In my experience, February is usually the month where people run into the wall of reality in their efforts to make changes in the new year.
It may seem like a painful question to consider, but do you know why you’ve failed so far? Obviously, I can’t answer that for you, but have you given it any thought?
None of us likes to spend time considering failure. It’s no fun looking at where you fell short.
But focusing your mind on it – without self-blame – can be very revealing. You can take what you learn and determine a better approach for next time.
If you can stand to do it, you’ll be ahead of most people.
Here are a few questions to prompt your thought process:
What resources did you bring to the task?
We usually think failure comes from a lack of resources – not enough money or time or experience, or maybe you have a limited network, lack of education, not enough support. The stoics have a principle that I love: Amor Fati – love your fate. In essence, that means being grateful for everything at this point in your life, including the desire to want more (otherwise you wouldn’t have made a resolution). Even your failures and setbacks are great lessons if you only slow down to recognize it.
Tony Robbins offers a different way of looking at it. He says we fail because we lack resourcefulness. We don’t take advantage of the ultimate human resources, which are things like creativity, decisiveness, passion, honesty, sincerity, love. He says that if you apply enough of these resources, you can get any other resource on Earth.
How’s your energy level?
I would add to what Tony says by pointing out that deploying all those human resources requires human energy. If life is wearing you down, it’s nearly impossible to generate the energy you need to be creative and passionate and decisive.
We must take care of our bodies to have the necessary energy (enough sleep, healthy diet, etc.), but we also have to take care of our spirits, because that’s probably the most important source of human energy.
Meditating, journaling, reflecting, enjoying nature, cultivating gratitude, paying personal attention to the people in our lives – all these things help us reconnect with our spirit.
Out of curiosity… what do you love to do most? Whatever your answer, do more of this to feed your spirit without guilt. For instance, I recently had a conversation with a group of entrepreneurs, and I talked about my passion for golf. I then shared that I sometimes felt guilty while golfing. This feeling comes from the servant-leadership programmed into me, i.e., my passions should come last after my businesses, my family, my friends, my charities, etc. I realized, however, that pouring into my spirit things that I love, without guilt, made me a much better leader, father, boyfriend and friend.
This outlook changed my energy to truly serve.
Making time to feed our spirits daily, even if some days it’s only a few minutes, gives us the energy we need to take on our goals: creatively, decisively, and passionately.
Who do you spend most of your time with?
Your energy is also influenced by the people around you. Some people boost your energy, and some drain it. Do you socialize with people who inspire you?
Making changes may require changing your peers. Whenever possible, surround yourself with individuals who are where you want to be. Just imagine the progress you can make if you spend most of your time with people that are wealthier, healthier, and wiser than you.
Our egos want us to look for a small pond where we can be the big fish, but that’s a recipe for complacency. Don’t play small. Seek out people who motivate you and inspire you to keep pushing for progress.
Make the rest of 2023 a Great Year
If you can discipline yourself to look directly at your failures, you can learn the lessons buried in each attempt. Take those lessons to heart, and don’t give up on what you want.