At this time of year, it’s natural to reflect. Take stock. And dream about the possibilities for the year ahead. We make plans, outline big goals and create vision boards that feature everything from the house we want to live in, the lifestyle we want to aspire to and the career we hope to achieve.
Look around and you’ll find countless motivational speakers popping up in your Facebook stream or inbox promising to help you achieve your goals for 2015.
We find ourselves sharing pretty quotes on Instagram with pithy messages like “The power of dreams is amazing possibilities” or “2015 is your year to shine”. Nice sentiments, sure. But it’s also important to remember that dreaming about making our dreams come true just isn’t the same thing as taking action to really make them happen.
Get a reality check
In the midst of all the feel good festivities, maybe it’s time for a reality check. I don’t mean to be a downer at a time of year that’s supposed to be filled with sparkles and sunshine. But maybe it’s time to emerge from the cotton wool cocoon of pretty pictures of Pinterest of the life you want to live – and actually start living it.
If this is resonating with you, then you know exactly why. Don’t get me wrong; this message isn’t for everyone. After all, if you’re a ninja action-taking powerhouse who makes your dreams come true on a regular basis, then move along. There is nothing more for you to see here. But if you’re wondering why you’re still in the same position as you were last year, trying to figure out how you haven’t achieved any of the goals you put on your vision board, then maybe it’s time to do something different.
Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So what should you differently?
I’ve mentored and advised many people over the past two decades. They all have different aspirations and they’re all motivated by different reasons. But, without a doubt, the single most important factor that separates people who make their dreams come true from those who don’t is: action.
It sounds so simple. But that’s because it is.
Despite this, so many people seek something more. They’re convinced there is a secret formula for success. Or a 10-step program they have to pay thousands of dollars for so that they can finally make their dreams come true. And if those programs help you take action, then go for it.
But the cold hard truth is that you already have all the resources you need to make your dreams come true. The problem is that after the Christmas festivities are over, it’s easy to slip into a ham, turkey and mince pie coma. Over the break, instead of planning an amazing year ahead, we spend our time trying to forget that we have to go back to work. If you’re not excited about going back to work, then maybe it’s time for another job!
Don’t be deluded
It’s easy to fall into a state of inertia. So we share our motivational quotes. We pin images of the life we want to have. And that lulls us into a false belief that we are taking action. But wake up and smell the real world – that’s not taking action. That’s delusion.
If you have a goal for 2015, I encourage you to hit the ground running. As soon as you identify what it is, make sure you do something that very day that moves you even just a tiny bit closer to that goal. Because if you wait until the holidays are over, or until summer subsides (because you’d rather be at the beach), then you’re not really serious about achieving it.
Don’t ease into it. Do something different and get a head start in your holidays. Embrace that goal with everything you have and really make 2015 the most amazing year of your life.