Stick your landing: Finishing your year strongly


I broke my right arm in 4th grade, while trying to do a backflip…while hula hooping.
There I was, in the living room while my parents were in the next room talking with their guests. I remember every moment of that day like it happened just yesterday. I was feeling adventurous and unstoppable. I had never even taken gymnastics, but I was intrigued by how they flew through the air effortlessly. I always got excited and held my breath waiting for them to land successfully on their feet at the end of their routines. So being the daredevil that I always was, I decided to try a backflip of my own with the added challenge of hula hooping simultaneously. I failed…terribly.
I can remember all the emotions I felt leading up to the moment I decided to try the backflip. The excitement….the pressure…the fear of getting in trouble due to my parents being able to see me attempt the trick. I gathered up the nerve to do it anyway, because I felt that I wouldn’t ever learn to backflip effortlessly like those Olympic gymnasts if I never even tried. There was nothing to it but to do it. I remember feeling happy, determined, yet fearful as I threw my body backwards into the air. So many emotions passed through in that short period of time as I felt my body successfully flipping into position to land.
Then I panicked. What if I hurt myself? What if I snap my neck? I’ve never tried this before! What was I thinking?! My eyes caught my dad’s stern look as I prepared to land, and regret immediately set in. I landed on my backside with my right arm (and the hula hoop) underneath me, and it was probably one of the most painful moments of my life. In the world of gymnastics, landing successfully on your feet at the end of a routine is referred to as “sticking the landing”. I failed to do that, but at that young age, I learned a valuable lesson that would stay with me forever.
Life is full of twists and turns. The ups and downs we experience take us on a crazy emotional rollercoaster ride that we sometimes find difficult to get out of. Year in and year out, we go through things that build or break us. You’ve probably found yourself wondering a time or two how you’re going to even make it through another week in the situation you’re experiencing. We spend so much time worrying about the process and all we have to endure, that we often short ourselves on finishing strong.

In focusing on all that could go wrong on your journey, you fall short of sticking your landing. Don’t get me wrong, your journey to your goals and dreams is extremely important! However, we tend to get caught up in the imperfections, detours, and roadblocks on the way. You can’t finish strong through living in fear of how things will turn out. If you focus too much on failing, you’ll lean more into that direction. During my flip, I began to focus on how bad things would turn out, and my body reacted accordingly. I basically thought myself into failure.
A new year is upon us. 2018 is approaching, and 2017 has been a tough year for many of us. I challenge you to work on sticking your own landing, so that you can end this year on a better note, and lead yourself into a positive and productive new year. Don’t worry about all that has gone wrong this year, or all the things that could go wrong before the year officially ends. Below are three things to do in order to help you stick your landing.

Think positive thoughts

Don’t consume yourself with negative thoughts about yourself or others. Positivity can be just as easy to indulge in as negativity. It all depends on what you choose to focus your energy on. Don’t waste time on things and people that don’t contribute anything positive to your life. Too often we waste time dwelling in negativity, instead of seeking what will serve us best.

Free yourself from past circumstances

Don’t fill your heart with hopelessness due to your past. You are not your past circumstances. Focus on finishing the year on your feet. Take only the lessons learned from your past into your future, and leave all the turmoil, grudges, and stress behind. Focus on what you can change moving forward, and not the things you can’t control. Focus on ending this year, and beginning the next one, on a good note. We can’t change what has happened in the past, but we can change the way we walk into what’s ahead. We can change our outlook in order to help us change our outcomes.

Finish strong

Sticking your landing requires extreme focus. This is a focus you won’t get while paying too much attention or trying to keep up with what others have going on. Your life is your own journey to take, at your own pace. Keeping up with others will only slow down your journey and distract you from a successful landing. Pace and discipline yourself to focus on how you want to end this year and begin the next one. Don’t allow outside opinion or ridicule to make you shy away from the vision you have for your journey.

Pulling it all together

Mindset plays a large role in whether you fail or succeed. When you make a conscious decision to want better for your future instead of dwelling in the not-so-great moments of your past, you are already putting yourself a huge step ahead in your journey. There’s only a few days left of this year, but make them count. Work hard, focus on the goals you’ve set for yourself, and put your best foot forward in order to stick your landing, and spring into your new year successfully.

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