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On the first day of 2019, two significant events occurred. I found a four-leaf clover (more on that in the coming days) and I watched the Georgia Bulldogs lose a bowl game.
I may not have been at the Sugar Bowl, much less playing on the field, but there's a lot that can be learned from what happened in those four quarters, especially when it comes to what you plan to tackle in the new year.
As a fan, I went into this bowl game with a muted mindset. Though I know my usual gameday traditions are 100 percent personal superstitions that do not affect the team one iota, I woke up yesterday morning, excited for the new year and completely forgot college football was happening at 8:45 p.m. My typical gameday attire that I am so careful to put on; the regular Saturday traditions I go through as a lifelong Dawg fan ... nonexistent.
Our big game of the season was over. Kirby Smart & Co. worked their tails off in a game that wasn't meant to end in red and black victory, and then the nation saw the "calibre" of teams that were selected to go on to the playoffs. They were high-ranked and deserving teams, but those teams that had a National Championship spot to play for showed lackluster performances compared to what was expected of them. Georgia fans, remembering what a season 2017 was and how we still performed incredibly well in 2018, putting up more points and almost pulling off both a Natty and SEC Championship victory against Alabama, were annoyed that the "four best teams" included two that looked like they weren't even trying to win a National Championship.
Having achieved all that, this bowl game was "meh" in comparison. At least some members of the team weren't all-in it to win it, or so it seemed from the outside looking in. As I mentioned already, my fan mindset wasn't all-in either. The 2019 Sugar Bowl Dawgs looked like those teams its fans said didn't deserve a spot to vie for the Natty. The team made mistakes its players are usually more careful to avoid, and it was clear Texas was ready to take this one home.
So, what does this long, drawn-out story have to do with you entering 2019?
It shows that if you're not bull-headed and committed to whatever it is you want to achieve this year, this week, this season of your life ... you're likely going to flail about and not get the results you're looking for. The Dawgs wanted to win this bowl game, I'm sure, but at least one player somewhere wasn't putting in the work to minimize mistakes and keep on track.
In my career, this is something I've struggled with as well — especially when it comes to setting a new year resolution! You see, a resolution is essentially lip service. There's not much accountability to it. There's usually not much strategy. It's a whole lotta talk and like, zero walking. This is why for so many people, a new year's resolution lasts about 2.7 seconds. I've had a skincare and cosmetics business for going on seven years now, and for the better part of six of those, I was real good at telling people what I wanted in my life and significantly less good at putting a plan in place to get what I wanted. I was even worse at committing to working the plan.
I adopted, without realizing it, the same mantra that Georgia sports fans seemed to be annoyingly cursed with adopting for football, baseball, basketball ... pretty much everything except soccer. Thank goodness for ATL United for reminding us that this mantra isn't reality, it's something we let happen to ourselves.
"There's always next season. There's always next year."
Not to be a Debbie downer over here, but like. Y'all. Yes, there is always going to be another football season/another year because that's how the clocks work and that's how sportsballs work. However! What if something awful happens to you before your "next season"? Furthermore, imagine what your "next season" will look like if you stop bullsh*tting and become bull-headed about making those changes you keep talking about!
Stop with the new year's resolutions. Start with a new commitment. This was a hard, hard mind-shift for me to make, because I'd been stuck in that procrastinating "there's always next season" mentality for just about everything I wanted in my business. Moving up our career path in leadership; earning a free car; maximizing my financial resources; etc. Excuse my French, but who the EFF does that?! Who says they're going to make more money doing X, Y, Z or Q and then allows themselves to get overwhelmed with moving forward so they make a hard 180 back to where they were before, or they veer off in a completely different direction that's not getting them any closer to where they want to be, but instead puts them further in some kind of drag-me-to-hell-hole?!
ME. That's who. And I'm willing to bet a few of y'all as well. It is a mind-shift I struggle with D A I L Y.
I wake up in the morning sometimes [transparency note: I struggle with anxiety and depression on the regular, which is normal and OK but what's not OK is to do what I used to do and wallow in it] and it is an act of God to pull myself out of bed. I would make excuse after excuse as to why I wasn't going to work on my future that day. It's no wonder that some aspects of my businesses looked about as stand-out as the UGA Sugar Bowl performance!
This year will be different. I've got not only my own version of the Sugar Bowl to crush, but a National Championship to work toward. You do, too.
That's why I bit my tongue, stopped stopping and decided to launch Dallas Anne Duncan, LLC, or DAD LLC for short. It's a tad self-reflective and I hope you'll find it inspirational and helpful as you read and learn from what I've done, and from the journeys of those I admire. I'm not the super-rich media mogul with a picture-perfect styled natural light photography headshot who sponsors ads all over your Facebook feeds. I'm a real human, pretty salty and snarky and eggscellent at puns. I write, I knit, I enjoy beer and whiskey, I have two cats and a black lab and an amazing family and a supportive boyfriend and more baggage than I can fit in my Honda Fit. I've done things and made business decisions I'm not proud of. But what I learned is that it's possible to fail forward if you're willing to take the risk, make the commitment and do the work.
Remember what I said earlier, that whole commitment-instead-of-a-resolution thing? Commitments come with resolve. They come with strategy and planning and accountability. If I've got a handful of folks who are able to take away something positive from watching me work, seeing me jump hurdles, hearing from others who knocked down every obstacle to get to the hella exhilarating place and people they are today ... then I'm committed to work, jump hurdles and tell these stories in the hopes that it will help you write your own.
The lackluster mindset I had during the Sugar Bowl (and off and on for the past six years) is purposefully being cut off. There's so much goodness coming our way this year that NEXT YEAR will be absolutely insane. I'm calling it 2020 Vision, and the only way that's going to happen is being all-in and committed in 2019.
I think these words from former Bulldog Tim Worley sum it up pretty well. Feel free to save this one for inspiration as needed: