In his Broadway show, which is now streaming on Netflix, Bruce Springsteen talks about the magic of the blank page. He laments that getting older means there are fewer blank pages to experience. While that may be the case, I would argue that few people have done more with the blank page than Bruce.
That said, we are in a time where more and more people are creating things from scratch. From nowhere. Think of all the tech companies that weren’t in existence five years ago. They started with a blank page. The great content creators (my son’s favorite is Dude Perfect) all start with the blank page. Architects, designers, writers…the list goes on and on.
Writing my little blog, I find the blank page to be sometimes exhilarating and other times the loneliest, most intimidating place on earth.
There are many people who believe that each year, we start with a blank page. People come up with resolutions or goals for the coming year, many of which fade by the end of January. I have found that accountability helps. I have a few friends that I share my goals with at the beginning of the year and it helps me stay on track. For example, last year, I came up with the goal of doing 10,000 pushups in 2018. I ended the year at 10,534.
If you have goals for the coming year, but already feel yourself slipping, make it a game with a few friends. Decide on a prize if you all hit your goals. I guarantee that you won’t be the one that wants to let everyone down.
I will be accountable to everyone reading this. Some of my goals for 2019 are as follows:
- 12,000 push-ups
- 1,000 pull-ups
- Read five books
- Write 25 blog posts
They are all SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. My advice is to examine your goals and see if they fit into this model. If they don’t, how will you know whether or not you achieved them?
Another trend I have seen on social media recently is coming up with one word to represent your year. It’s simple. It’s a theme or an overriding thought and it’s not something that can slip away by the end of January.
My word: Improvement.
I have always told my team that if you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse. I am very focused on improving this year in many facets of my life.
The number of blank pages we have left in our lives aren’t guaranteed. Whatever motivates you to get started, whether it’s the turning of the calendar, a birthday, or simply deciding that today is the day, embrace it. I will be doing my push-ups, pull-ups and reading, all while trying to improve in some way every day.
If you have a goal that you want some help with, let me know. I am always happy to help, if I can.
Bruce Springsteen used the blank page to write songs, a best-selling book, and a Tony Award winning Broadway show. What will you use your blank page to create? It doesn’t have to be grand. It should just be to improve on what you had yesterday. Remember, if you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse.
Finally, to all of my friends who have created something magical from the blank page, I salute you!