How to get remarkable results in 2018

How to get remarkable results in 2018

Fifteen years ago, I was in Hawaii on vacation and was able to re-connect with my old grad school office-mate. I hadn’t seen Janice for years and was excited to meet up with her in Honolulu where she lived.

Janice picked me up at my hotel to take me to one of her favorite Thai restaurants for dinner. I knew the place, too, and was looking forward to spending our evening there together.

On our way to the restaurant, Janice made a wrong turn and I said to her, “Wait, Janice, you’re supposed to turn left here.” She calmly replied, “I don’t make left turns, Miriam.”

Her confession threw me for a loop. Janice explained that she had a huge fear of ramming head-on into oncoming traffic while making a left turn in front of it. In fact, she had spent her entire adult life sleuthing out driving routes that would ensure she only had to make “safe” right-hand turns in order to reach her destination.

This story is one of my all-time favorites. That’s because it reflects the message I want to share with you about setting goals for 2018. So here it is:

Start making left turns.

Most people play it safe when setting goals. We stick to what is comfortable. We avoid anything unusual that might provoke judgement by others. We steer clear of the unknown. This, of course, is normal. I’m guessing it’s somehow tied into our survival instinct.

But we also have the power to think rationally. Let’s face it; if self-preservation was the only thing guiding our actions then we’d never birth leaders who are willing to take big, bold chances that defy all logic. These people changed the course of history because they turned left when everyone around them was shouting, “Turn right, turn right! Don’t be a fool; you’ll crash.” 

Comedian Jim Carrey once said that “you can fail at something you don’t like, so you might as well do something you love.” This often requires us to step out over the ledge not knowing if the safety net is stretched out below to catch us.

Will you fumble if you put yourself out there and start giving talks? You might at first. What if you launch your online program and only a handful of people buy it. Yep, it’s happened to most people I know. Should you free up your time and money and make the move from a physical office to a telehealth practice? This takes time, and you will question your sanity as your book of clients dwindles when you initially make the shift.

Will any of these actions destroy you? Hardly. Will any of them bear fruit? You bet! Especially if you are determined, passionate, and willing to weather the ups and downs that come with any new endeavor.

Pursuing big, hairy, audacious goals can feel uncomfortable; yet playing small and safe delivers fractional results. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather fail at doing something I love than something I don’t.

So here’s my take on tackling new territory this year:

  • Identify just one big, needle-moving project that you want to tackle. Is it time to write your book? Build an online course? Get on the speaking circuit? Or perhaps you simply want to deepen and focus your clinical expertise by attending one of our pre-conference workshops at the NANP conference. Pick the thing that you’ve been longing to do and never seem to have time for. If you feel some nervous excitement when you think about the project, you’re on the right track.

  • Set a timeline for completing it. Otherwise, the busyness of life and the focus to bring in short-term revenue each day will crush your ability to leap forward toward your goal. I don’t accept the notion that “there’s not enough time.” Those who achieve great things are simply more effective with the time they have. They block time and set boundaries extraordinarily well. Want to know the secret word of those who make great gains in their work? It’s “no.” Winners refuse to do things that pull them off course and away from their dream.

  • Identify a few activities that can take you, even just a smidgen, toward accomplishing that project from step 1 above. Start sketching out your signature talk or outlining your book. But start. Now. Use your time blocks each week to work exclusively on your project. View these times as appointments with yourself that cannot be cancelled without penalty.

  • Measure backwards. As you make progress toward your goal, don’t punish yourself for what didn’t get done last week. Negative self-talk not only makes you feel bad but can also derail momentum. Like the person who figures she may as well abandon her diet because she ate a donut for breakfast, missing a time block is no excuse to give up on the project. Instead, measure what you have accomplished since starting the year and commit to finishing your project in the timeline you established.

Don’t be afraid to turn left in 2018. But always use your blinker. 

To your health,


Miriam G. Zacharias, MS, NTC, BCHNTM
President, NANP

P.S. – What big goals are you setting this year? Join me at this year’s NANP conference and let me know how I might help you reach them. But register soon! Our deepest member discount ends on Sunday, January 14th

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