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The Real Truth About January 1st

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

As the final notes of “Auld Lang Syne” fade and the remnants of fireworks sparkle in the night sky, many of us are imbued with optimism. After all, January 1st is heralded as the gateway to new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s the day we collectively agree that we’re allowed to push the giant red reset button. It’s a milestone moment.

And we love a good milestone, don’t we? Hallmark has fueled an entire industry to help us celebrate them. And milestones like January 1st, weddings, birthdays, or even that 1st year-sober chip hold power.

That said, here’s the hard truth that we don’t like to admit: there is no mystical transformation that takes place at the stroke of midnight. Our debts, our annoyances, our struggles—they don’t magically reset in the face of a new calendar page. At least… not on their own…

The magic of January 1st only works if you’ve laid the groundwork in advance. And in my opinion, there is one key component that makes or breaks a successful year.


How you are positioned will tell the story. So as l personally look ahead to the new year, I am choosing to make decisions, create plans and set goals from a position of strength instead of weakness.

Positioning Yourself

Imagine you’re in a boxing ring and your back’s against the ropes, your gloves are in a defensive position and your body is curled inward. This is a position of weakness.

Decisions made here are often fueled by fear, haste, and a short-sighted need for escape. In these moments, your vision narrows, possibilities shrink, and you can be tempted to give up or grasp at the nearest lifeline, regardless if it’s the right next move or not.

In contrast, imagine you’re in the center of the ring. Your balance is impeccable, your right shoulder is leaning in, gloves are up, chin’s down and your feet are light. You’ve placed yourself in a position of strength. Under these conditions you’re able to dance around the ring strategically. With this posture, you can confidently look for openings to score points and take that knockout punch.

I always want a year that ends in a TKO, so I start training early. Once October hits, you can find me in my mental gym. It’s the place I visit regularly to work on new ideas, check in on my endurance and create plans.

So, if you’re feeling inspired to start training now too, here’s how can you ensure that you’re operating from a position of strength:

  • First, you’ll need level up mentally. You've heard the saying "what got you here, won’t get you there." And I agree. Moving from strength requires a fierce level of self-awareness. This mental acuity puts you in a position to be honest about where you are and what it’s really going to take to get to the next level.
  • Second, take stock of your core values because therein lies the driver of all grounded decision making. If you don’t know your values, make this a priority; otherwise you might set goals that satisfy the world but leave you ultimately disheartened.
  • And finally, own your lines. Yes, l said lines… your timelines and deadlines. Don’t allow procrastination, excuses or outside circumstances to force you against the ropes. Moving under duress can lead to hasty decisions and unwanted outcomes.

Again, there’s is no doubt that January 1st is a powerful milestone, but it’s only as potent as the energy you put into preparing for it. And if you put the time in now, you’ll start the year off sharp, focused and ready to take on your goals!

If you need a little help… join me for our Fall Reset Series (starting this Saturday). I’m happy to play the role of coach and trainer. Together we can get you ready to step into the ring.


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