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Get Back on the Horse and Stay on the Path: Lessons a Navy SEAL Can Teach You for the New Year

Jocko Willink knows how to put personal weaknesses aside and achieve any goal. So can you.

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BY Peter Economy - 04 Jan 2018

Get Back on the Horse and Stay on the Path: Lessons a Navy SEAL Can Teach You for the New Year

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Already have your New Year's Resolutions planned out and feel destined for success? Or are you instead anticipating getting sidetracked and bracing for inevitable failure?

If you're sensing that you will soon find it unexpectedly difficult to maintain a new habit or skill in the coming year, now is the best time to mentally prepare for making sure you don't fall off the horse. Or, as Jocko Willink says, make sure you "stay on the Path."

Willink -- retired Navy SEAL commander, podcast host, and #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Extreme Ownership -- writes about this in his new book, Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. Willink, both in person and in his latest book, effortlessly makes it clear what life lessons he was able to glean from his time with the SEAL teams. In fact, he eventually went on to command the most highly decorated special operations unit of the war in Iraq.

"The Path is very simple," says Willink. "The Path to me is: the things that you know you're supposed to do that are going to make you stronger, smarter, and healthier, and will put you in a better place in your life."

Rather than shy away from this journey of self-improvement, Willink asks that we keep ourselves honest about what we know will improve our lives.

"We all know what those are," he emphasizes. "We know what things are going to benefit us across the board in every single thing we do."

But Willink knows that staying on this route of "unmitigated daily discipline" will not be without its obstacles.

"No one's perfect," he says. "Unfortunately we're all humans and we have to deal with our own personal weaknesses and sometimes we go off the path."

In the coming year, feel free to attack your goals. Consider yourself "moving toward a battle, a fight -- toward war" as you resolve to work towards your achievements.

Make decisions and see them through like a Navy SEAL would, and you'll find a level of success in business and in life that you never imagined possible.