Our minds possess a mechanism that functions like a central control station, tasked with overseeing the entire body, but its primary duty is to trigger action within us. It goes without saying that action is necessary for reaching your goals, even a mundane task like tying your shoelaces, driving a car, or deciding whether you want pizza or salad. All three require you to act. So do bigger decisions. Will you hang out with friends on Saturday night and catch up on old times, or will you get the much-needed rest you know you need because you’ve had an extremely tiring week and you’ve got an important pitch on Monday?
One of the reasons people settle into 9-to-5 jobs is that they feel comfortable having someone else make decisions for them, to run the show, to keep the business profitable. Branching out as an entrepreneur is the opposite: you are the sole individual responsible for the end-result of these considerations.
Think about the fitness and gym industry, for example. Many of us set goals at the start of the New Year only to lose the excitement and enthusiasm after the first couple of months. For some of us that happens in the first few weeks or even days. The fact that the fitness industry counts on unused gym memberships is an example of how expected it is that people will lose motivation and abandon their hopes of reaching their goals. In 2016 USA Today reported, “A gym membership may seem like the first step in any resolution to be healthier, but usage statistics suggest they may not, in fact, be that great of an investment. The average gym membership costs just under $60 per month, and 67% of memberships go unused.”
This business model exploits the laziness of people – and to fantastic success! So unless your dream is to create a business that caters to pure sloth, you need to retune your brain to the possibilities: the five-pound weight loss, the new career opportunity, an optimistic view of life, and so forth. When you shift from passivity to action, your life changes. You reawaken those long-dormant dreams and take control of your destiny.
Many people put off that dream for years or wait until some magical, auspicious date rolls around, such as New Year’s Day. Our list of resolutions tend to unfold like a crinkled sacred scroll, signed and ripped along the edges – you know, like in the Indiana Jones movie, except with all types of goals jotted down nice and neat and with much thought. We load ourselves up with all sorts of positive thinking toward achieving the aspirations we’ve now set for ourselves. We hit the ground running mere hours after overindulging at that New Year’s party on Third Street where we kicked back a few vodka shots and cocktails. It’s the start of a brand-new year, another opportunity to show up and do the things we’ve only dreamed about doing.
Our intentions to cross off each item on our New Year’s lists are aligned with our attitudes at that time: everything is jolly and we’re happy with all the wonderful prospects presented by a fresh start. Then we settle back into to our normal routine, our comfort zone, and the list is forgotten and we’re back to square one. While we might start off heading in the right direction and get several weeks of progress under our belts, somewhere along the way the act of doing something new becomes too much.
Even going to the gym becomes monotonous, as if we’re on an assembly line. One, two, three, LIFT. One, two, three, LIFT. We start to burn out and it’s barely mid-February. What happened to all the excitement? What happened to the promises that we made to ourselves?