What Will You Give Up in 2020?
Yesterday I mind mapped what I want the new year to look like.
I focused on the things I want to do.
Then this thought hit me:
While this is a great map for how to begin and what to focus on, it can’t tell me everything.
I’m prone to get distracted. Throw me an intellectual bone and I’ll chase it down the longest rabbit trail in the universe. I’m an information gatherer by nature. I love considering what’s possible — so much so that I can get locked into dreaming and never do anything.
Know thyself and learn to dodge curve balls
We all have a weakness.
Maybe it’s the fear of missing out.
Or maybe you don’t want to risk getting hurt.
It’s possible you don’t want to pay the price for a big mistake.
If I could sell you an insurance policy that protects you from jumping in over your head, would you buy it?
Here it is:
Stay home. Don’t do anything that’s not a sure thing. Get your head out of the clouds and play it safe 24/7.
You can’t protect yourself from every risk.
What you can do is keep yourself from getting knocked off course on the way to your goals.
Understand you will face setbacks
If you’re on a diet, you’ll be tempted to take a day off because you want a big slice of pie — just this once.
Your alarm will sound at 5 AM and you’ll ask yourself, “Why on earth did I ever think I wanted to write before the sun comes up?”
You’ll put money away for the future and start thinking about all the things you’re giving up today to have money for tomorrow.
I’m not knocking having a conquer-the-world positive attitude. You may as well go into this to win. But if you want your dreams to come true, you got to know yourself.
You’re not perfect, and I’m not either.
You will be tempted and not just once.
Your best defense is to go on the offense, not deny that there’s a problem.
Decide beforehand how you’ll respond
Smart goal setters plan for failure and success.
When temptation comes, don’t be surprised. Treat it like a person. Say something like, “Oh, it’s you. I was expecting you. I can’t take your call right now, so why don’t you come back later?”
We do this when people try to sell us something we don’t want. We offer excuses like:
- I’m too busy.
- I’ve got one of those already.
- I can’t afford it.
- I wouldn’t buy one if you were the last salesperson on earth.
You may as well have fun saying no to the devil on your shoulder.
If you wait until temptation hits to decide what to do, you’ll lose the battle every time.
Now that’s an insurance policy that’s worth every ounce of pain it costs.
Say no so you can say yes
Choices are a matter of economics.
When you say yes to your goals, you’ve gotta say no to a lot of things.
- Extended Netflix binges
- Endless preparation
- Playing it safe to keep from getting hurt
- Doing things the way you always have
You’ll even have to say no to some good things.
You set your goals because you wanted to. Don’t cut off your own legs. Leave that to other well-meaning people who think your new obsession is crazy.
You might have to say no to them, too.
Say yes to pressing forward.
Say yes to continuing your experiment until you’ve exhausted all the possibilities.
And finally, say yes to the better future your talent can win for you.
When you say yes in these ways, you’ll discover you’re a lot more creative than you thought. You’ll find strength you never knew you had. And perhaps most of all, your gifts will open doors that have remained closed or even invisible until now.
Your dream future begins when you say yes to what matters and no to what throws you off course.
There’s no time like now to begin.