Guest post by Jules Taggart | Founder, amp&pivot
Ahhhh, Fall…that beautiful time of year when the leaves are falling, the pumpkin spiced lattes are flowing, and flannel sheets make their way back to the bedroom.
The other thing that happens this time of year is that panic begins to set in.
I am a runner and an entrepreneur. Other than my family, they are the two things I love most. I set very big goals for both of my “loves” as I am sure you do too. Unfortunately, this end-of-year stress plagues both runners and small business owners.
Whether we’re talking about race finish times for runners or product launches for entrepreneurs, this is the time of year when we start thinking about all of those lofty goals we set at the beginning of the year and realize that time is running out to make them a reality before year’s end.
Not feeling that panicky sensation yet? There are just over 6 weeks left until you’ll be kissing your honey under the mistletoe. How about now?
Since when did November and December become months to freak out, give up and wait until January to start over?
That ends now. Now is the time to stick with it and give it all you’ve got. Giving up when you’re this close is like running the first half a marathon and then thinking about quitting. I should know…
Back in January, I ran the Carlsbad Marathon — a race that was one of my personal Big Goals for 2012. It was the second marathon I had ever run and I was determined to get a PR.
On race day, I arrived at the start line at 4:30 am and lined up with the other crazies (er…runners). For months I had trained my butt off, sacrificing countless Friday night happy hours and lazy Saturday mornings for long runs instead. I’d been eating lean and clean — and was as mentally prepared as could be. I was ready.
The gun went off and the race began. The first half was easy and comfortable. I watched the most beautiful sunrise over the ocean along with thousands of other runners. I was rocking out to an amazing playlist and I was right on pace. It was perfect, really.
Around the halfway mark, the marathon runners merged with over 8,000 half marathoners and all hell broke loose. Instead of following the turn for the full marathon, I took the half marathon turn (along with a couple hundred other unlucky runners). I’m still not quite sure how it happened, but I essentially lost about 3 miles by turning too early.
I couldn’t believe it! I had trained forever for this race and just screwed up all of that hard work and training. Turning early meant that instead of getting a PR, I’d be getting a DNF.
I started thinking that maybe I should just give up, walk to the nearest aid station and call it a day. I started to cry. Oh boy.
There’s a weird thing about running and crying – they both require work. You have to be able to breathe to do either one. I had to make a choice.
I could continue to freak out, decide to give up on the race, and start over when I could do it right – or I could do what I came to do and cross that finish line with a smile.
So, for the next several miles I focused on putting one foot in front of the other. When I hit the finish line I grabbed my medal, tossed it around my neck and kept on running, ala Forest Gump. I had three more miles to go before I could truly say I had finished this marathon.
Eventually, I got to “my” finish line – which happened to be a deserted strip mall parking lot. There was no one there cheering in the final 100 yards and no one was handing out coconut water and orange slices. It was just me and my stubborn pride, but it felt damn good.
I kept the promise I made to myself to give it all I had. I had done what I’d come to do.
Wherever you’re at with your 2012 goals, don’t give up now. Now is the time to push harder than ever – you’re almost there!
Need a little push in the right direction? If you haven’t joined the Run To the Finish Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge yet, now is the perfect time. Yes, right now – today! It’s one of the best ways to keep yourself on track and making progress toward those big goals all the way through the end of the year. Plus, you’ll be surrounding yourself with a massive community (have you seen that crazy long list of participants?!) that will be running, reaching and growing right along with you.
Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, says that this is the time of year when winners are made.
“While others ease up using handy excuses like the weather or the approaching holidays to go into cruise mode, winners jump on the pedal and kick into a higher gear. NOW is when winners break from the herd.” ~ Darren Hardy
If you haven’t met your 2012 goals by the end of December, keep going. Things may not turn out exactly as you planned, but if you keep up the momentum you’ve built you will eventually finish what you’ve started.
Just One Thing
Choose one of your Big Goals that still needs a little bit of love and commit to giving it everything you’ve got through the end of the year. Getting to the finish line may not be pretty, but you will get there. And when you do, the work will have been worth it.
I’d like to learn from you. What is your strategy for making big things happen in a short time span? What will you work toward over the next 6 weeks that will set you up for even more success in 2013?
Jules Taggart, founder of amp&pivot, shows entrepreneurs how to say goodbye to boring branding and tell a more meaningful story. Connect on Twitter: @ampandpivot