(originally published on January 1, 2015)
It’s the first day of the new year. This is a day of new beginnings. It is a day that gets people thinking about change. I went to the gym this afternoon for my normal exercise session. There were a number of new people there that I haven’t seen before. I think this will become the new normal…at least for a month or so. New Year’s resolutions abound. Promises are made. Commitments are revealed.
The start of a new year is a great time to re-evaluate where you are personally and professionally. There is no magic to a new year but the perception exists that wonderful things can be accomplished and that we have a clean slate. It is always good to make long term plans and seek to improve our lives. However, I think New Year’s resolutions can sometimes be a little daunting. New beginnings are great but what if our goals are rather large?
Want to lose weight, want to save money, want to be a better person, want to get a promotion, want to quit smoking, want to get out of debt, want to enjoy life more? All of these are great goals and are considered some of the top New Year’s resolutions each year. Commitments, planning and goals are good. What we need a little bit more of, however, are momentary or daily wins in these areas.
The University of Oregon plays Florida State today in the College Football Playoffs. Whenever I think of Oregon, I think of three things: New Nike uni’s each game, spread offense and “win the day”. Chip Kelly coined this phrase years ago when he was the head football coach. He is now the head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL. Kelly would talk about doing the little things throughout each day that leads to victory…victory for that day, which leads to victory for the week, which leads to victory for the month, and so on. Worry about the stuff that you can control. Worry about the immediate stuff. I don’t know if Oregon will beat FSU today or not. Oregon’s new coach is Mark Helfrich and he continues to emphasize winning the day. For the Oregon Ducks, trying to win today’s Rose Bowl Game began a long time ago with daily victories and habits being developed.
Every major victory has countless minor victories along the way that made it possible. You want to quit smoking, then stop smoking for this hour…this afternoon…this day. You want to get out of debt, then don’t stop at the mall today. You want to lose 20 pounds, then bypass your normal after dinner piece of pie today. Then when tomorrow comes, do it again. If you should take a step back, that’s normal…just “win the day” the next time. Very teams go undefeated. You can’t expect to win every day but you can win today. Tackle your goals or your New Year’s resolutions in smaller increments. Win the little battles and you’ll eventually win the war. Win enough days and you’ll eventually be a winner.
Jamy Bechler is the executive director of U-Leadership and a John Maxwell Certified Leadership Speaker and Coach. Contact him at CoachBechler@CoachBechler.com to find out how you or your team can be more successful.