1. Just Start. A lot of time and energy is wasted trying to figure out the perfect thing to do. I once helped a guy push his car out of a ditch it had spun into. The car was facing the wrong direction, but it would have been silly to try to turn the car around while it was sitting there. We had to push it to get some momentum going, then once it was moving it could be turned to move in to right direction. Sometimes, human beings are like that. We are stuck, and the best thing to do is just move. Once we achieve movement, we can begin to orient ourselves and our actions in a positive direction and begin to make progress. You do not have to arrive at your final destination today. You just have to move. So get started!
2. Make a Commitment to Growth. I love goals. They give me something to shoot for, and once reached, I can check them off of my list. They are measurable and concrete. But the truth is, the achievement of goals can begin to make me feel like I am a dog chasing its tail after a while. John Maxwell tells a story about a CEO who was lamenting that his company had achieved every goal it set for itself so many years ago. Now that the goals were accomplished, he did not know what to do. Maxwell told this high powered and successful exec that his big mistake was that he had been goal, rather than growth oriented. I think there is great wisdom in that. We should still set goals, and when achieved, celebrate them. But then we need to move on. Life is about growth. So think about it today. What will stretch you? What will challenge you? What can you begin today that you are not sure you can pull off without some new learning, or without help from some new relationships?
3. Hang in There. Mondays are great days to begin new things, but there is a danger with them as well. They are like mini-New Year's Days. Each one is an opportunity for a new beginning that will most likely never be pursued long term. How many times has Monday arrived prompting a new resolution to make this week the beginning of something better, only to find that by Thursday, you were once again in survival mode? Make this Monday different. Pick something to begin that will grow you that syncs up with your passions and talents (even if those talents need to be more fully developed), get started moving in that direction, and then stick with it. Don't give up. Adjust if you have to. Re-evaluate and reassess. Then make course corrections if you need to. But don't give up.
4. Be Consistent. This is especially true if you are in a position of leadership. Nothing will undermine confidence in you as a leader faster than inconsistency. But if others see who you are - your positive character and attitude - and they continue to see this over time, two great things will happen. One is that you will begin to grow, and the other is you will not have to do it alone. In fact, you will be taking people with you. They will experience growth right along with you. Your consistency lets other know they can rely on you and trust following your leadership.
So there it is. Get started! May this Monday be the day that you take a first step into a great new adventure. May you capture a vision for growth that is contagious and inspires those around you. May you be so captivated by this vision that all obstacles become opportunities for learning, and even greater growth and development of new abilities. May the character you develop as you go be consistently lived out, building trust in the relationships of those traveling with you. May this Monday be the beginning of something great in your life!