Not many things are better for self-improvement than a clean slate and a fresh start. It’s time to leave the troubles and stresses of 2017 behind, and look forward to what is ahead.

Before writing this article, I wanted to ask the opinion of one of the purest-minded people I know, my friend, the R&B artist Sammie Leigh Bush. Sammie was on his way to Chicago to host a New Year’s Eve party and was kind enough to take to answer some questions about what the New Year means to him.

“In my experiences, I have learned that consistency is key to creating dreams and plans, and having drive, determination, and persistence to achieve these dreams,” he said. “A big piece of success is not to wait for someone to tell you what to do or how to do it. Create a blueprint and a plan and follow it. Slow motion is better than no motion. When things get hard, continue to push through the storm.”

I then asked how he keeps from being distracted and getting off track.

“Trying to please everyone is the way to failure. You can’t pour from an empty glass just like the saying, you can get off track when you oversaturate everywhere,” he said. “It is best to take care of yourself and keep your eye on your ultimate goal and it will get you back on track.”

I know that I will be taking this piece of Sammie’s advice to heart this year: Keep your eyes on your goals and stay on track.  I usually come up with a full page of resolutions and goals for the new year. This time, I decided to keep three particular thoughts in mind:

1. Create realistic goals and plan ahead.

What are some areas of your life that you want to change? What are some things that you have always wanted to do, but never did before? Once you have determined what your goals are, outline your plan in a timely fashion. Give yourself tentative deadlines but make them realistic. If your goal is to get a six-pack, it would not make sense to aim for the end of January. Although possible, the intangibles of everyday life are out of our control and it will end up unrealistic and discouraging.

2. Take small steps daily to help you reach your goals.

A mentor of mine, the owner of PureSweat Basketball, Drew Hanlen, gave me a great tip. I admitted that I often feel overwhelmed with tasks and told him it seemed like I was always ten steps behind. Even when I completed something, I still had a million other things that I wanted to complete throughout the day.

He gestured over to a whiteboard on his fridge.

“Every day, I write down three goals or things that I need to complete,” he said. “If I do them all, then that was a successful day.”

It turns out I was so overwhelmed with what I felt like I needed to do, that I was actually unproductive. I started writing down three goals a day on a whiteboard and felt accomplished when I would put a check by each completed task.

3. Reward yourself.

Last year, I set a goal to reach a specific body fat percentage.  I told myself that once I reached the goal, I would do a fitness photo shoot to display my hard work. It was one of the most effective ways for me to achieve my goal.

But make sure that when it’s time to reward yourself for your hard work, that the reward does not contradict your actual goal. For instance, if you are eating healthy, do not reward yourself with a bag of cookies!

Happy New Year everyone,

Rachel Stuhlmann

Rachel Stuhlmann

Author Rachel Stuhlmann

More posts by Rachel Stuhlmann

Leave a Reply