Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Are Those New Year’s Resolutions Working Out for You?

What we can learn from Easter, Passover and the Boston Marathon
Rebirth and redemption. It’s in the air this time of year as many of you who observed Easter or Passover last week can attest. Spring has finally come to most northern regions of the country. Major League Baseball is underway and a nearly 39 year-old runner, an American no less, won yesterday’s Boston Marathon.

The 118th running of America’s most famous footrace went off without a hitch under near-perfect weather conditions. There were too many tales of personal and civic redemption to recount here. Suffice it to say that more than one million spectators lined the famous course—about twice the normal crowd—to cheer runners of all shapes, sizes and mobility types on. Even a hardened cynic had to be moved by the size of the crowd after last year’s bombings maimed and injured so many runners and spectators and psychologically scarred the city of Boston. Rather than giving up, the city and the running community came back stronger than before.

If you don’t follow distance running, Meb Keflezighi, who turns 39 in two weeks, became the first American winner of the race since 1983 and oldest winner in 84 years. A low-income child of Eritrean immigrants, his best years were thought to be behind him after injuries derailed his Olympic aspirations and his longtime shoe sponsor dropped him.

If at first you don’t succeed, adjust your goals

Yet there he was crossing the finish line about 10-15 seconds ahead of world-class Kenyan and Ethiopian runners wearing bright red Skechers no less, a brand normally associated with the skateboarding and casual wear crowd.

At this point, you’re probably expecting us to exhort to follow your dreams and never give up. Nope, just set more reasonable goals. Pursue those goals with all you’ve got, but don’t be afraid to make constant adjustments.

As many of you know, we advocate getting at least a one-month head start on your resolutions (see our popular December 6 blog post) and revisiting those goals several times throughout the year. It doesn’t matter how lofty or modest your goals are. You need tangible metrics to show progress and make them stick. Click here for more reasons why the vast majority of resolutions don’t stick.

If your goal was to hit the gym every day in 2014, don’t tell yourself you failed if you’re only making it two twice a week. Make those two sessions really count when you go, and maybe shoot for an average of three times per week by mid-year. If your goal was to bring in three new clients every quarter, and you just brought in one, don’t chalk that up as a failure. Celebrate that you signed on a new client. Make sure you serve that new client really well, and shoot for two new clients next quarter. By the way, if you’re serving that one new client really well, word will get around, and chances are an unexpected referral or two will find its way to your firm.

How Meb did it

Despite being nearly 40, Keflezighi knew he could still run with the world’s best, even though his chances of breaking the world record, or even the Boston course record were no longer likely. So he set up a plan to stay within striking distance of the lead pack, and if the race became tactical, rather than a suicidal exercise in attrition, then he could make a decisive move in the hilliest part of the course—half a dozen miles from the finish—and distance himself from the pack before they could reel him back in. That’s what he did—despite stomach cramps—and he held on for a historic win on a historic day.

We’re about one-third of the way through 2014 and this is one of those “Gut Check” times. So take a short lunchtime stroll if the weather’s nice. Open the windows instead of cranking the A/C and let’s get back to work with a renewed sense of purpose. You’ll be glad you did.

Have a great week. HB

Our blog has more, as does the FREE Resources page of our website.


Our blog has more, as does the FREE Resources page of our website.

TAGS: Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi, New Years resolutions, Skechers, setting reasonable goals, Easter and Passover rebirth redemption

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