Every year on January 1st you make yourself a promise. You want to get better. Maybe your physical fitness, maybe become spiritually stronger, maybe you seek financial stability, or maybe you just want to focus on your family and dedicate yourself to their well-being.

What did you want to accomplish in 2016?  How close are you to accomplishing it?

It’s easy at the beginning of a year to set goals and create a vision of what we expect out of life.  We do it every year. We have these ambitions that when the clock strikes midnight on the morning of January 1st, the world is ours for the taking. Yet, we never take it. Our lives get in the way.

On January 2nd, we still have to go to work, our bills still have to be paid, and our responsibilities are still no one’s burden but our own. New Year’s resolutions are something we manufacture to give ourselves a glimmer of hope. Something that we have created as a façade to show that we are not dead inside, that we still have dreams of being something great.

it usually turns out to be all smoke and mirrors. By summer those goals are but a distant memory, and something we only visit from time to time on a facebook post to let our friends know how amazing our lives seem.

We all want to achieve the vision we have created for our own lives. We all want to see our dreams come to fruition. So then why do we get stuck in the “rut”?

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Today at the gym I overheard a trainer speaking to a client. They were discussing their progress over the last year, and what the client was lacking to make the gains he wanted to see. As ridiculously ‘meat headed’ as the conversation seemed, I was lucky enough to hear the message and point the trainer was trying to make.

The trainer slapped the client on the chest and said, “You can’t have a testimonial to give until you have been tested.”

At first I didn’t register what was said. It wasn’t until after I had gotten home, I realized the point the trainer was trying to make.

Your success is dependent upon the process.

You have to fight through the struggles if you want to achieve. Every year you set a resolution. A resolution is a testimony that you wish to give; a story of your personal experience overcoming a hardship. The story of you concurring something new.

Typically, when we think of testimony it’s in a context of court or a testimonial of a product. Many will even refer to a divine personal experience. Simply put, a testimony is a story of personally held experiences and the lessons gained from those experiences.

We all want to accomplishments something. We all want achievements that we can be proud of. The problem is, most of us don’t want to navigate the process that comes with gaining that experience. We want to jump strait to the end result and skip the learning curve that comes from the tests.

This is something I struggle with. Something my girlfriend and my mentors have spent many hours discussing with me. It is difficult to enjoy the process. It takes mental toughness to perceive struggles as growth rather than failure. To take the lessons as they come to us, and become better with every step is not an easy task.

This is why your resolutions only last a month or two. In a world today that is built on instant gratification, we struggle when we don’t see results immediately. We give up because we perceive the struggle as failure. We only focus on how much farther we must still go. We lose sight of how far we have already come.

I challenge you to something different.

Instead of a resolution that you are more than likely not going to follow through on, set out to create a legacy. Build an empire. I am personally on a mission to create my own testimony.I challenge you to do the same.

Over the next 5 years, build a testimony you will be proud to share.  This is not done by simply losing ten pounds or writing your first book. It is something that is built upon every day by your actions and thoughts.

At this point your testimony is open ended. My testimony is open ended. I will test myself daily to make sure I am building my legacy. My test is to enjoy the processes, to live in the moment of the experiences and learn the lessons they provide.

My challenge for you is to not get disheartened by hardship; instead, recognize and thrive in learning moments. The test is to get better every day.

I dare you to take challenges head on with excitement for your future.

Your life will not be defined by achieving one menial resolution.  Your life will be defined by a series of experiences that will create your legacy, your empire, YOUR TESTIMONY!