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New Year - New H.O.P.E.

Jan 02, 2022

“Hope is a start.  But…hope needs action to win victories.”

                                                                      - David J. Schwartz


A new year is upon us.  I don’t know about you, but I am very happy that 2022 has arrived. 


Recently, I was speaking to one of my coaching clients and shared with him that I am usually not overly excited about the beginning of a new year, but this year I certainly am.


It is an understatement to say that 2021 has been a difficult year for all of us, and I am personally filled with hope for what lies ahead for the upcoming year.


Hope can serve as an incredibly powerful force in getting us moving and breaking through the barriers we face in difficult times.  It is also true that having a vision of hope for what we want to change, accomplish or experience in a new year ahead is not a new phenomenon. 


In fact, each year, millions of people across the globe will create New Year’s resolutions to make tangible and impactful changes in their lives, with the hope of creating a new and rewarding life experience for themselves.


While the resolutions we commit to for our lives are filled with good intentions, they generally do not have staying power. 


I recently read that by the end of the first week in January, 25% of resolution makers have already given up on their commitments to themselves. 


Within the first few months of the year, the commitment to these resolutions has all but disappeared for most of the remaining people, and with it, the hope that served as a catalyst for creating something new and impactful in their lives.


With this being the case, I began to think about what the actions are we can all take in the promising new year ahead to maintain our hope of creating positive change for our ourselves and those we choose to serve.


Here are my four practices of H.O.P.E. for creating what we want in 2022 and beyond.



H  Have a Vision AND a Plan – Having a purposeful vision for what we want to achieve can be our secret weapon in making transformational change in our lives.  However, just having a dream for what we want has rarely, if ever, the produced results we seek.  Or as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said…


A goal without a plan is just a wish.”


Having a distinct and clear plan for the tasks we will do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis on the way to our vision can be transformational.  As we make steady progress toward our visions, we build momentum.  While the motivation of creating our vision may initially breed action, it is the action of working our plan that breeds the motivation to keep us on course.


If you want to learn more about how to create a plan to realize your visions and dreams in the new year, check out my new 2022 Strategic Planning Power Package.


O  Openness to How it will Happen – If 2021 taught us anything it is that we have to be flexible and adaptable.  This does not mean that we scrap our vision when we encounter the first sign of challenge and look to put our efforts into something completely new.  On the contrary, what it means that is we may just have to look at new and creative ways of moving in the directions of our goals.

One of my favorite quotes is from my good friend and marital arts instructor extraordinaire, Kyoshi Dave Kovar who shared that during times of challenge, we need to…


“Be stubborn in our goals, but flexible in our methods.”


Having a vision and putting together a plan is the launching point for us to achieve our dreams.  However, it is just the beginning. 


For example, any pilot will tell you they would never take off without a flight plan to their destination.  They will also tell you that during their flights, they off course almost 99% of the time due to weather and other atmospheric factors. 


Once our visions and plans are established, being conscious enough to know when to adjust our course is the next step in realizing our dreams.


P  Persistent and Consistent Action – I believe one of the main reasons most people don’t achieve the positive changes they want as defined in their New Year’s resolutions is because while their intentions excite and inspire them, they are oftentimes perceived as “too big”, and they just don’t know where to start. 


Rather than trying to tackle our goals in one huge and massive effort, I have found it best to break things down into small and digestible chunks that can be simply practiced on a daily or weekly basis. 


For instance, if you want to begin a workout plan to release weight in the new year, after considerable time spent sedentary, don’t commit to starting off going to the gym 6 days a week for 2 hours at a time. 


Rather commit yourself to two days per week to start at 20 minutes at a time.  From that place of meeting or exceeding small goals, you will build momentum and trust in yourself.  You can then extend your days and time of training in the upcoming weeks.  If you miss a day, it’s not the end of the world – just don’t ever miss two days in a row.


Remember, a little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.


E  Expect Your Unexpected Good – Moving towards our visions and dreams with a positive expectancy of something good happening is critical to achieving the success we seek.  When we look for the good in situations, we generally will find it. 


Conversely, when we focus only on the challenge, difficulties and reason we CAN’T achieve something, we will usually find the evidence to support that point of view.


Here’s something to consider.  What if we looked at even our most difficult challenges in the upcoming year on the road to realizing our visions as “good” things that are happening to us? 


I know this may sound “pollyannish” but consider this.  There is always something to learn from our challenges.  Also, hitting a roadblock my cause us to move in another direction towards our goal (flexible in our methods, remember) that may lead us on a more productive path that we never would have considered without that obstacle presenting itself.


So, there you have it, my friends.  There are my four steps in maintaining hope and momentum in reaching for and achieving our dreams in the new year.


It is my HOPE for all of us that we have the healthiest, happiest and most prosperous new year in 2022!


Chris Natzke

Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching

PS:  I you are looking to create healthy habits to make your visions a reality in 2022, click here to learn more about my 2022 Strategic Planning Power Package.


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