Happy New Year, Friends!
Well, it’s that time again – a new year, new hopes, and a list of resolutions. About 50% of Americans establish goals to achieve in the new year. I am sure that this year will be no different.
Unfortunately, many resolutions lead to inevitable disappointment and eventual burn-out. On average, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February.
I look at goals a little different. Instead of making a colossal proclamation during New Year’s Eve celebrations; I am continually making and achieving my resolution or commitments. It’s a non-stop process. I am always working on new goals and new directions. And I am always looking for new ways to grow and evolve.
This led me to the creation of what I call “My Adventure List.” This list is divided into four buckets – Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual. As I think of new goals, objectives, or resolutions, I record them in the appropriate bucket. Then as I complete a goal, I review “My Adventure List” selecting a new and exciting objective to pursue.
For over a decade, “My Adventure List’s” mental bucket had an entry to write a non-fiction leadership book. Then in August 2018, I began working on that lofty and challenging objective. It wasn’t easy, and at times, I doubted that I would complete the process. But through personal diligence and help from friends, we pushed the book across the finish line.
I am completing the second round of publisher edits and feedback. The book has been well received, and The Intentional Leader will be released in September. Mission accomplished!
So, I began looking for the next grand adventure. I reached into the physical goal bucket and pulled out the following personal challenge – solo backpacking the Maine section of the Appalachian Trail. The Maine section is one of the most daunting, logging at around 281 miles or 13% of the AT.
The western section of Maine’s AT roams through Grafton Notch State Park in the Mahoosucs Range, a stunning part of the White Mountains on the border with New Hampshire. The central section crosses the entire Bigelow Range, a compact group of seven summits, several over 4,000 feet. Hiking the range can be challenging, as some trails are almost vertical. And the eastern section crosses the 100-mile wilderness and ends atop Katahdin.
While this multi-day hike is not as intimidating as thru-hiking the entire AT, it takes more commitment than day hiking. It requires more preparation, equipment, food, clothing, knowledge of Trail regulations, and backcountry skills. Planning is crucial to a successful sectional hike.
Hopefully, this summer, you will find me standing on the summit of Mount Katahdin with a big smile on my face. Accomplishing your goals and dreams create a deep well of energy that can revitalize and rejuvenate.
Regardless of your system, we all need to be working on or towards something. Your goals could be big or small; it doesn’t matter. Last week, I spoke to a person who New Year’s Resolution is to complete their first hike – ever. For this person, tackling their first ever hike would be a monumental achievement. Achieving those resolutions, plans, or objectives brings more energy into your life.
When we take on new opportunities for growth, it requires two things that are is short supply in our hectic world – time and energy. Even though we spend energy on our goals, the acts of working towards them create more energy. A simple point I learned early in life was we can’t manufacture more time, but we can create more energy. With more energy, we can accomplish more and improve the quality of our lives.
So, if you have proclaimed a New Year’s Resolution, congratulations! You are well on your way. If you have a defined goal you have been working toward, stay on course. Your return-on-investment will be tremendous. And if you didn’t make a resolution or you’re not currently working on a goal, worry not because today is a great day to start.
[TED] Big Hairy Audacious Goal
I quickly connected and related to this TED Talk. I was that kid whose teachers would say, “Tim is smart and could be a great student, if only …”. Were you like me? Or have you ever wanted to accomplish more in your life? If you answered yes, check out this TED Talk (Click Here).
[Video] Don’t Dwell in the Past
Unfortunately, life is more than rainbows and unicorns. We embrace our successes while dealing with setbacks and disappointments. Sometimes we are racing towards the finish line only to get knocked down with our breath taken away. The beauty of life is that we need the difficulties to appreciate the greatness of our lives. Please take a few minutes to hear SSG Travis Mills’ emotional rollercoaster ride. (Click Here)
[Video] Empowerment Gone Bad
Want a good laugh? Check out this funny 15-second video (Click Here) of empowerment gone bad. Sometimes, we attempt to help others, but our actions effectively handcuff them. This video is excellent for a good laugh and applies to so many of today’s situations.
Goals Create Energy
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
One of the most significant ways to recharge your batteries and life is to complete well thought out goals. Establishing and achieving meaningful goals requires us to activate, focus, invest, adapt, and execute.
Yes, these activities require the expenditure of energy. But, as we move towards completion, we experience the excitement and become re-energized. Intentional Leaders understand that managing our energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.