The year is coming to an end. As the weather cools down, drive and determination are probably approaching similar icy temperatures. For many of us, our new year’s resolutions lists have probably been re-purposed into the scrap paper we use to doodle one useless thing or another. Even the thought of flipping the page over and actually reviewing our plans leaves us feeling exhausted. I can imagine that you are tired – I sure am.
It is easy to lose steam, easy to lose motivation, easy to lose that sense of urgency that we began the year with. After all we’ve been at this 2015 thing for over 9 months. It is okay to feel this way. And it is more important to identify that this is in fact how we feel.
It is necessary to first acknowledge this ennui that is knocking around. To be honest with ourselves about how much little we still care and how much we think we are really capable of. The only way to psych ourselves back into gear is to realize that we are in ‘park.’
The good thing is we must have done something right this year. If you are tired of classes that means you didn’t drop out of school. If you are sick of your job that means you’ve managed to maintain one. If you really feel you should get past that opening paragraph of the next great American novel that means you put pen to paper at some point. If you feel guilty about not going for a run this morning (or any other morning in the last few months) that means you still haven’t given up on the thought of being more fit. We have done something right this year, and there is still time to do even more. All hope is not lost dear friends.
I for one have a lot left on my to-do-list, but I also realize I need to celebrate progress, need to smile at how I’ve put one foot in front of another, and need to realize that this is the fourth quarter. This is a good thing. That means we have made it thus far. Sadly there are some who did not live to see this time and those who are in such tragic or desperate situations that a to-do-list is the last of their problems. We have the luxury of feeling under-accomplished and even dissatisfied about things that are not a matter of life or death. This is great news. If nothing else, let this sense of hope and freedom to do more motivate you to dig deeper and do the better you initially set out to do.
In basketball (on which I am no expert) players can excel in the first three quarters and still lose the whole game. The champions are in fact made in the fourth quarter. This is our fourth quarter. What we do now determines whether we take a ‘W’ or an ‘L’ for the year. Yes you might be feeling low energy, low motivation, or downright frustrated, but the only way you are going to win is if you motivate yourself and get moving.
No need deciding that this will be the year you earn a billion or lose 100lbs, less time means more reality checks waiting to bounce. So take a long hard look at yourself and first of all remind yourself that you are amazing and you can eventually do anything you set your mind to. Now determine what steps are still feasible, how soon you will take them, and commit to being intentional and consistent. Now, edit those resolutions and resolve to achieve those that still matter and are still attainable. Little steps make a journey. Very rarely will a jet-powered jet pack pick you up and propel you to the pinnacle, so get up and get going. This is the 4th quarter and we have championships to win!