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It is January 20th, and for the most part- I would guess- that most gym and church attendance has already begun to dwindle, vision boards are on their way to comfortably and quietly hiding under couches and most people have gone back to drinking the coveted two cans of Pepsi a day after swearing that they would drink more water for the new year and limit soda drinking to the weekend. The OOOOOH’s and AAAAAAH’s of the old adage “new year, new you” have worn off or, at the very least, begun to drown in the noise of life and the ease and predictability of the good old comfort zone. It’s a new year but the same old habits hold us hostage until the next December 31st when we swear to do better the next year.

I don’t want to rain on your parade. I won’t be that voice that tells you that you can’t do it. On the contrary, I am going to be your biggest supporter, even at the risk of sounding a little strange, that tells you you can do it! But…..I also want to be that honest friend who warns you about the pitfalls of making resolutions without a plan to really see it through and guarantee that you will be smiling December 31, 2019 instead of wishing you had another six months to accomplish the goals you were so sure about at the beginning of the year.

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What does it takes to make sure that when you toast on December 31st of this year, you will have some amazing things to celebrate?

GOALS THAT MATTER- It starts with being real about what you truly value. I wish I could take credit for this, but it actually came from a new friend that came into my life because of what I value and vowed to put more effort into developing- relationships and personal connections. Here how it works. We will never commit to what we don’t truly value. PERIOD. I am not talking about what others say we should value or what we think we should value. I am talking about what we truly value in our own hearts. If I truly value health, then I will take the proper measures to eat right and exercise. If I truly value my time, then I will make sure that I am not wasting it on trivial matters, especially ones that don’t directly concern me. I need to KNOW what I value, and once I know that, I need to KNOW the plan of how I am going to implement more time to cultivate the things that are of value to me. In other words, if I value health but my schedule is busy, because my health is important to me, I need to find a way to make sure that I incorporate exercise and self-care into my schedule. If I value financial freedom, I need to make sure that I have a plan that will help me get there. KNOWING MY VALUES and KNOWING MY VISION are key to moving towards my goals.

GRACE and GRIT– Nine times out of ten we are not where we are in life because of one singular decision. Typically it took time to get us into the place that we are- the place that we so desperately want to leave behind. So we set momentous goals and at the first signs that we have not accomplished them, we are discouraged. If you went from a size 2 to a size 10 in two years, is it realistic that you would lose 50 pounds in two months after visiting the gym only once a week? The mess that it took us time to get into, is probably going to take time to get us out of. The key is to break your plan down into manageable steps then celebrate when you accomplish the smaller goals that will lead to the satisfaction of fulfilling the bigger goal then….KEEP GOING! Show grace to yourself on your journey then have the grit to stick to the plan. Reciting your affirmations daily will help to restore and maintain your focus when you are not feeling accomplished. Results will happen if you don’t give up on yourself!

GOOD PEOPLE- You need people who love you and who will keep you on track to your goals. You should be comfortable being honest and vulnerable with your accountability partner because transformation does not happen without transparency. If you cannot be honest about your struggles and your strengths, then they are not the right person that you want to have in your corner. When people ask me to be their mentor and/or accountability partner, I make sure that the both of us are crystal clear about what that means. We talk about what I expect from them and what they can expect from me so we can move forward on the same page. Honest dialogue about your goals and expectations are needed from the very beginning to form a relationship that will help your growth and not hinder it. You may also consider keeping a journal to track your progress and process your thoughts while you are in this journey as well as a vision board to help you visually and mentally focus on your goals.

GOD- You can reread that…lol…I am going to let you in on a little secret. God is totally, AND I mean TOTALLY, into you becoming the best version of yourself possible. He wants it for you probably more than you do. WHY? He knows that when you grow, it is going to get the attention of others who He also wants to grow, and what is better than a world full of people who are healthy mentally, financially, socially and spiritually? Nothing from His perspective, I am sure. On the days that you are feeling frustrated, guilt ridden or flat out unmotivated and your accountability partner does not answer the phone, you can’t seem to remember where you put your affirmation and nothing on your social media is particularly inspiring, God knows how to locate you right where you are and whisper to your heart ever so gently, “You can do it! Don’t give up! I am here for you!” This is one thing that I love about God, and I am still trying to understand. He loves us so much, whether we believe He is there, obey His every word or obey none at all, give Him any of our time or selfishly just call on Him when we need Him-  GOD’S LOVE FOR US NEVER CHANGES. He always wants to see us do well, and it is no different when it comes to our hearts’ desires for change. God will be your BIGGEST supporter. REAL TALK…..

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NO ONE likes to be lied to. NO ONE likes to have promises made to them only to be broken, and the promises that we make to ourselves and don’t keep are the ones that hurt the worst. Someone once said, “You are what you do, not what you say you will do.” In other words good intentions mean nothing if they don’t produce anything. There is a lot of 2019 left. There are a lot of areas for you to win. I dare you to get REALLY real about what you want and go after it like failure isn’t an option. I bet if you do, on December 31st of this year, we will both be toasting in celebration of an absolutely epic 2019 and eagerly awaiting 2020 so we can dominate THAT year too.

C. Mack