It's been a while since I played a game of chess. My brother-in-law is one amazing opponent. Unfortunately, we are separated by about 1,800 miles and I haven't seen him since leaving California nearly two years ago. Much of my "free time" is devoted to activities very similar to chess. I see the New Year as one chess game that is played continuously for 365 days. You don't have to be a chess player to glean some pointers for starting your New Year right, managing the middle game and ending on a victorious note. Check out these ideas:
- Make an intelligent opening move. What I mean by this is start the New Year with a decision that you are playing the game to win. Your opening move in the center of the board symbolizes you will attack your opponent head-on. There will be no lolly-gagging on the sidelines.
- Be willing to make sacrifices. Your king has the same resources as your opponent. How you use those resources will allow you to stay in the game and thrive throughout the year. Sometimes, you need to make sacrifices to advance. This includes investing your time to learn new skills or further your education. Use your time and space properly and don't be afraid to give up players like lethargy, laziness, or any other time wasters causing you to be distracted from your goals.
- Take time to analyze your opponent. Are you seeing the same moves that defeated you in previous yours? Remember this, every move your opponent makes can be matched when you make a strong counter-move. Avoid repeating the same mistakes you made in the past and try some new moves.
- Advance your pawns. When they reach the end of the board, they are transformed into powerful team-mates that can help you reach your goals.
- Keep your king on the move in the end game. If you choose to sit around, you become a target and your opponent will check-mate you. The secret to success is to prepare a strong game plan in advance and be flexible when the game changes. Don't let your opponent take you out early because you failed to play aggressively. Be active. Exercise. Enjoy every day that you're in the game.