Updated: Jan 20, 2021
I looked up the top 10 most common new year’s resolutions made in America: 1. Exercise 2. Lose weight 3. Get organized 4. Learn a new skill 5. Live life to the fullest 6. Save more/spend less 7. Quit smoking 8. Spend more time with friends and family 9. Travel more 10. Read more.
I even read the top 55 most common resolutions and not even one of the categories involved a “thinking goal” or “I-want-to-create-a-new-thought goal”.
It may sound odd to have a thinking goal, but why should it when everything we currently observe in our lives started with one single thought we had.
In fact, to even be effective or successful with losing weight, saving more, learning a new skill…we first would need to think a new thought.
You know the progression…thoughts turn into repeated thoughts that eventually create emotion; emotion guides our choices; repeated choices become habits and habits create our destiny. Everything can be traced back to a single thought. Our lives are exactly as we have created them to be, with thoughts being the starting point that eventually led to the reality of our circumstance.
90% of our thoughts today are a rerun from yesterday and the day before and the day before and the day before.
What is the first word, phrase or emotion that comes to mind when you read the next few questions?
What’s your current most predominant thought about yourself right now?
What’s your current most predominant thought about your business or career right now?
Are those thoughts aligned with the dream future you would prefer to create?
If you could wave a magic wand and perfectly design all of your thoughts, what would you set them to be?
If you described the highest and best version of yourself, what words would you write down?
If you described your most ideal preferred future, what would it look like?
How much time do you spend THINKING about you at your highest and best? How much time do you spend thinking about your ideal preferred future?
What if in 2021 we transformed our thought life and spent more time thinking quality thoughts?
My children started Kid's CrossFit a few months ago. Something their coach always tells them during class is “we are going to teach you think while in fatigue…to use your cognitive abilities while in duress…to have mental capacity during physical fatigue”. The workouts are designed to do this, even at a child’s level. That is a big attraction to CrossFit for me: how much you have to think during a workout. It is not mindless physical activity, your mind and body are fully engaged.
Thinking under fatigue…
2020 required that of us…to use our minds while in fatigue. And not necessarily physical fatigue, but mental, emotional, psychological, neurological fatigue.
And although 2021 feels like a fresh start and a needed reset, we will probably experience more of the same this year: thinking under fatigue.
What was your most common response to mental fatigue 2020? Fight or flight? Food? Distraction? Scrolling? Netflix? Shopping? Working? Chocolate? Sleeping? Wine? Isolating?
How can we have a victorious response this year?
Two tips for mental health and victories in 2021:
#1 - Get a journal!
Benefits of journaling: based on scientific studies it is a stress management and mental health tool, it lowers blood pressure, improves liver function, strengthens immunity. It can be tool to unwind, which can replace other substances used for that. It boosts memory and comprehension, boosts your mood, teaches you to be present in the moment, reduces frenetic energy, unlocks creativity, stimulates the brain in a way that digital communication cannot. Good ole fashioned pen to paper.
For the Christian, it is a record of your prayers, a way to connect with God, and a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
I have been journaling for years and I started a new exercise in 2020: in my prayer journal, I started writing out my preferred future - for my family, my business, for my children, my relationships, my income, my leadership, and the person I want to become. In detail, I describe areas of my life and roles I am called to and envision the most ideal picture that my mind and heart can create, and I generate emotion as I imagine the life of my dreams. I meditate on it, pray over it and invite God to design the picture.
#2 - WORK!
I was telling my husband about my advice on journaling and this was his response: “Don’t tell them to journal, tell them to go work. They need to get out there and hustle and stop overthinking. It’s their action that will quell the fear.”
Time is the most equally distributed resource in the world. It does not favor, nor does it discriminate. We all have the same 168 hours in a week. When you take out a 40-hour/week job, full night of sleep, quiet time, workout time, family time, meal time, church time, down time, there is still 20-40 hours left in your week. What if you used more of your free hours in your life to create something more beautiful than you have right now?
Years ago, before Netflix binging was a thing, I read a study that Americans spend 21 hours a week watching TV. That number is probably higher now.
“It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested. But when it is squandered in luxury and carelessness, when it is devoted to no good end, forced at last by the ultimate necessity, we perceive that life is short. Yet the life we receive is not short, but we make it so, nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it.” - Roman philosopher
We all have the exact number of hours given to Hellen Keller, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.
When we waste our hours we waste our potential.
Invest and steward your time well. This is not a dress rehearsal. This is real life, the show is happening now. Our day are numbered and we are accountable for how we choose to invest our time.
All dreams are paid for with our time.
In a world that overvalues leisure and comfort, let’s boldly stand for work ethic and a willingness to do what is hard and uncomfortable.
We can do hard things, my friends.
You cannot enjoy the luxuries of entrepreneurship without the work ethic of an entrepreneur.
A life of ease leads nowhere.
Work is a friend, not a lover; it is a sober, steady relationship.
George Clason said, “Work is the best friend Ive ever known. It has brought me all the good things I’ve ever had.”
1. Leah’s advice: start journaling for mental health benefits and define and meditate on your preferred future.
2. Cliff’s advice: don’t journal and stop overthinking – get out there and hustle and work hard.
There will never be a better time than now to step into operating as the human being you have always dreamed of becoming. You CAN transform. People from every walk of life from every nation on the planet do it every single day. And if they can grow, you can grow. If they can defeat their limitations & excuses, so can you.
“The very story of human greatness is one of ordinary people who—in a one moment of inspiration and self-belief—made a right angle turn into what had previously seemed impossible. And went down a road that shifted their lives forever.” - Robin Sharma
Here’s to our best year ever!