What I’ve learned for my life is this: Choices determine results, and our tomorrows tend to be housed in what we do today. With that in mind, I offer three suggestions of what to bring with you into the New Year.
#1 The magic of persistence
While it’s not true ostriches hide their heads in the sand, many of us do, wondering why we never land our dreams, achieve our resolutions, or accomplish our goals. Top athletes don’t get that way by wishing and hoping – nor do great musicians, actors, chefs, teachers, parents, or artisans. And my next book won’t get written by wishing it so.
The reality is that goals are achieved, lives are transformed, and dreams do come true, but there is a secret often missed about how. They happen through the magic of persistence, determination, commitment, passion, practice, focus, and hard work. Significant change and lasting improvement occur a step at a time, over years, not weeks, so bring plenty of persistence to use in the year ahead.
#2 High expectations for the future
A critical key to our shared future is this: Each of us controls who we are and who we are becoming. While our expectations for what the future should look like may differ, let’s not wait around hoping the future will be great only to discover it’s not as expected. There’s a sign on my bookcase which reads: “Let your life speak.” There’s no better time for us to do that than now.
My expectations for the future are these: I expect to live on a planet where we can drink the water, breathe the air, and hand off a better world. I expect to live in a country that won’t tolerate children murdered in classrooms, women marginalized, or those with different skin tones, religions, backgrounds, or orientations treated as less-than. I expect the Constitution to be more than a piece of paper, and equality and justice for all modeled by those entrusted to govern. And I expect that truth and history will be used as beacons for improvement in a country that never closes its soul to humanity.
#3 A Little Joy
Our worlds, big and small, could use more joy. Common courtesy and etiquette are down, anger, rage, and name-calling up. Voices seek to drown each other out rather than hear each other, widening political and social divides. If nothing else, contributing joy offers a counterbalance to the current state.
While our planet faces nuclear threats, weather disasters, humanitarian crises and more, most of us can’t affect such global challenges, but we can impact local ones. We can change how we interact with each other; how we acknowledge and respond to the issues around us; and how we show up for ourselves and each other, in the deepest sense. And the good news is you can’t give even a little joy without increasing your own.
Want to achieve your goals and / or make a difference in 2024? Be sure to bring the tools of persistence, high expectations, and joy along with you.