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Keys to Control in 2021

January 1 is a day when many are reassessing their outlook, and are at their most optimistic about the upcoming year. Resolutions get made and best intentions are planned. The first few weeks go as desired, perhaps even months, but then obstacles arrive to thwart your intentions. The next thing you know you are back at square one and into your old patterns of behavior.

Not everyone falls victim to their circumstances and is able to carry that momentum for all 365 days of the year. Individuals who achieve long lasting success use one thing to their advantage better than everyone else - control.

It is impossible to control everything in your life, but there are three key areas you can control with great positive affect:

  1. Your behavior through actions

  2. Your tongue through words

  3. Your response to externals

These three things are decided by you and nobody else. Focus only on what you can control, and do not worry about what you cannot control. We cannot control other people or externals beyond our responsibility, and we can ill afford for the actions of others to derail our goals. The best we can do is influence those things beyond our control.

Life goals require specific behavior, clarity in speech, and the ability to respond to externals without losing control of our emotions, feelings, or temper. Random action leads to mediocre results at best. Poor speech or communication (inside our head also) leads to lack of focus and bad relationships. Lack of control over our impulse to externals leads to us being emotionally wrecked, filled with anxiety, and generally in a bad mood. Why choose to make things harder for ourselves?

I challenge you to practice these three things today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. Be your best in these three things today. Do it again tomorrow, and the day after that. One day at a time. It is not an insurmountable mountain. Instead of looking at the peak in the distance, try focusing on the immediate steps ahead of you. It is ok to look up every now and then to recalibrate your path in relation to the peak, but do not dwell on the end goal. Focus on the daily process instead.

All that matters right now is this moment, and the decisions you make in this moment. Therefore, be present in this moment and do the right thing. It is ok to stumble, to slip and make a mistake, and when you do, immediately get back on your feet in control. Practice this and soon your steps will become automatic and unstoppable. Most importantly, avoid seeking perfection as it is a dangerous lie we tell ourselves. Instead, be consistent, and you will find yourself at the peak of your mountain.

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