New Years is Always Tomorrow. Act Today.

As we head into 2016, I find myself reminiscing on the moments I’ve had in 2015. I got married, started a nonprofit with two buddies, and had moments with friends and family that I’ll remember forever (Nashville, TN & Rooftop BBQ’s to name a few).

That being said, there are two questions everyone asks themselves at this time of the year: Was 2015 enough? What will I do next year?

And that could be a problem: you’re asking yourself what you’re going to do tomorrow instead of focusing on what you can do today.

Here’s the food for thought: If you’re willing to wait until tomorrow, is your resolution something you truly want? Why not make the change now?

Change is a slow process, I know, and it’s great to have a starting point for your goals. The goal(s) you set, if tough enough (they usually are), are not going to be a one-time event. They’re going to take time and you’ll probably hit road bumps. The key is to keep moving.

Here’s what I like to imagine:

You’re on a narrow road and a huge boulder stands between you and your goal. All you see is the sheer mass of it and you can only imagine its depth. You’re dreaming of how nice it is to have the goal on the other side, and you’re determined to break through this huge boulder. So, with a pickaxe, you start chipping away. The first day is great and you’ve gotten a couple of chips in the boulder. You keep picking and picking and picking and you start to realize “this is a huge ass boulder.” You start skipping days and going at it halfheartedly. You soon forget what’s at the other end and you find yourself picking at a rock asking yourself “why am I doing this?”

The End.

Just kidding! Here’s the kicker: regardless of what you’re going after, the boulder is always going to be there. So, how do you get to the goal? You have to enjoy picking at the boulder.

Enjoying the boulder requires being in the present and being mindful of your surroundings. Being aware of the processes required to make a nice dent in the boulder, awareness of the impact its having on your body after every strike, listening to your breathing patterns, feeling the blisters on your hand, examining where your thoughts are going; all of these things are factors that you can only enjoy if you’re in the present.

But some of those sound terrible! That might be what some of you are thinking. My counter is this: I was fortunate to make it to the 2011 Final Four, cut down the nets in Houston, and win a conference tourney championship the following year. The ring(s) I wear on my hand are worthless without the process.

The process it took to get there is what makes them priceless.

If you ask my teammates what they appreciate most about college basketball, most of them will say “just being a basketball player.” They’ll then go into all the process-based factors that contribute to being a basketball player: the game, the atmosphere, the freedom, the hard work. Many of them, myself included, also appreciate the hard practices, the days we broke, the days of running until we threw up. All of it. We don’t appreciate just one aspect of it, we appreciate it all.

Which brings me to my point about New Year’s: why wait until tomorrow on what you can start today? What I appreciate most about 2015 is that I didn’t stop picking at my goals. It sure as hell wasn’t perfect, I failed a lot, and I got to a breaking point on many occasions. But these same experiences also contribute to the great times!

New Years can be a great starting point, but right now is always the best one. It ensures that you’ll have more days inching closer towards your goals than just sitting there, waiting for tomorrow. And staying in the present lets you appreciate the long, arduous process it takes to achieve your goals, in addition to adding its worth.

Don’t wait until tomorrow for what you want to do today, get ready for the boulder, and enjoy every strike that you make.

Happy New Years!

DJ

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