Are you jumping up and down with the New Year’s excitement yet? Whether it was great or not so great, 2017 is outta here and 2018 is front and center. Many people see the final turning of the calendar as a new beginning, a new opportunity to set health goals. But whether you’re starting fresh or continuing on, it’s up to you to get ready to launch into another 365 days.

Now I’m not a numerologist, but I’ve researched the meaning of the number 18. Out of curiosity, I wanted to know if it held any significance that can be easily applied to our lives. What I found was NOT what I expected. Most succinctly, chile – this number is everything that we need to have a great month, a great year, and a great LIFE. The essence of the number 18 is self-determination. Meaning, not only should we independently fuel our ultimate goals and dreams, but our primary goal is to build something of lasting benefit.

Our 2018 should not be a flash in the pan, but more so a time in which we continue to build on a stable foundation. It’s never too late to get our stuff together, but it’s always the time to keep our stuff together. I’ve learned over the years that systems help us build to last. Here are a few of the systems I’ve been using for years:

Assemble or re-assemble wise counsel


Those who have been following me on social media understand my concept of The Kitchen Cabinet. Just as the President has a cabinet of advisors, you too need a trusted cadre of advisors, mentors, and sponsors who are willing to not only advocate on your behalf, but provide sound counsel. Let me say this really loud so the folks in the back can hear this: one mentor is not enough. You will need advisors who counsel you in their areas of expertise. You may love that girlfriend of yours, but she should not counsel you on goal setting when she has no goals herself. You may adore that supervisor, but she may not be the right one to counsel you concerning finances. You may adore that auntie, but she might not be the right one to provide counsel about health and fitness if it’s a struggle for her as well. Seek wise counsel, not just any counsel.

Execute Like Your Life Depends on It


Over the last 6 months, I have been perusing various social media outlets where individuals from all over the world gather to talk about the art, science, and function of planning. Some people like day planners and other people like journals. Some people like electronic to-do lists and others prefer to send themselves an email. Some say forget it, just grab a pack of Post-Its, and do their best to keep their chaos organized. Yet, I would contend that even the most organized individuals can spend a lot of time setting goals, a good amount of energy crafting plans, but never decide how they will execute the plan in any situation. Set yourself up for success by thinking through how you’re going to execute everything.

You may want to gain muscle mass (GOAL!) by lifting weights three times a week (PLAN!), but then you don’t check the gym schedule, buy home equipment, or secure a training plan (EXECUTION!). Execute because in many cases, your life really does depend on it.

Forget Vertical Takeoffs in January

A few months ago, I remember reading about massive Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane that had a near 90-degree vertical take off. Rather than accelerating along the runway prior to take off like the usual passenger aircraft, this commercial plane functioned like a fighter jet, tricks and all.  Although I appreciate the capabilities of this unique bird, this is not standard and this may not be able to be maintained across most aircraft.

Same principle applies to us. Some people have a quick takeoff on January 1, but many of us need that extra runway to get up some speed. Why not spend the lion’s share of December practicing some of the execution plans that will fully take flight in January? Go ahead and check out that new gym that you’ve been thinking about joining. Take that new barre, yoga, or Crossfit that you’ve been considering for the New Year. Try those clean recipes that you want to put into heavyrotation in 2018. A New Year often is wasted by some folks because they wait to craft their goals on January 1, they kinda flirt with the plan through the 15, and by February, they might take off from the runway. You only have 12 months in 2018 and you’ve already wasted one before gaining altitude. Nah, that’s not gonna work. No vertical takeoffs. Use December to your advantage.

My hope for you is that 2018 doesn’t subscribe to the clichés of each New Year: “It’s gonna be MY year!” “It’s a new day!” “I’m all in!” “It’s a new me!” All of that may be well and true, but short-term quotes don’t build lasting benefits. Go ahead and test drive systems in December that will help you propel through the entire year. You can do this. You are built to last in 2018.

Dr. Shaunna Gold

Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold writes monthly for CRUSH Fitness magazine AND…she’s a U.S. Masters Swimming Certified Coach, Triathlete, Marathoner, Author, Blogger, Educator, & BoyMom, Owner & Founder of SHEro Athletics, LLC


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