Updated: Jan 4
As we head into a new year some of our athletes ask ‘coach, what would be a good resolution for me to start the new year with?’ This starts me thinking on how many people have the same dilemma?
Why a dilemma?
Let’s not delve into it too deep, however deep enough for you to have a little look in the bathroom mirror, and ask yourself, why do you need the motivation of a new year to do what you should’ve doing every day of your life? What is lacking? Am I a guy or girl that needs a motivational speech each month to keep me from losing sight of what I feel is important to me? This doesn’t have to be sport related, but if I find a stirring speech, or a New Years resolution something I look forward to, to keep me on track, then is there something wrong?
The New Years resolution Grinch says yes there is. So let’s think of some legitimate reasons that one can back slide off their self commitments.
The commitment that has been set has been way too high for ones ability level. At its worst it’s highly unattainable or at its best is highly unsustainable over a longer period of time. This is a legitimate mistake, usually brought on by the motivational brigade who’s mantra is ‘You can do any thing you put your mind to’.
The doc doesn’t belong to this brigade of hope purveyors or dream sequence directors. It sounds nice, and wrapped up in a pretty package sounds almost achievable. However when reality strikes it has the reverse reaction, making your self esteem even worse than when you went searching for the holy grail. The grail of ‘give me a message that is going to make me something I’m not’.
The resolution that you have made does not produce the passion of what you enjoy in your life. I would like to do this, yes, but is it a passion? Do you obsess over this direction? Am I making a resolution because I have been pressured into it by others?
This type of new resolution is destined to failure also, because the reality is our hearts are not 100% in it. While it might be good for you, and others can think it will improve you but as in most things in life, if you don’t believe in it then you can guarantee another failure at the behest of being rail roaded into something that your not passionate about.
This one, is the one I can help you with! The person that needs to have artificial stimuli to make positive things happen for them. Nobody has ever accused me of not dishing out some tough love to help people or athletes at times overcome themselves, or the road blocks they build to undermine themselves. When we look to others, we look to external circumstances to help what is been lost in our society, that is learning to ‘carry our own water’ – taking responsibility for oneself!
At Trisutto we teach coaches that yelling ‘go harder’ to their athlete in a race is nonsense! If me yelling go harder actually sees an athlete lift their performance, then I have failed as a coach. After being in our group all know very quickly that giving ones best is not a luxury but the basic requirement, that is not applauded, but is expected as the foundation one must have to build on for the future. If me yelling go harder is needed, then the athlete just like the new resolution crowd, need to really explore their procedure to life itself.
I am a simple man and I try to keep things extremely clear. I found my own light when it was impressed on me by a wise man – that you can only do your best with what you have at any given time. However he was at pains to point out 99% of the population, the ‘sheeple’ as he called us, have no idea what giving ones best really means! I still hear it ringing in my ears from 40 years ago, the booming voice not to me but at me –
you will only fulfil your potential when each day you wake up, and when your feet hit the floor, you say that today I’m going to do my very best to be better than yesterday, and you spend the next 8 working hours trying to fulfil that goal. There will be down days, there will be artificial highs, but the bad days will disappear.
I remember I was young and so answered back ‘what’s the difference between bad days and down days?’ He quoted the American Novelist Jack London:
The man that does his best is good enough!’, and followed up with ‘if you put your head on that pillow at night knowing you did all you could there are no bad days, just difficult ones. Tomorrow you rise and fight the good fight again. That’s what life is really about’.
So if you’re someone who needs to be motivated by New Years resolution, my resolution to you is take a hard look in the mirror. Give yourself a good slap, and say
‘I need to do better on a daily basis. I need to keep it simple, and do my best with what I got every day – not just on chosen ones’.