Have you taken the time to think about what holds you back and what moves you forward? It’s the start of a new year. It’s time to reflect on my list of goals to assess where I am, and review what I have accomplished. Yes, the same ones that I have been looking at, daily, all year long! This year was different for me and my team. We didn’t hit our monetary goal, but we did hit something far greater. We discovered our common values, and then stuck with them, with all our might. This took much persistence, especially to stay away from inside-the-box thinkers who said, “Why don’t you just let those things go? If people are busy and doing well, just let them be.” That is all well and good, but if those individuals are not happy in their environment, then it affects the world around them, and more specifically, all of us.

Napoleon Hill wrote in his timeless classic, Think and Grow Rich, “One of the greatest fears for people to obtain the life they want is the fear of criticism.” He writes to stay away from negative people. This includes family, friends, and co-workers, anyone that does not believe in you or your dreams. Wow, this is not easy stuff! Yes, it is hard work to stick to what you truly want and dream about. It takes an unbelievable amount of persistence, the kind that most people are not willing to endure. It would be so much easier to fall asleep at the wheel with the masses and just give up. Sure, persistence is tough, but it is one of THE most important factors for success.

Most people really don’t want to dig deeper, but for me, thinking has become my passion. Last night, I had a very interesting conversation with my brother. I brought him up to date on the work I am doing internally and the new study group I am leading. His questions to me were, “Why do you want to think so much?” “Why do you want to work so hard?” “Life doesn’t need to be that hard.” See, to me, this isn’t hard work. This is my passion. I am hard wired to GROW. It is in my DNA. I wake up this way, every morning. I walk through every minute of every day, thinking, “How can I do better so that I can provide better support for my kids, my family, and my team?” What gives me more frustration is when I am out of alignment, not in harmony with my goals, and particularly, when I am out of sync with my core values. These are the things that I find hard.

Persistence can be a very interesting and painful process. Looking at failure as a sense of accomplishment is an example of the difficult side of persistence. Challenge yourself to combat the negative voices inside your own head and steer clear of allowing other people’s opinions to pull you down.

As we set forth in this New Year, think about how you can be persistent with your goals. What are some habits you feel you need to change? What are some new habits you need to form? Who do you want to spend time with that will encourage you to grow? Who in your life is not serving you? I challenge you to really think about how you can be more persistent with your daily thoughts and really dream big. Make 2016 your best year ever!

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