year, a lot can happen.
It’s critical that you keep pushing, keep stretching, and learn from everything that happens. If you do a little better than yesterday every day, you stack the odds in your favor.
Great years are made of enough great days to make a difference. Budget for the inevitable bad days. Whatever happens, ditch perfect for better.
Better for everyone
When you aim to be better, you’ll benefit.
Expand your impact by being better for the other people in your life.
- Be better for your family by scheduling time with them.
- Be better for your community by gathering people together to make something better.
- Be better for your readers and customers by being the best at what you do.
Being the best doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It means you’re effective.
You know you’re effective when:
- You see what people need (and want)
- You learn how they’re being served now
- You do it better by providing something that’s missing from the market — and is in demand.
Will you accept the challenge?
I know you can.
I hope you will.
If you do, 2020 may we’ll be your best year ever.