As we ended the year last week I talked with numerous clients about reverse engineering 2017. I encouraged them to envision what they wanted their health to look and feel like at this time next December. It's a poignant time of year to look back but also (I would argue) look ahead. What does that look like? What have you built? How have you gotten stronger, faster, healthier? So you have your goal for 12 months down the calendar. What's next?
I know what you're thinking: "I'm scared to start because I am afraid I won't keep it up." Or worse, "Everyone's starting their New Year's Resolutions, and I'm not into those. If everyone's doing it, I'm out." Let's all put down our device and realize it doesn't matter what other people are doing. You, my friend have a goal for 2017 and it's time to start. But starting is probably the toughest part of this whole thing. I know because I'm right there step-for-step with you.
What am I starting in 2017? First off, I'm starting with less. I did really well reading devotionals last year, beginning each day reflecting on portions of the Bible or topics to become a better man, husband, father. Over the years I've gathered multiple devotionals (most of which are fantastic) but what I've realized is that by not focusing on one, I've watered down the messages and concepts. I've essentially robbed myself of the full impact of a single entry. This year I'm down to one entry per morning. I haven't decided on which one or even if I'll switch throughout the year (month-to-month?). See that? The plan doesn't have to be perfect. But I have to start.
I'm reading less. That's not completely accurate. I'm reading less of the tech Twitter stuff that I absolutely lovereading. I'm refocusing my daily Twitter news to actual news first and my exercise science and fitness news second. As I've reflected I've the last couple weeks I've realized a clear fork in the road when I sit down to read: I could go left and read to make myself better professionally or I could go right and read fun tech stuff that is useful but does not help pay the bill or feed me in any way other than as a hobbyist. Reading less of the tech stuff will be an intentional disciplined move to reading what matters to me.
These are just a couple ways I'm starting with less. But I'm also starting things new, and yes starting today. A big part of what I want to accomplish in 2017 includes writing publicly more. Each year I typically write more than the previous year, so as a writer I'm improving. Win! I am a big proponent of writing every day even if it's just in a journal or something that never gets published to the world. At the same time I believe that putting public posts like this on the internet force me to be at the top of my game, continually get better, and punch fear in the face. It's not easy to write in public. But the successful people that I read were one day in the same boat: they had to start writing and hitting that publish button. One of my main goals for 2017 includes writing more on a weekly basis. I ended last year with a new writing project, Tech Trainer, which I am very proud of. I will continue this project in 2017 – it still feels like I'm "starting" this one.
Finally I'm not starting new health and fitness but I am starting a new training focus this year: I'm calling it TriForty. Again, the goal here isn't to list out all the details of what I'm starting but rather make the case that starting is one of the hardest part. Yet we all can agree that there can be no finish, no journey, no struggle and victory if there is no start.
1/1/17 and it's time to start.