Before I begin, I want to thank you all for coming along on this ride. Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere (or at least I don’t plan to). I just wanted to announce that, as I write this, I have published exactly 1,400 posts to The Daniels Daily Reader (and hundreds more on those blogs that came before this one). So, as we come up on 2019, I’m going to put out some of my best young professional content to date and I expect you all to hold me to it. This is #TheRoadToPost1500. Let’s work.
I know, I know… We all say “New me, new you” is overused but let’s be for real. We’re just over a week from a new year and that year is a new benchmark (Obviously, this was written before Christmas but just work with me). We figure out what we set out to accomplish and examine what we did. We evaluate what we lost and what we learned. And then we move forward.
Last December, I wrote down a decent-sized list of objectives for 2018 and shared it with one of my accountability partners for feedback. This year, I am doing the same, and I’m adding a plan of action for all measurable goals this time. Steps. Timelines. Things that you can measure. Make the list actionable and malleable. If you find yourself ahead of schedule, stretch further. If you’re behind, adjust the action plan. Let’s make this year phenomenal. Let’s learn more about ourselves and how far our potential can take us than we ever thought we would.
Make making it make sense a priority.
We all have to step away from the job sometimes. I’ve seen people literally work themselves sick and it doesn’t make sense to me. Addictions come in many forms. If you find yourself working too much, take a look at the reason behind it. Do you really love your job or is it something else? Are you in love with the money? The power? Do you not have anything or anyone else to turn to when you clock out?
Even as someone who loves professional development, reading, and writing, sometimes it’s necessary to just disconnect and reflect on your purpose in life.
We’ve all been at that point where we think we won’t get ahead if we don’t give it our all. But nothing that has a dollar value is worth your all. Health. Experiences. Love. Joy. Peace. Those things are worth your all. If it doesn’t bring you those things, it’s only a means to an end.
Make personal growth a priority.
When I played football, my coach always said before every game, “Leave it all on the field.” What he meant was do your best and, after it’s done, let it be done. You can’t undo what has already come to pass.
The same is true for your work day or your semester (depending on what phase of life you’re in). You do your best every single day. Build knowledge by reading. Build wisdom by learning from what assisted in your successes and what has caused you to fail. Observe others so that you can avoid as many of their pitfalls as possible. For example, my late father had a ton of great characteristics that I picked up and a few character traits that could impede my success that latched onto my personality as well. I am learning to train myself to build on my strengths and minimize my weaknesses, redirecting them in such a way that they too become strengths.
I cannot change what already is but I can give my all so that I can know, when the day or game or semester or, in my case, the speaking engagement, is over, I’ve left it “all on the field.” Reflect on your shortcomings but don’t dwell on them. Learn from them, strengthen your weak spots, reinforce your strong ones, and keep it moving. Leave it all on the field. The last down was the last down… until your next one comes. And, if you’re lucky enough to live another day, write another paragraph, play another game, or flip another burger, know that you gave it all you could.