Football“Go long! Did you hear me? Go long!” the coach shouted anxiously to the receiver from the sidelines during the final quarter of the championship game. You could see the sweat dripping from under his hat as he encouraged his team to take charge. He was adamant about his team making another first down to get closer to the touchdown the team needed. The agile receiver remembered the plays that the team had been practicing all season, noted each of them, and gave all he could to rely on his defense, execute, catch the incoming pass from the skillful quarterback and sprint to make it to another first down. The ball wasn’t intercepted. He was quick. He was focused. He was successful in getting another first down and his team could now move on to the next play in hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of winning the game.

Now, let’s imagine you’re the coach, quarterback, defense and receiver in your own life. You’re playing all these positions and with tomorrow being October 1st, it will officially be the final quarter of the year. Back in January or maybe even December of last year, you put together a list of goals; you decided on a few things you wanted this year to include that would make your life better – maybe even easier. If you’ve made some headway, whether small or large, celebrate those moments. If you have some more things you need to get done, well, you’ve only got 92 days left to make some last-minute plays. Don’t let anything intercede that will take you off track.

You are responsible for creating your plan, learning from your past, executing your plan, taking responsibility when things fall through for your plan, and seeing your plan through to the finish.

Coach yourself everyday. Be your own coaching isn’t about people you know, such as your mentors, telling you what to do at every point of your life. You are responsible for the design of your life. What you believe in, how you interpret and plan your moves going forward is your responsibility. When a team loses a game, it’s the coach that is held responsible. Although the players may have been the ones actually making the moves, the coach will be the first to be let go if the team isn’t performing up to the standard of the team management. No matter what others do, tell you to do, etc, you’ll be the one who’ll be left to clean up any messes. You’ll also be the one to be able to take credit for your successes.

Make the right pass. Be ready to pass yourself the motivation needed to keep going. You have to possess a certain amount of drive to be able to move forward. You have to be your own motivator. Push through and get ready for the next phase of your life. There can’t be room for excuses. Whether someone is guiding or protecting you or not, you are responsible for shifting and adjusting your life in a way that catapults your next move into positive one. And your level of motivation and drive makes the difference in whether or not you successfully move forward.

Defend yourself. Keep an eye out for interceptions, tackles, etc.  I’m sure even with the successes you’ve seen this year, there have been some moments of disappointment or attempts to push you off track. Don’t allow some of the challenges that may present themselves to be your reason not to finish this year strong. Fight back. There will always be things thrown your way. Sickness, loss, heartache, lack/need of something, etc. Those challenges are only that challenges. They are not the final say; the definition of your goals or life. They can be overcome and moved completely out your way.

Receive what comes your way. Take the ideas, the advice, guidance, learned lessons, and plans that you’ve gathered throughout the year and execute. Look at all sides of your life. Use your peripheral view to move down that stretch of field. As long as you keep your drive; your motivation high, you’ll be able to get closer to your goals. Remain positive knowing that everything you’ve done up to this point has prepared you to make another first down for your life.

Good seasons come and go, but the key is knowing they come back around. If you want to look back on this year and be proud of what you’ve accomplished or overcome, you’ve got to put things in motion to make it happen. Remember the clock is ticking and standing there with the ball will get you nothing but a tackle and success won’t be an option.