Since moving away from the Gold Coast a few years ago I have been missing my daily beach walks. So at the start of this year (actually, at the very end of last year) I decided that I would start driving to the beach for walks much more often.
New Year’s Day was going to be my first day doing this. I planned a 10km beach walk and was looking forward to some solitude and nothing but the sound of the ocean and its natural surrounds, with the occasional passing beach-walker along the way.
So I drove to the beach.
What was I thinking?
A glorious summer’s day in Queensland – a public holiday at that – and I expected the beach to be quiet? Yeah, right!
Okay, so perhaps I had been blinded to logic by the visions of my great dream.
But I was determined. I was going to walk 5kms along the beach then another 5kms back again.
I set out, through the crowds, dodging fishing lines, footballs, dogs, frisbees and children dragging their boogie boards with parents chasing after them with bottles of sunscreen.
Because I had wanted solitude and was getting annoyed by having to zig-zag through all these people and all the noise.
When could I zone out and get lost in my thoughts? This isn’t what I came here for and now I just wanted to turn around and go home.
But no … I had committed to walking along the beach more, beginning with a 10km walk TODAY. If I couldn’t keep that commitment for 1 day, how was I going to make this a long-term habit again?
So on I walked, 1km, 2km … I lost count of how many times it wasn’t fun and I wanted to go home. But I stuck with it. I was so close to turning around so many times!
All of a sudden, the people began thinning out. This was a part of the beach that wasn’t near any carparks, so the only way to get to it was a long, hot trudge through the crowds. For the majority of people, this walk was too hard so they didn’t venture this far. They were happy to stay with the main crowd.
I kept walking and after a total of 3.2kms finally … solitude. The image below is what I could see from this point.
Yes, I continued to walk for 5kms (and then some) then sat to enjoy the peacefulness for a while, reflecting on this beach journey.
I couldn’t believe I had almost given up and gone home, without being able to enjoy this experience and was so grateful I stuck it out.
It occurred to me that this was just what “life” gets like at times. All too often we set our goals, but then want to give up when it gets too hard.
This is especially true in business. I have seen so many people start out with bold dreams, but give up when it gets tough.
Yet for those who stick with it and make it through the challenges, the rewards are there and are so worthwhile. It’s such a shame so many give up, often when they’re oh so close!
I’ve been running my business for nearly two decades and I am so happy with how it’s turned out. Believe me, there were plenty of struggles along the way and times when I considered getting a “normal” job. But all in all, I couldn’t imagine having to work a “normal” job ever again.
Whenever you’re doing something worthwhile, chances are there will be times when it gets too hard and you’ll be wondering if it’s worth it. If you truly want to outcome, those struggles may definitely be worthwhile. Only you will know.
Personally, I have printed a copy of my beach photo above and look at it daily. This is my reminder that when things get tough and I want to give up, I need to decide how much I want to achieve the end goal and to do what it takes to keep going.
For the first video for this year I thought I’d focus on how I do my planning; how I plan what I’m doing for the year ahead.
Now a lot of people, they use the start of the year … use January as a good time to set their New Year’s resolutions and so forth. And this year in particular, even more than ever, I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts and hearing a lot of people saying whether or not they set New Year’s resolutions and, if so, how they do it and so forth.
Well, this is a little bit different. My thoughts on this are that I don’t set resolutions for the new year, as such. I don’t start on January 1st and set New Year’s resolutions that I’m going to try to stick to for the year ahead.
I plan throughout the year and I’ll be constantly revising my plans and my goals and so forth.
But something I do like to do at the beginning of each year is to set a word – or choose a word – that is going to define a lot of my decisions and a lot of my goals throughout the year.
So by that what I mean is, a couple of years ago my word was ‘discipline’. And that was something that I thought that, over the years, I’d become less and less self-disciplined in some areas and so discipline was going to be something I was really focusing on for myself for that year.
Another year it was ‘health’. I had some health issues and I knew that my health was going downhill, so health was going to be the main thing that I was focusing on.
And this is just a way that I like to try to keep track of whether my goals are in line with what I’m hoping to achieve for the year.
Now, it may or may not work for you, I don’t know. Everyone is different and what I suggest is, don’t do what I do. Don’t do what the person next door does. Don’t necessarily do what anyone else particularly does.
Try different strategies and find what works for you. There’s no point setting New Year’s resolutions if you’re not going to stick with them. There’s no point setting any goals if you’re not going to then set some plans in motion and then go ahead and achieve those goals.
If this is something that works for you, where you choose a word that you’re going to use for one of the focuses for yourself, to improve yourself throughout the year, I hope it works for you and I wish you all the best with it.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep yourself motivated when you manage a small business, especially if you don’t have anyone to share the management responsibilities with.
I make it a priority to watch at least one motivational video every morning to help get me in the right frame of mind for the day ahead. My main video is a ‘Vision Video’ that my son made for me (the idea came from friend, mentor and highly successful entrepreneur, Brett McFall).
But I also have a range of other videos saved to my computer or bookmarked so I can refer to them often.
Here’s one of those videos … I hope you find this helpful too: