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January – Forging a New Normal


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

Alright, back to the grind. The holiday season has passed. I give myself a B- for sticking to my budget and diet. I was fine until I went home to Cinnaminson, New Jersey; how many cheesesteaks can one guy eat? That’s where I went wrong. I should practice what I preach, but life is a working transition and I vow to get better.

Enjoying time with family and friends during the holiday season is fun and a well-deserved break. Now, how do you shake the cobwebs and get moving, rejuvenated and motivated to have a better year? The New Year is always a time to reflect, as you turn your eyes inward, and evaluate the past year. It is important to take an honest look yourself.

Did reach your goals? Did you forget about a few? Did you get better?

It’s hard to be honest with yourself, but life is about trying and we have to set new goals and recommit to those left unfinished. Write them down so those goals become real. Like Emmitt Smith says, ”It’s only a dream until you write it down, and then it becomes a goal.”

Get excited about taking personal inventory on the year. There is positive energy in the hope of doing better. And a blessed feeling to know you have another day to try. As players we always looked forward to the next practice or next opportunity to correct our mistakes and make a big play.

Reaching for the stars is fine when setting your goals, but be realistic. There are only so many hours in the day. Prioritize what needs to change in your life. Write those few things down.

Game plan yourself. Admit your bad habits that keep you from winning. You can make changes for a better chance to reach your goals. Make new habits; forge a new normal. It won’t take long to become the next generation of you. Life is a glass half full.

Keep an eye out for the PAF PepTalks, self-help styled pep talks for players and their families.

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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