Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Did You Bring to 2010?

While I have read many posts from colleagues detailing the year's best notables, I wanted to summarize 2010 in a different way. At the end of every year, I look back and evaluate what kind of year it was for me. Sometimes, it is a fantastic year filled with victories, happiness, and luck. While other years, there are periods that are shadowed by misfortune, regret, and simply bad luck. I've had this belief that good and bad years alternate on revolving turns. One year good. Next year bad. Next year good, and then the next year bad.

Over the years, I used to think that whatever happened to me or my family during a not so great year was simply a misfortune that I had completely no control over. The outcome was pretty much pre-determined and I simply had to accept it. And at the end of that year, I simply hoped that the next year would be a better turn-around. Today, I sometimes still have this 'superstitious' belief (if you will). But, my mindset is a bit different.

Now I believe that I can make changes and do things better simply because I have learned from my past. You see, sometimes in life we need scale. Scale has many meanings. Scale is a standard of measurement or estimation; a point of reference by which to gauge or rate something. Sometimes, you just don't know how a certain event--no matter how small--can create a ripple effect in your life. Things that look simple on the surface, can have a detrimental or beneficial effect on your life.
At the end of every year (around this time of the year), I look back and use the year as a scale. Upon approaching 2011, I will use my achievements and disappointments of 2010 as a scale to base what I intend to accomplish in the following year.

In 2010, after 11 years in the business of personal training and managing commercial facilities (basically someone else's gym)--I decided to open up my own small training facility. With the skills I had acquired through business development and budget management, it was time for me to reap the rewards of becoming my own boss and entrepreneur. Although I train full-time at a private golf facility, the goal was to create a training environment that met my ideal conditions and methods. And I think I did just that:
It has not been the easiest of years. But I now have a scale going into 2011. From what I have learned in 2010, I know what I can accomplish with the right amount of support and passion needed to succeed. Here are a few steps that I used in 2010 to help me accomplish certain goals using my scale (2009):

1.) Wipe the slate clean. I'm a big believer in starting over. I will take apart anything to learn how the pieces fit in order to get it right the next time. Why? Its a control thing. The more control I have over something, the more time-efficient I am at the task. Cutting the fat off of tasks and dealing with only the most significant parts is crucial.

2.) Visualize. I visually had an idea of how I wanted my facility to look like. It was in my head. I calculated space and equipment size to come up with the ideal floor plan that worked for me. Same thing with everything else in life. You have to imagine it first. You have to see it happen in your mind FIRST before you can actually attack it. I train clients like this.

3.) Detach your emotions from the process--but don't lose them entirely. Being emotional is a sign of passion. I can be emotional because I strive to extricate the best out of myself. However,  things don't always go as planned. There were many times when I was let down because some events never really occurred in my favor. But it is important to not get too emotional and lose your sense of direction. In the military, those that get emotional get killed or get others killed. Being emotional is good; but you have to stay in control of them.

4.) You need support. I don't think I could have done what I accomplished without the undying support of my wife. She questions me, she challenges my intentions and makes me explain them. Its a hassle and sometimes frustrating...but it works. She hears the plan and once she understands it--she is flooring the gas pedal with me. Its an awesome feeling to have support from others that understand and want to share in your dream. Support comes from family, friends, community or spouse. I also think many of my Facebook friends were a big help. I like to hear the experiences of others and their ideas. I'm not one to try to think of everything. I am the type that sits at the conference table and listens to everyone's ideas.

5.) Watch your budget. Believe it or not, most of my equipment is used and purchased through craigslist or eBay. Its important to not dig yourself in a hole during the process. You have to have a leash on this process or it suddenly gets the better of you. I set a dollar amount in my mind and that was what I used as a financial scale. Its real easy to want to buy everything you desire; but you have to ask yourself: "Do I need this? or Do I want this?" Sounds like something your parents may have taught you, right? Well....it works.

6.) Don't lock on the target as soon as you find it. What does this mean? It means when you find what you are looking for and you are ready to obtain it--make sure there is not something better or cheaper. My wife is good at this. It really helps at awakening your subconscious mind and bringing you back to reality. For instance, I found a bunch of cable functional trainers that I was ready to purchase. But I kept looking online for other models that fit my needs and actually found one that was in a better price range for me. Good thing, because its not easy returning a piece of equipment that weighs about 600 pounds.

7.) Be responsible. As a homeowner, employee, business owner, and web presence I have certain responsibilities. I have responsibilities to my family, wife, town, clients, employers, home, pets, etc, etc...this list goes on. However, its important to divide your time and prioritize your tasks. In a world where it seems people are lacking responsibility and ownership; there is a sense of control over oneself when you accept responsibility. Your responsibilities rest on how much cause and effect each task carries. If you can understand how each responsibility holds in your life--than you can find the time and game plan to attack it and get it done.

I'm sure I can add to this list and probably will according to how 2011 plays out. Hopefully, you learn more about yourself with each passing year and you accomplish all that you desire. The truth is, we do get old. We do change. The best thing we can do is change with the times and remain in control without losing sight of the  what is seen in the rear-view mirror.

Best wishes for a healthy and safe New Year!


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