As we close 2020 amid the pandemic, politics and protest; it’s easy to want to give up or just wish this year would be over as soon as possible.  However, what if we embrace the reality of this year and assess where we are in all this.  I love this quote:
“What lies behind us and
what lies before us,
are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
What Lies Behind Us
Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”.  I take this quote to mean you need to review your life… what worked, what did not work, what grade would you give yourself the past year?  Even amidst the chaos of 2020, you need to objectively step back and look at what happened to get you where you are now.
As you review the year, what did you accomplish or what did you not accomplish?  Then ask the “why”… why did you accomplish something or why did you not?  Really assess all areas of your life for the past 12 months.  Don’t miss this important piece.  You can learn from your experiences.  This look back will help adjust as you plan going forward.
What Lies Before Us
2021 is a brand new year, a blank canvas for you to paint or create.  Let your mind and heart run wild with ideas… what do you want to be, what do you want to do and what do you want to have?  Don’t get bogged down in the “how”, just dream.
With January 1st right around the corner, many people will be setting New Year’s resolutions. I’m not a fan of resolutions, but I am a big fan of setting goals.  I like to set 2-3 goals in each of the 7 areas of my life… Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Family, Personal, Financial and Career.  I also use the SMART framework:
  • Specific – your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish
  • Measurable – try  to quantify the results.  How will you know you hit the goal?
  • Achievable – can you reasonably accomplish  your goal.  Goals should stretch you.
  • Relevant – your goal should be aligned with your values and long term objectives.
  • Time-bound – every goal needs an end date associated with it
There are many goal-setting programs to help guide you, but two of my favorites are Zig Ziglar or Michael Hyatt.
What Lies Within Us
One of my favorite authors/speakers was the late Zig Ziglar. He was famous for many quotes, but one of my favorites is:
“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness. “
-Zig Ziglar
You are the only one that can use your unique God-gifted abilities.  Whether you succeed or fail (or even try) is up to you. You decide how to move forward.  Regardless of the circumstances, good or bad, you can respond or react to the situation.
Looking internally, ask yourself… What are your greatest strengths? What are your biggest weaknesses?  I challenge you to leverage your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses.  As a rule of thumb, the 80/20 Rule (or Pareto Principle) should guide you… what 20% of your activities are getting you 80% of your desired results?  Figure this out and you will be much better off.
Once you begin leading yourself, you can be a better leader for others.
I hope this was helpful as you look back at 2020, look forward to a great 2020 and finally look within to make  the best version of yourself!  Remember… if you are pessimistic you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace , you are living in the present. We believe in you and know you can do it!  Good luck and God Bless!
The New Paradigm Advisors Team