The ONE Way to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

I really screwed up my New Year’s Resolutions of 2011. I never learned Spanish. And now I’m scared I’ve shot myself in the head already for 2012. There’s blood everywhere. My brain has fallen to the floor. The silver bullet was the goals I put in front of me, right in the beginning of the wonderful journey 2012 could be.

(the silver bullet)

So my goals are simple, maybe simplistic:

-          I want to get in better shape. I started doing yoga in August 2010 and I’m barely ahead of where I started.  I learned a lot when I went to India last year and I’m going back but I’m afraid of how utterly brutalized and humiliated I was when I was last there. I want to do a little each day if not the full practice that Claudia does (which, at the moment, is impossible for me). And this is not just physical, I want to follow the Daily Practice I’ve recommended in several blog posts and in my most recent book. I’ve seen it work not just for me over the years but for a lot of people this past year. I’m sticking with it.

-          I want to write a novel. I have the idea. I’ve started it. Have about 40 pages. But I want to finish it. 500 words a day, dear god, please.

-          I would like to see if there’s a business that can be helpful to people that can come out of this blog. I’m thinking of a software package that allows you to check in on how you are doing on each of the components of the Daily Practice. This would allow you to track progress, see how your personal network is building, see how your ideas are growing, see how your interest in spiritual activities is increasing and see the ways you are devoting yourself to your personal health. (for me too. I would be the biggest user).  Any more ideas on this are more than welcome.

(me in India last year, recovering from yoga at the dentist's office)

-          I want to keep writing on and improving this blog. I feel it helps people and, to be honest, I get excited about the interactions with people, the friends I’ve made, and the knowledge of how I’m helping people. I feel like I’ve met the best people I’ve ever met through this blog. It’s been like a dream come true and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. Working now on adding forums and other features.

So this seems like a lot to do. Perhaps too much.

A goal is one end of a road. The other end is where I am right now.

A road can easily be cluttered or destroyed. Accidents, fires, flares, police roadblocks, forks, storms. I’m pretty sure I don’t want that to happen although you never know. Men make plans and God laughs.  I can only do what I can do.

The Ten Items below will destroy the road in front of me or anyone:

-          Sickness destroys a road. It’s like a tree that falls on the road and blocks it so you have to turn around, the police waving you around, mouthing the words, “go back” and you think to youself: but if I go back, there’s absolutely no way around. This is the only road!

-          Doubt in my goals will surely clutter the road. My plan in the case of doubt is to keep moving forward and ignore the doubt. I know these are good goals.

(don't blog the road)

-          Vacillating between one goal or other. Every road has forks in it. Stay on the main road. Always evaluate, but in general, I know what my main road will be for this year. It will be the items above.

-          Negligence. If I don’t give love and care each day to the goals then I am negligent of them. Then the road will start to whither. A six lane highway will turn to zero.

-          Laziness. If I don’t write every day. If I don’t do yoga every day (so far I’ve accounted for about 3-4 hours a day). If I don’t think about better ways to transform this blog each day, etc then there’s no excuse but laziness. That will wither the road.

-          Craving. If all of a sudden, in the middle of the year, I’m obsessed with drugs, hookers, and wild parties, that will probably divert my goals on this road, as well as my marriage to Claudia.

-          Dull. If suddenly my blog becomes dull. Or my ability to help my investments becomes more a waste of time for the companies involved, all of these will clutter the road that I desperately want to travel.

-          Confusion. If I get massive writer’s block. If I don’t know the right way to help my companies. If I don’t come up with the right way to help readers more or if I get confused as to the right way to help myself physically or spiritually, then this will create fires on the road that nobody can pass.

-          Failure. If I just simply fail to help people each day, of if I fail to write, or fail to follow my own Daily Practice, then the road will eventually be filled with potholes and I have to turn around, back onto the highway that takes me..who knows?

-          Craziness. If I get overly excited about any one of my goals, or overly sad because I think a goal is not working out, or overly aggravated about any one individual who gets in the way of my goals , or if I get overly frustrated if a goal is not happening fast enough – all of these symptoms of craziness will destroy the road.

Damn, how the hell do I avoid all of this? I’ve never had a year of my life that wasn’t filed with doubt, or vacillation, or craving or confusion. Although, I guess, when I look back at it – 2011 – while not being overly fantastic, was relatively calm and allowed me to slowly move forward on my goals (although, perhaps not my goal of learning Spanish – which Claudia and my kids constantly remind me. Screw you!)

The key is every day focus. For one year it’s ok to be one-minded. To be focused on goals. To not be tempted by seduction to move forward. It’s like the image below. It’s an optical illusion. The circles are all diversion and appear to be constantly moving. The black dots are your goals. Focus on any one dot and all of the circles will slowly stop moving. Every time things start to move around you, taking you off the road, think about these black dots you can focus on.

Throughout the next year, the ten items above will seek to divert you from the road you’ve chosen for yourself. Sometimes you do have to re-check your goals and see that you are on the right path. Flexibility is important.  But when you have a goal, focusing on it to the detriment of everything else, is even more important.

This year, I’m focused on FOCUS.

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