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    2015: Starting Strong & Making a Statement!

    kaiwayWow, here we are in January again, and it seems like another year just flew and blew by. Meanwhile, every day matters, and how we approach and use each moment really counts and is what adds up to…our life!

    I’m hoping you’re all as amazed by your December as I was. Assuming you read this column last month (right?!),we looked at great turnarounds in the closing moments of recent Bay Area sporting events—from the World Series, to Stanford women’s basketball, to the Niners and Raiders, to the LPGA Tour.

    After citing stories of stunning late scores and victories, and formulating the message to focus on what great things could still happen in the closing days of 2014, my wife and I both enjoyed our best financial month of the year. Writing that message worked! In December, I conducted KiAi Golf and KiAi Business trainings in 4 states, then even while “on vacation” with family over the holidays, my good work fortunes weren’t over. In a parking lot by the local deli, I happened to start talking with a lawyer who loves golf. The next day he spotted me again at Starbucks, and off we went to a beautiful nature preserve municipal golf course and a game-changing afternoon playing lesson. Then the morning of December 31, two unexpected excellent speaking opportunities were confirmed for January.

    Which brings us to the opening month of 2015, and the message is not only to finish strong, but also to start strong! Continuing the sports metaphors, right now is the first inning, the opening minutes of the first quarter, the first tee and hole, the qualifying heat. January is about getting out-of-the-blocks and into the race.

    kiaiWhen a team puts up points fast, or a golfer opens with a birdie, or a runner or cyclist distances themselves early, it’s called “making a statement.” They let themselves and everyone else know that they came to play and are up to the task. They gain crucial recognition and respect. Their talents, drive, competitive presence and winning potential are taken seriously. Indeed, a December 19th Sports Business Minute video about the struggling Chicago football franchise was entitled “Bears Must Make A Statement This Winter,” and noted: “It’s very, very important for the Bears to make a statement, for the sake of their brand.”

    So as 2015 dawns, with all the promise, potential and, yes, peril of the new set of 12 months lying before each of us, I suggest that we focus, not so much on New Year’s resolutions, but more on what statements we want to be making. For our own ‘brand’ and to ourselves, co-workers, loved ones, and to the universe that is really the field of consciousness we are all playing in.

    My coach’s question to you is: What statements are you making, by your words and deeds, to make 2015 a banner year in your life? Take some time to think on this and write down your statements. Here are 5 key words to keep in the forefront of your mind and new days: Contemplate, Choose, Visualize, Commit, Act.

    1. Contemplate, then choose what you truly want, and that will best serve you as well as those around you and the world.

    2. Visualize your actions, strategies, and your victories!

    3. Commit and act by taking creative and enjoyable action. Act as if you’re already there! See, feel and taste what it’s like having what you want, being where you want to be, doing what you want to be doing and with the people you want to be with.

    Make your 2015 statements every day and in every way you can. To give another personal example, I got up early on January 1 and drove down to Santa Cruz to be part of a sunny, but chilly, New Year’s Day Aikido training on the beach, capped off with a group cold-plunge into the ocean for purification and intention-setting. It was that important to me to get out of warm cozy bed, knowing that I was making my own crystal-clear internal and external statements for the success of big Aikido peace events I am working on this year.

    In some circles in 2014, people called for ‘The Gay Athlete’ to be named Athlete of The Year. We may well look back on last year as a turning point in the advancement of LGBTQ opportunity and equality on all the playing fields of life, including sports. There’s no doubt that stunning victories were won for marriage equality. Gay marriage is now legal in 35 states, and constitutional bans are failing in every court. LGBTQ workplace protections, and transgender awareness and services, are gaining ground. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will be remembered most for the worldwide outcry against Russia’s heavy homosexual oppression, and Putin’s latest medieval laws brutalizing both gay people and straight allies who stand up for LGBTQ rights. High-profile college and professional athletes came out—led by Michael Sam, Robbie Rogers, Brittney Griner and others—and are forging powerful inroads into the highly heterosexist world of sports.

    So now, as we move individually and collectively into 2015, let’s get off to strong starts! Potential is limitless, and is about limiting less. Let’s make our own statements with clarity, sincerity, commitment and boldness. January is the springboard, and our statements set our intentions so that what we want to experience and accomplish can actually materialize and happen.

    Let’s take the torch from 2014 and keep building momentum for a better world. And let’s never give up or stop until its safe for every athlete to play and come out, and for every single person on the planet to have food, water, shelter, work, equal rights, liberty and a chance to live in prosperity and peace.

    Jamie Leno Zimron is an LPGA Pro, Aikido 5th Degree Black Belt, and Corporate Speaker-Trainer. Please check out her website: http://www.thekiaiway.com/ You can contact her at jamiesensei@thekiaiway.com