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February Resolutions

Firstly, I want to wish my dad a big happy birthday, 53 years old today – another lap around the sun complete! Thank you for always being there for me in full support with your guidance and wisdom. PS when’s the fishing trip?
Over the holiday period I really gave myself an opportunity to rest my body and mind, I took a break from writing and social media and I’m now feeling rejuvenated and am looking at things from a new perspective. It was an amazing gift to myself, to have that time to contemplate how I want to move forward in life. I analysed myself in a way that I’ve never done before – including looking at who I am as a person and what I would like to do differently/better, breaking down my tennis game and training and even looking at the food I eat and how I can take my nutrition to the next level. It was a very deep process but the fruits of my labour have already shown to have a massive transformative effect on my life and I know that as I continue integrating the flow on effect will be massive.
I’m really excited for this year, there is a lot going on between tennis, focusing more on my business (watch this space) which includes taking my speaking career to a new level! I’ve had resistance to putting a lot of time into the online world as I find it challenging to sit still and in front of a computer but this year I will be spending a lot of time writing new blogs, organising social media content and something that scares me a lot; posting videos of me speaking and using Facebook live. I don’t have many fears but this is one that I’m determined to conquer this year!
I didn’t write a post for New Year’s resolutions but I want to write about February because by now, lets face it, a lot of people have fallen off the wagon. If you have, you now have another opportunity to try again. Give yourself a pat on the back and I say this sincerely as it means that you challenged yourself to be outside your comfort zone. Well done for giving it a go and setting yourself a challenge that might just be a little bigger than you can handle. This quote by Les Brown is one that I constantly refer back to – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” In my tennis career, I never go into a tournament planning to lose in the first or second round. No competitor does, we aim to win the tournament and take home the trophy. I’ve played hundreds of tournaments and I’ve only won 9 titles. Now do I get upset, sometimes… Okay it’s probably more like most of the time. But I don’t sit around and mope about it, I get back on the training court as soon as possible and identify and work on the things that didn’t work so well in the match.
Setting goals and resolutions isn’t just about the actual task, whether it’s sticking to a particular “diet”, reading more books, or going to every Tuesday morning yoga class this year. It doesn’t matter what goal you set, the challenge behind the actual activity is training your will power and discipline. Now you might have really good discipline in different areas of your life but this particular area that your focusing on, for some reason it just gets the better of you every time.
Here are some key tips that have helped me stay focused or refocus if needed:
1. Don’t criticise yourself
 Would you criticise your child for falling when they’re taking their first steps? I hope not. Be kind, gentle and loving to yourself. There is no benefit to being critical and harsh towards yourself, it’s just a downward spiral. If you can catch when you start to say negative things to yourself then you’re already on the right track. It’s good to recognise where you’re at with how you talk to yourself and there are infinite possibilities everyday to improve.
2. Restart as soon as possible 
The longer you take to start again, the harder is it. When I take time off to rest after a series of tournaments, I like to keep going to the gym to keep all the strength that I have spent a lot of time building. Occasionally the gym falls off my schedule and sometimes I find it challenging to motivate myself to get back to it. The longer I wait the more strength I lose and also the more painful the delayed onset muscle soreness is. My mind is very good at coming up with legitimate excuses not to go. I’m sure I’m the only one that experiences this! At times like this I like to remind myself why I have the goal that I’m working on and that generally helps me rip the bandaid off and get back to the gym.
3. Never, ever, ever give up
 Everyday is a new day with an amazing opportunities to work towards the life you want. No matter what it is that you want, it’s worth working towards. When you look back on your life from your deathbed you will not regret working hard for something you believe in. I remind myself everyday with a quote hanging on my wall above my bed by the Dalai Lama that “No matter what is going on, never give up…” There have been times in my life when it would have been too easy to hang up the boots and say that’s enough for this lifetime, I’m checking out. Everyone has their own struggle and whatever yours is, you are strong enough and you can do it. Believe in yourself and take another step forward and then another and another. One at a time but always moving forward.
4. Acknowledge the results you are getting
Even if you don’t accomplish exactly what you set out to achieve, you are still getting positive results that are improving your quality of life. Don’t forget to keep track of your progress so that you can remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.  It is so easy to look at what we haven’t achieved and what we could have done better but getting into the habit of acknowledging what we have done and how far we’ve come can be very powerful. At the end of each month, quarter or year you will look back on the results and if you keep them strictly you will be amazed and generally won’t even recognise the point you started from.
5. Find a healthy way to reward yourself and stick to it 
It’s important to acknowledge your growth and the work that you are doing. I highly recommend that the reward should not be food unless you are eating in a very conscious way. Some options might be a night out to a movie you’ve been wanting to see, gifting yourself an item of clothes that you really want or even a weekend away with your husband/wife/partner. Make sure the reward is of equal value to the work or discipline you have just shown in your life. A weekend away for going to one yoga class doesn’t cut it but if you stick to the whole term or year, definitely reward yourself nicely.
So that’s it for my first blog for 2017, I really appreciate all of you who take the time to read my blogs and social media posts. I love hearing from you so send me a message, comment on the posts and if you think someone else in your life will benefit, send them a link.

Until next time,

Adam

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