The year is almost over but there is still time to finish strong. It does not matter how one starts, what matters most at this stage is how the fourth quarter is finished. Many start out the year full of intention, energy, passion and enthusiasm only to lose momentum as the year draws to a close.
Life happens and can often leave its victims feeling stressed, tired, frustrated and distracted. Finishing strong becomes more difficult to visualize let alone realize. Instead of sprinting to the finish line many are left limping into the New Year without any gusto. This does not have to be the case.
No matter where people come from, who they are or what they do they can still possess the willpower, courage and strength necessary to make life matter. Whether it is a marathon, game or everyday activities these three qualities – willpower, courage and strength – are important to conceptualize the next phase. When a person embodies these traits they can apply them to any challenge in life and in turn face with confidence any opposing force bold enough to try to cancel their aspirations.
Being a basketball fan there is always the thrill of watching a close game within those final minutes of the fourth quarter. The determining factor of realizing which team will finish strong comes down to that last second. This does not mean the opposing team did not play well, but it does reveal they failed to accomplish their goal.
There is much more that goes into winning a game than many viewers realize. Whether in sports or the game of life, to win or master a goal takes preparation. Team members invest hours into pre-game preparation by studying, running plays, exercising and fine tuning their skills. What successful athletes do is nothing short of phenomenal!
As the world prepares to finalize another year it is safe to say not only is it the fourth quarter, but the final few seconds. The importance of this time reveals several things about what type of preparation was made prior to this moment of truth. It shows whether people have just been pretending or have truly trained for a strong finish. The question one must ask themselves is:
Was there a true game plan for 2014 and if so, did the required passion accompany the plan to compete with life’s challenges and unexpected plays?
Perhaps during the course of the year some stamina was lost, focus shifted and other road blocks may have caused a person to have fallen behind. Here are a few tips to turn it around and still finish strong:
Accept that it will not be easy: Attempting a comeback after falling off can be quite intimidating and seemingly impossible. It is important to accept that it will not be easy or pain-free. Embrace this truth, count the cost and remember that nothing worth having is ever really easy.
Encourage yourself: Do not sit back waiting for another person to come packed with encouragement. That pep talk seen in those final minutes of the game as the coach is drilling his team is dramatic but rarely happens in everyday life. Learn to encourage yourself.
Return to the basics: Once a team falls off their game plan it is always seen on the scoreboard. Again, as in sports, so goes the game of life. Far too often it is not as difficult as one imagines, they just need to identify the areas of focus that were lost and revive them. Things that support this concept are vision boards, affirmations and loads of positivity. These are the principles that once proved to be valuable, however in the big shuffle of life it is easy for their importance to fade to black.
The clock is ticking and it is the final minutes of the fourth quarter. In just a few days it will be time to celebrate another year along with the setting of more goals and resolutions. Do not wait another second, go ahead and take the opportunity to get back on track and end the year the way it was intended by finishing strong.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)