For 2023, momentum favors the longshot

What is it you most wish to make real in 2023? Momentum is the key, the much-needed catalyst for doing something outstanding.

To the editor:

We would be blind if we didn’t take stock of all we have and have not achieved in 2022. It’s tough to ignore this time of year. Those beloved and dreaded resolutions hover around us as we enter January.

Recounting to a friend all of the things I did accomplish in 2022, I was shocked at how many of these goals seemed like complete and total long shots just twelve months ago.

Perhaps you are pondering what you hope to achieve in the 365 days ahead. With a delayed gratification approach, we can build momentum through repetitive actions over time. This is critical if we are to achieve goals that seem initially like a long shot.

SMART goals have been emphasized in recent years. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. I love the way this clarifies the mission at hand. SMART goals make a lot of sense and are very useful for doing things sensibly. But please do not underestimate the value of a long shot goal just because your audacious dream seems well beyond your capacity today.

A long shot is betting on something that seems nearly impossible because it requires resources or skills you do not currently possess. To turn a long shot into an achieved ideal we must manage our inner critic and our fear.

You don’t have to pretend the big dream is easy, because humility in the face of a mountain is actually really helpful. But so is audacity! You can chunk the mountainous goal down to teeny, tiny actions designed for each day and week that will build a massive momentum in you over time. It helps if you can find someone who believes in your project, that way you can talk with them as you confront obstacles and make progress.

Hands down, the best part of my job is witnessing miracles in people’s lives, and this crazy third COVID year was no exception. I can attest to the following: an abundant home life restored after a protracted divorce battle, a new sense of harmony with a spouse or partner due to self-soothing techniques, job changes on many fronts for many people that have been positive.

Someone took golf lessons, another sought instruction in pickleball. Still another person joined a gym having contemplated this for over a decade. Someone switched to a plant-based diet. Someone else, who had been vegan, switched to a Mediterranean diet. A brave person started dating again, and yet another started a new relationship that’s really healthy. Someone stopped using drugs and alcohol, and two people gave up social drinking in favor of more family harmony. Another launched a career as a national consultant. And yet another person relocated family for new and better opportunities. Still another person mended an ancient family hurt. And one more person landed a prize consulting job usually reserved for graduates of the Ivy League.

What is it you most wish to make real in 2023? Momentum is the key, the much-needed catalyst for doing something outstanding. Each of these brave and regular souls have been working for some time to bring about the changes that eventually materialized to something meaningful in their lives. For 2023, keep in mind that momentum favors the long shot.

Margaret Bradley Davis
Great Barrington