We are closing in on the end of the first month of 2016. Some experts say it takes 21 days to create or break a habit, and as of today it has been 28 days. So the question of the day is, are you still committed?
Have you kept the resolution, the commitment and the promise you made to yourself and to others on January 1st. If you have, by now, you should be feeling and seeing some measurable results. As statistics show the majority of people do not make it to that 21 days. So many people during Christmas or New Years buy nice and expensive exercise equipment like treadmills or ellipticals, setting them up in their bedrooms, dens or offices with the intentions of using them every day to get healthier. Sadly what so often happens, is this expensive equipment turns out to be a dust collector or where you put the clothes you pulled out of the closet but decided not to wear that day. Don’t worry, I’m not condemning you. I’ve been there and done that myself and so have at least 40% of Americans according to this New York Times piece in 2009! I don’t want to put you on a guilt trip if you have not made it to the 21 days. I want to encourage you to start over! Start a new 21 days today! We all fail to meet our goals we set for ourselves, from time to time. The world’s most successful people all failed or at least perceived themselves as failures at one point before breaking through. Here are some great examples:
Jerry Seinfeld – Arguably the greatest stand up comedian of all time, his TV show’s final episode aired in 1998, and here we are almost 20 years later and Seinfeld is still on TV everyday of the week. Did you know though that in his first ever stand up set at a local club, he got on stage, completely froze and was booed off the stage? He knew he could do it though and went back the very next night, did his routine, and the rest is history.
Harland David Sanders – You might not know him by that name, but I know you know who Colonel Sanders is. There have been a few funny Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials recently with a caricature version of the Colonel, but did you know his secret chicken recipe was rejected over 1,000 times before a restaurant accepted it? That is the kind of persistence we all could use!
Michael Jordan – This is probably the most famous example of turning failure into success in my mind. It just doesn’t make sense that the best basketball player ever got cut from his high school team his freshman year, but he did. Michael was later quoted with saying, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
I’m sure you’ve all heard the old cliche, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. These three people are great examples of that. They were knocked down and they were turned down, but they kept getting up and going back and they were rewarded with success. Failure is not final unless you quit. You are going to have days when life throws you a curveball and stuff just happens. There will be when you really want to quit. There will be days that you feel like you can’t do it anymore. I’ve been there and I’ve fought those mental battles as well. But you can do it! You can win those battles! First you have got to believe in yourself and that you can do it. You can meet your goals! You can get healthier! Secondly I would find someone that also believes in you. Someone that will hold you accountable, that will push you forward and encourage you when you want to quit. The famous people above didn’t do it alone. They had someone pushing them along, someone coaching them to victory and success.
Let me be the first to encourage you today. You can do it. You will do it. You will get up. You will keep going. You will not quit. Remember this, failure is not your enemy, quitting is!