We discussed some of the most effective ways to set, keep and conquer resolutions in yesterday’s post, ‘New Year’s Resolutions – part 1’. If you put those tips into play, you will have a great chance of finding yourself in the group of people who will not only raise a glass to 2017 on New Year’s Eve but also toast the year, 2016, as well-lived.
I wish you much luck with your goals, plans and dreams. Never doubt that you can make tremendous changes in a short period of time.
But what happens if you find yourself off-track? Or worse, what if a habit or skill that you master ultimately presents a new, unexpected challenge or problem? How do you handle that? Do you have a plan in place if and when you may falter?
Remember my plant that looked so festive and healthy on New Year’s Day, 2013?
Well, it needed to be repotted in the Fall of that year. I chose a beautiful, Tuscan-like pot that was double the circumference of the first one. It actually took two of us to remove the plant and nestle it into its new container. It never dawned on me that the beautiful new growth I found so satisfying would be such a heavy burden….literally. It was nerve-wracking, lifting my plant from the old pot to the new one…..and then it happened….
My gorgeous plant slowly but surely became a victim of gravity. It’s kind of the same with some businesses. They grow and grow and grow and then become top heavy. Without proper care and pruning, what goes up then comes down. At times like these, you’ll hear the battle cry, “Its time to get back to basics!” So, this plant that was such a triumph and an example of my new-found green thumb became an upsetting problem. (I wish I had a picture of it at its worst moment.) It actually resembled a vine, its stately stalks laying down in defeat. I wasn’t prepared or willing to cut it back and begin again so a new plan of attack was necessary.
It was very apparent that the plant needed support so I took some stakes and several soft lengths of material and began tying the trunk up ever-so-gently. My fear was that if I attempted to tie the stalks up too high, too fast, too tight, the plant may die. Once the initial support was installed, it was consistently tightened in an effort to coax the branches into their original shape.
I worked on this project for over a year. Gradually, the stems straightened and began to stand up again. At one point, heavier stakes were necessary and the material needed to be tightened, yet again. Here is a picture of the plant as of January, 2016….over 3 years later.
Look closely, you will see the brown bamboo stakes offering support and the pieces of soft, old sheets I use to encourage the stalks to stand tall once again. You can also see that the stalks are still a tad crooked and there is new growth in the center. (I really wish I had taken that ‘before’ picture so you could appreciate the dramatic change and success.)
My point in telling you this story is that your goals and dreams for your life, most likely, will not go as planned. Sometimes a goal obtained creates a new set of challenges that you could never even imagine while you were dreaming about things.
Should that happen, have a back-up plan:
-Have your support system nearby.
-Be ready to quickly analyze any unexpected problems.
-Discuss them with people who you trust.
-Do the work to fix the problem.
-Recognize that it may take a bit of time to obtain that side-tracked goal again.
-Never forget to celebrate your successes!!!!!
Hang in there and don’t quit, because success will be even sweeter the second time around. You will be smarter, stronger, more resilient, more appreciative and even more grateful this time.
“Sometimes second chances work out even better than the first because you learn from your mistakes.” ~unknown