Take the Brakes Off and Move Forward in 2012

The start of the new year is always a new chapter in our lives. It seems that there are concepts and ideas that permeate our lives with an intensity we don’t usually enjoy throughout the rest of the year. Success is born and reborn with the New Year when new projects are undertaken and accomplishments visualized until we bring the intended to fruition. That success corroborates the notion hypothesized by the scholar, Dr. Benjamin Mays that life is a series of action steps, and that even inactivity as well as any given activity impacts the outcomes of one’s efforts. Success is a journey that has to be charted, it’s not the destination.
One has to envision the end objective, establish benchmarks and measure one’s progress on every step of the journey. How do you measure yourself and how will you measure your accomplishments in 2012?
Those who have not taken the brakes off in their lives and their  progression may want to take note of the behaviors that inhibit growth and those that promote change. There are essentially five creative means for determining your success.

1. Commit goals and objectives in writing in one, five, 10 and 20 year life plans. Thinking about your goals within defined parameters of time helps to formulate plans in smaller increments of time, i.e., on a monthly, weekly and daily basis so that you may see them more vividly and the document becomes a living document.

2. The past is the past, so let it go. Many of us are hindered by the things that came before, so much so that we find it difficult to move forward. Life is for living, not reliving the things that you cannot change. Accept that.

3. Be accountable. Far too many adults continue to wait for their mommies and daddies to intervene in their adult lives and make them movie perfect. They have not only failed to move past the fact that they weren’t born with silver spoons in their mouths, but they begrudge and resent them for not affording them more fairy tale and luxurious lifestyles. They didn’t get the athletic prowess gene, nor do they have Halle Berry’s DNA and they feel slighted. In short — get over it.

4. Learn from setbacks.  Divorce, addiction and economic paralysis are conditions that can be overcome and are temporary in nature, if you deem them so. Let setbacks be your motivation for doing better and the catalyst for besting yourself.

5. Affirm the positives. Read daily affirmations to keep you on course for success and consistent in your approach to greatness.

The new year is also a time for reflection, self-examination and reinvention. Reaffirm your commitment to yourself and others. Take the brakes off and rev up your engine to propel you forward toward your stated objectives. Be the dynamic new you that you are determined to be. Reignite the passion inside you.
The other big step for undertaking is to embrace the concept that life is there for the taking. There are relationships with individuals that you must maintain, and there are new relationships that you’ll need to make. Every year you must raise the bar and reset the standards for those who are worthy of being called a  friend, partner and associate. It is also critical that you enthusiastically involve yourself with professional, social and civic organizations to ensure your success, they are vehicles that will help set the pace for achieving your goals. Here you will learn best practices for any given endeavor.
The new year is also, unfortunately, a time for deceiving ourselves. We promise to work out, read more, be kind, extend ourselves to others and in general be better. Those promises are too often short-lived and easily forgotten. But the achievement is in consistently striving toward our destination and desired outcomes. Don’t make your New Year’s resolutions in vain, be thoughtful and realistic.
Set the tone to live an above average life. Sustain and nurture productive and beneficial behaviors so that we can ride out the highs and lows, and navigate the peaks and valleys of life. Find your spiritual place and work toward peaceful living. Happiness is at times fleeting, but inner peace will keep you.
Take off the brakes. Bring peace into your world. Understand that the drama does not have to be a part of your reality show. Nurture peace through meditation and introspection. Model yourself after positive people. No matter what you do at the beginning of 2012, remember that your success means progress in a measured way on every day. Take the brakes off in 2012.

Munson Steed