Happy New Year! I wish 2016 will bring you prosperity and success in fulfilling your dreams!
Many people write ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, start out with hope and passion, only to give up after a month or two. To see this in real life just go to the gym. Every year you see lots of people sign up at the beginning of a year or a new term. Then after a month or two the numbers dwindle and only the committed people stay. Sound familiar? Are you one of the committed people or one of the quitters?
Many people know I am an accomplished pianist. My brother and I were Canadian national piano champions at the Canadian Music Competitions, twice. We were champions in Montreal (2001), and in Toronto (2004). Many people have told me: “I’d do anything to have your level of success!” No they won’t. Many people are dreamers. They talk the talk but won’t walk the talk. Would they practice 4 hours of piano a day every single day like me? Many don’t have the self-discipline. They envy the accomplishments of others but can’t seem to muster enough self-discipline to accomplish things themselves. Don’t let this be you. I know a friend who practiced much more than 4 hours a day and is now a professional concert pianist touring the world.
Here are some tips how to accomplish your goals in 2015:
1. Set ‘SMART’ Goals
In order to fulfill your dreams you need a plan. I recommend the ‘SMART’ goal setting method: ‘S’pecific, ‘M’easurable, ‘A’chievable, ‘R’ealistic, ‘T’imebased. Also, get rid of wishy-washy language such as “I hope”, “I may”, “I might”, and replace them with “I will”, “I can”, and “I am able to”. Then you have to hold yourself accountable and do the necessary hard work to achieve your goals. You must set a time-limit and deadline on when to achieve your goals.
In 2010, I decided to do a 10-kilometer charity run, and set a goal to lose 25 pounds within 4 months before the race so that I can run faster. My goal was SMART: Specific: I want to lose weight. It was Measurable: 25 pounds. Achievable: yes, with the right diet and exercise. Realistic: yes. Timebased: 4 months. I achieved my goal of losing 25 pounds in 4 months, and also set a personal best record of running 10-kilometers in 55 minutes. I ran the entire 10-K non-stop.
2. Start Small, Achieve It, and Repeat with Bigger, More Ambitious Goals
If you’ve always been a failure when it comes to sticking to plans and achieving goals, I suggest you start with something small, achieve it, and repeat. As your confidence builds, try more challenging and ambitious goals.
Training for a 10-K run is very difficult, one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever faced. I started with 15 minutes running non-stop, then trained 5 times a week adding 2 minutes each day until I can run 1 hour and 15 minutes non-stop. The extra 2 minutes each day was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, as I had to move out of my comfort zone. It would be easier to give up, but I’m so glad I stuck with my plan and accomplished my goals.
3. Surround Yourself with Friends and Supporters
For MBA students, doing a MBA is a challenging 2-year goal. Most are able to succeed because they have classmates and friends to cheer them on and give them support.
4. Believe in Yourself
The human body has amazing ability to adapt. Most of us never use our bodies to their full capacity. It takes a strong mind and will to accomplish goals.
In 2015, let us run valiantly towards our goals! Set New Year’s Resolutions, and stick with them. Plan them. Carry them out. Never never never never quit. If you fall down, get back up and keep going. This is how winners are forged: through tears and sweat. But in the end those will be tears of victory, sweet victory.