Norton: We can’t stop until we start
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.” — Joe Saba.
Here we go. The first week of the year begins, and we are back at it, whatever “it” may be for each of us. Whether we claim 2021 as a huge success, miserable failure or anywhere in between, the good news is that we get to either build upon the successes, grow from the failures or jumpstart our way out of our comfort zone.
Heading into the new year, we get to choose what it is we want to start doing. For many of us, we thought about what it is that we want to stop doing instead of what we want to start doing. When we think of what we are trying to stop, it means we see that as something that is negative, maybe it’s a bad habit that we know we need to break. Having this awareness is so powerful when it comes to making positive changes in our life.
The best way to stop or break a bad habit is to start a new, good, healthy, and productive habit. What I have noticed in life is that people who get stuck — knowing they want to stop doing something that could be destructive or disruptive to their life but don’t stop — is because they didn’t come up with a better alternative.
We may argue that this should be common sense, but keep in mind that common sense is not always common practice. Many of us miss our own a-ha moments because we are so close to a problem or situation that we can’t visualize our way out of it. We need someone else to come alongside of us and point out what might be obvious.
As I thought about the column that I would write to begin the year, I knew that I wanted to begin the year with a one-word theme. I outlined several drafts of what the column could be about and had plenty of positive, motivating and encouraging words to choose from. Before I knew it, I was stuck. Then it hit me: “Start” would be the word, and all I had to do was “start” writing, and the story would almost write itself.
“People who never take step one, can never possibly take step two.” — Zig Ziglar
Why don’t we take the first step? It comes down to one of two things: Fear of failure and no time. Fear of failure can be crippling if not paralyzing, but it is also the common language of negative or destructive self-talk. A kind of negative self-talk that when we eliminate it propels us forward toward the accomplishment of our goals and dreams. If we can start filling our head and heart with good, strong, and positive encouraging words, we will stop feeding our minds with negativity.
No time? What we are really telling ourselves is that everything and everyone else is more important than our own health and peace of mind. No time is the easiest cop-out of all. Sorry, but it’s true. What we need to do before we stop doing anything is start prioritizing what we are doing. What will have the greatest positive impact on our lives, so we in turn can have an even greater impact on those around us? Change the talk-track in our head with what to start doing — and what we need to stop doing will become obvious.
Are you ready to start the new year? Are you ready to start the year by deciding to get past the fear, the excuses of no time, stopping all that is dragging you down or holding you back, so that you can enjoy all that 2022 has in store for you? I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can overcome our fears and make time to start doing more of the good, pure, powerful and positive actions and stop doing those detrimental, negative and destructive things, it really will be a better than good year.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.