One year ago this morning none of us had any idea what the next 12 months would hold.
Similarly, today, none of us knows what the next 12 months will hold. All we do know is that we have limited control over all ways life will impact us.
Some of you are waking today with goals for 2021. For others, with 2020’s dysfunction close in the rear view mirror, the thought of establishing goals seem ludicrous. Or, if you have goals, you are dialing back the ambition a good bit.
It’s important to keep in mind though that significant change rarely happens quickly or boldly. Instead, real, significant, and lasting change occurs most often when, over time, we repeat small steps consistently.
To paraphrase Hemingway, “change happens gradually and then all at once.”
So I’ve set big goals for 2021 – both personal and professional – and I would encourage you to as well. But, and this is important, I’ll be working hard to create smaller, bite-sized steps to implement toward my goals. By making my changes small I’ll be more apt to implement them consistently and, thus, will have a much better chance of making my changes become habit and stay on course to meet my goals even when life throws chaos my way.
It is said that Beethoven walked through Vienna each and every morning with a sketch pad to gather his inspiration for the day. Likewise, many famous painters make sure to paint something each day – even for only a few minutes and when they don’t feel like it. It is from the consistency that change occurs.
Life changes typically start slow and small and stay slow and small until those changes become noticeable. And, then, they seem as if they happened overnight.
Of course, significant change rarely happens overnight. Instead, change happens in the small, consistent habits and rituals we create over long arcs of time.
And no matter what 2021 might throw at us, committing to being consistent and small in our implementation will give us the best opportunity at making a big impact.
Happy New Year!