Level Up in 2018

As the clock neared the midnight hour of 2017, my wife and I sat with our family around a small bonfire near the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. We were enjoying the crisp evening air with those closest to us, yet this year, something was a little different.

There were 10 of us all together, and this year, we all agreed on one simple message for 2018… Level Up.

Almost with a complete disregard for how close we actually were to that magical midnight hour,  we each took a piece of paper and wrote down what we were getting rid of from 2017. We then each broke off an evergreen branch from the dried up Christmas tree laying by the fire, wrapped the paper around the branch and tossed it in. The pine smell and the tiny sparkles from the tree branches catching fire made our ritual seem even more magical.

As we started to go around the group and say what we were getting rid of, the tears and support started flowing. Some of us were putting health problems in the rear view, and others were leaving work anxiety, stress, and fears firmly in 2017.

As a group, 2018 will be a BIG year for us. Some are embarking on new journeys career wise and others are actually embarking on new journeys to new cities to start new lives.

By the time everyone had watched their 2017 hindrance burn, one thing had become clear: If we wanted to cash in on our goals for 2018, we had to level up. We had to become new versions of ourselves and get out of our comfort zones in order to be the December 2018 version that we could so clearly see.

Over the next few days, we talked at length about what that looked like, how to do it, and how to support each other in our quests. Here are a few of our takeaways:

1. Add to your skillset

What worked for your success in 2017, won’t necessarily take you to the next level in 2018. You have to add to your repertoire. Is the 2018 version of you a better public speaker? A better husband? A better decision maker? If so, then you’ve got to work on those skills with laser-like focus. You’re not just going to wake up one day and be Tony Robbins. You’ve to go put in the time and effort so that the version of you at the end of 2018 is BETTER than the 2017 version.

2. Clear direction

Notice it doesn’t say “vague” direction. This needs to be a crystal clear visualization of 2018, so grab some metaphorical Windex and get to work! If you want to level up in your job in 2018, define what that is, and reverse engineer it. Does your voice need to be heard more in staff meetings? Do you need to listen to a podcast on your way to work to learn a second language? Clearly define what your 2018 version is, and work at it like it’s the only thing that matters. Set timeline completion dates. Get laser focused. The more clear you can make the end goal, the easier it will be to determine what aligns and what doesn’t. Stay focused.

3. Support system

One of the hundreds of things that became better when I married my wife, was the immersion into her family. They are some of the best people in the world, and I feel blessed to call them some of my best friends. They’ve been my champion from day 1, and hopefully, I’ve reciprocated. During that evening, as we all read aloud our goals and aspirations for the new year, something happened. My sister-in-law’s goal became my goal. My brother-in-law’s goal became my goal, and vice-versa. We meshed together. We became a team.

Support system probably should have been #1 on this list. When you know you’re not in it alone, and that others are ready and willing to help you succeed, there’s nothing you can’t do. Everything just gets easier.

From our group of relentless pursuers to yours, we hope 2018 brings you everything you desire… new skills, opportunities, adventures. Take the time to share your goals with those closest to you, and let’s make 2018 the best one so far.

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