Every year begins with a chance to make a change. The newness of something always provides a bit of hope for a better us rather than the middle of a month or the job you’ve been in for years. It is a blank slate and an opportunity for better habits and ultimately a better you.
Below is an excerpt of a Theodore Roosevelt speech he gave in Paris, France in 1910. It has become known as the Man in the Arena. Over one-hundred years later it is still relevant and applies to each and every one of us.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
2019 is no different from 1910. There are still skeptics, critics, doubters, and haters. Although, I am sure Roosevelt didn’t refer to them as haters. His point is clear. Get in the ring! It is always better to have lived striving for your goals than to be on the outside of the arena saying I wish I would have. I love his wording because he knows and so do you and I that even if we do step foot in the arena we will fall. We are human and mess-up. No effort without error. No goals worth pursuing without a cost and a sacrifice. It is better to go after them. Roosevelt isn’t saying it will be easier to go after your goals. In fact, it is harder to put yourself out there and potentially come up short than it is to be someone in the crowd on the outside of the arena telling others what they should have done.
In 2019, GET…IN…THE…ARENA!
For 2019 I plan to use a spreadsheet and the acronym G.O.A.L.S. to challenge myself to make healthy choices to better myself and those around me. I am also inviting anyone else along as well who wants to get in the arena. If you are willing to take a chance on making 2019 your greatest year yet, then maybe G.O.A.L.S. is exactly what you are looking for.
I love a challenge but as I have grown older I also desire balance in my life. I hope that you can see how setting monthly goals/challenges can bring that to your life as well. Each month I plan to share my plan but feel free to run with the concept and make it your own.
G is God! I want to put him first and it works great that G happens to be the first letter of GOALS as well. I want to honor and grow closer to God in 2019 than I ever have. My goal for January is connect with God on a daily basis through Bible readings, nightly prayer before bed, and continuing to attend church on a weekly basis.
O is for Others. Rather than focusing all my goals on improving myself, I want to have a piece that allows me to make a difference for others on a daily basis as well. In January I am going to write a thank you note a day.
A is Add. What new thing will you do each month or continue to do? Could be running every day, getting 7-8 hours of sleep, or getting to work on-time. I am aiming for 24-26 workouts in January.
L is for Learn. This one is centered around knowledge and gaining new insights into becoming a better parent, coach, or other interest through books, videos, or other resources. I plan to read/listen to at least one book a month and I am starting with Brene Brown’s ‘Dare to Lead’.
S is for Subtract. What is one thing you want to subtract from this month? Could be eating less, could be a day a week without your phone, or could be to not complain. Mine will be no sugary drinks for the month.
Below is a link that you can use for the month and the year if you want to get in the arena too! It will help you keep track of things and stay organized. I have the first month laid out for you with some examples. Just make a copy of the original. I would also like to be your accountability partner as well. Please share your document with me and if you’ve come up with your own ideas for each category of GOALS I would love to see them and possibly steal them for upcoming months. Time to get in the arena!