We’re at that point on the calendar again. The time when people start looking towards the new year, thinking about their resolutions, and what they want to accomplish.
They make resolutions, and vow that this year is going to be different. Some succeed, many fail.
Many people view the calendar turning from December 31st to January 1st as a new start; a clean slate. They look at the new year as an opportunity to start over and chance forget all the bad stuff from the past year.
But that’s not me.
Was 2015 the best year ever for me? No. But it was pretty damn close.
It was exactly what I made it. And it’s what I will build my success upon in 2016.
It’s easy to look at the sum of your year and think “Oh, I didn’t make enough money.” or “I didn’t accomplish this goal.”
But if you break it down you may find that a lot of good things actually happened. And you can use these things to build upon.
I’m not ending 2015 as successful as I had hoped to be by this time; but reflecting on the year that was made me realize that a lot of really awesome stuff happened…
Coming into 2015 my main focus was building Jorden Pagel Fitness into something that paid me a livable income, allowed me to help as many people as possible, and let me work on my own terms.
I was basically starting from nothing. I could count on one hand the number of clients I had. And if I lost three fingers on that hand in some freak accident I could still count how many clients I had.
I was learning the business, learning how to work with people, exploring my writing style, and figuring out exactly how I was going to grow this thing.
In March I got my first online client. Not a friend, not a family member, but someone who actually liked what I was putting out there and wanted my help. I also started group coaching on Fitocracy. Slowly my client base grew.
It was also at this point that my writing really started coming into its’ own, and I had my first article chosen for the Personal Trainers Development Center’s Best Fitness Articles of the Week.
This was, and still is, a great honor for me. To have my articles on the same list alongside some of the industry’s best, people who I look up to and learn from, really helped validate what I was doing as a writer.
Another big impact on my business was attending the 2015 Fitness Summit. I figured if I was going to make JPF a legitimate venture I needed to step outside of my comfort zone by connecting and learning from some of the best the fitness industry had to offer.
And it did not disappoint. I met some truly awesome people. I ate BBQ with Jason Helmes and Robbie Farlow, talked Packers with Eric Bach, went on a booze run with James Fell, shook hands with Bret Contreras, Jen Sinkler, my old coach Andy Morgan, among many others.
I came out of that weekend with a different mindset, energized, and ready to dominate.
2015 was also a great year personally.
In February I asked a beautiful blonde woman I met on Tinder to come have coffee with me one morning. We talked, laughed, and I walked away thinking to myself “This girl is something special.”
And almost one year later, she still is something special. She makes every day special; the best day of my life.
(Yes folks, Tinder does work.)
She also inspires me. She makes me want to get out of bed every morning and work as hard as I can. She makes me want to be successful, to create something in my life.
Before my sole purpose for working was to create a life where I could do anything I wanted, go anywhere I wanted, buy anything I wanted.
Now, the reason I want to be successful is no longer just for me. It’s so I can create a life that I can be proud to share. It’s so I can provide for the people that I love.
So you may be thinking, “Great Jorden, you had some good stuff happen last year…but what’s the point here?”
Look, I don’t claim to be someone qualified to hand out life advice. My 27 years of experiences on this earth pales in comparison to a lot of other people out there.
But I like to think that I’m in the small minority of people looks at life through the lens of “What can I make happen for myself?” rather than “Why is this happening to me?”.
Because everything that happened to me in the last year, good or bad, happened because I made it that way.
See what a lot of people don’t realize, or don’t want to admit, is that YOU are the only one responsible for what happens in your life. Everything that happens is controlled by that big grey thing between your left and right ear. You may not be responsible for everything that happens TO you; but you ARE responsible for how you deal with it.
Lose your job last year? Did you spend your time feeling sorry for yourself, blaming the economy, or hating your boss because he didn’t appreciate how hard you worked? Or did you seize the opportunity to look for something better, something that allowed you more freedom, or start that business you’ve always wanted to?
Fail on your weight loss resolution? How much time did you spend coming up with excuses versus coming up with solutions?
Everything that happened in the past is an illusion. It no longer exists. Worrying about it keeps you stuck in the past. Everything in the future is an illusion. It hasn’t happened yet. You can plan for it, but there are no guarantees things will turn out the way you want.
The only thing that you can control is this moment, RIGHT NOW. That’s it. The future, the past, they only exist in your mind. Now exists in reality.
You can use the past to shape your decisions in this moment.
You can use your future goals to influence your actions right now.
But the only thing you can control what is happening at this point in time.
Many of you reading this are probably going to make resolutions this year. Many of you probably have personal or business goals you want to accomplish in 2016. And if you want to accomplish these things, YOU need to make it happen.
Our actions are influenced by our thoughts. Our thoughts are influenced by our environment. What we do, say, watch, listen to, who we associate with, all influence our mindset.
And in order to change your life, you need to change your mindset.
This is not only what you want to accomplish, but also what drives you to accomplish it.
If you want to lose weight, define how much and why. If you want to find that special someone, define whom that special someone is and what he or she is like. If you want to make more money, set an income goal and list why you want to make that much.
Be definite. Be specific.
I’d like to make $100,000 by the end of this month. But there is absolutely no way I could make $100,000 by the end of this month. But by the end of the year? Maybe.
Set a realistic deadline for your goals. If you want to lose 20 pounds but have struggled to lose weight in the past, don’t only give yourself a few weeks to do it. Be honest about how long you think it will take to reach your goals.
Have a plan for how you are going to achieve your goal. Know what you need to do and break it down. If you want to lose 20 pounds in two months, know that you will need to lose around 2.5 pounds per week, and then break it down from there on how you are going to achieve that.
Instead of focusing on the big goal, focus on smaller goals that will move you toward your larger goal.
Understand too that things will not always go according to plan. You will stumble and you will fail. Know that defeats and failures are inevitable. You have to learn the difference between being a failure, and an event that’s a failure.
Write out your specific goals, when you want to accomplish them by, and how you are going to accomplish them.
Carry your goals with you; in your phone, on a piece of paper in your pocket, in a notebook…someplace where you can look at them a few times a day.
Read them to yourself. Visualize what your life will be like when you accomplish them. Do this every single day. Make is so your mind doesn’t believe anything other than accomplishing your goals is possible.
Much like conditioning in the gym, you condition your mind to do what you want it to.
Every January 1st, people set out with a goal to make that year their best one yet. And many fall short because they fail to realize that the biggest obstacle standing in there way is themselves.
Your life is just that, YOUR life. It’s what YOU make it…so why not make it good?
This year, stop saying to yourself “Why me?” and start believing “Why not me?!”.
See you in the New Year.