Reaching Your Resolutions

Reaching Your Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. The New Year – 2007 – is well upon
us, and many of us made our New Year’s Resolutions less than a
month ago. What was your resolution? Perhaps it was to make a
major lifestyle change – to quit smoking, lose weight, run a
marathon, or climb a mountain. Perhaps it was to fit more family
time into your schedule, or to bring your business to the next

Well, how are you doing on your resolutions? If you’re like many
of us, your resolutions might have gotten lost in the fray of
daily life by now. And perhaps you set the resolutions bar quite
high, making that goal or objective seem out of reach. Well,
fear not…here are some tricks to help get you back on the
resolution track and achieve your goals for 2007:

1. F O C U S: Those of
you who have seen my keynote presentations know that I kept
my childhood dream of climbing Everest alive by a simple
strategy – I kept it in front of me all the time. I had a
poster of Everest which hung above my bed as a kid. That
poster came with me to college, it hung in my room while I
guided on Mount Rainier…It followed me everywhere as a
constant reminder of where I was versus where I hoped to
someday be. You can do the same: write your resolutions
down, cut out a representative picture, make something to
hang where you’ll constantly be reminded of those new Year’s
resolutions – and not lose sight of them.

2. Break it down: When
I first went to Everest, it was daunting to say the least.
I’ll never forget staring up at that summit from 17,000 foot
basecamp and wondering how on earth I would ever get there.
But, of course, I didn’t try to go that day from base to
summit – I wasn’t ready physically or mentally. Instead, the
task at hand was broken down into manageable parts, allowing
my body to adjust to the rigors of altitude and my mind to
build confidence in my abilities. So, if you resolve to run
a marathon, start by running a mile. Don’t try to do it all
at once, or more likely than not you are setting yourself up
for failure.

3. Make a plan: This
dovetails nicely with the previous point – devise and write
down a plan for achieving your goals. Again, on Everest, we
have a detailed plan, a strategy, for climbing the mountain.
If we simply set off for the top, going up when we felt like
it and resting when that felt good, the summit would be
impossible. Instead, to climb Everest, we have a detailed
plan of attack which breaks the objective into manageable
pieces…and we stick to that plan. So, make a plan, commit
it to paper, and follow it religiously. Before you know it,
you’ll be on top!

4. Team motivation:
Often, our best motivation comes from without rather than
from within. By telling friends, family, coworkers, etc.,
about your resolutions, you make it a public affair and thus
more difficult to back out of. Your teammates can help you
stay on target, they can check in with you and see if you’re
following your plan and making adequate, logical progress.
But, you’ve got to tell them!

5. Enjoy the process:
Sometimes, our goals are not reachable. On my first two
Everest expeditions I failed to reach the top after making
to within 800 feet of the summit on both occasions. But, I
reveled in the process. I learned that the act of climbing
Everest was enjoyable, and in fact far more so than standing
on the top. I gained confidence in my abilities and learned
to love the challenge of overcoming obstacles. As the author
Robert Pirsig wrote in

Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
: “To live
only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the
mountain which sustain live, not the top. Here’s where
things grow.”

With these tools, and some tenacity, you can follow through on
your New Year’s resolutions and make 2007 a success through and

2007 Jake Norton/MountainWorld Productions. All Rights

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