A week before the clock strikes midnight, people start posting all over social media about their New Year’s resolution. It’s the same year after year, “New Year, New Me.”
I am all for resolutions. Having goals is a must. I’ve been writing out a list of goals for the year since I was a teenager in high school and trust me that was a long time ago. Yet for 2018 I’m looking towards achievement but not changing myself.
Why do I have to change myself? Why do you? Really look at yourself and ask:
Am I a bad person?
If you can honestly answer no then why do you have to change? Why can’t it be a new year, same you, but better? Realistically we grow everyday without telling ourselves too. Instead of making a resolution to change everything about yourself write out a list of goals you want to achieve for the entire year, just don’t knock yourself down as a bad person.
I used to always say I was going to work on my personality. I’m a little too sarcastic for most people. I’m also a little too blunt. I internalized what they were saying and convinced myself I had to change myself. News flash, five years later and I’ve never made that change because there’s nothing wrong with who I am as a person. The issue was I was taking what people said and treating it as a negative when I should have turned their words around into a positive. Blunt? Try truthful. Sarcastic? Humorous. I’ll admit everything I say is never meant to cause harm and rarely ever does but when it does I apologize.
I don’t love the word resolution. If you haven’t noticed I prefer goal because a goal is something you are striving to work towards. It’s what you want to make when you play a game, it drives the competitive part inside of you out in order to win. Your goal in life should always be to win. A resolution sounds like you’re attempting to resolve an issue but you haven’t fully committed.
This is why people fail seven months into the year. Granted it could be because they forgot about their list of resolutions, it could be because there was no concrete plan made to actively meet them or they were unattainable.
But if you call your ‘resolutions’ goals you’re less likely to quit. Last year one of my goals was to get a full time staff position in my field by June. I actively went on interviews and was rejected left and right. I cried, complained and became depressed. No matter how hard I tried I let the doubt creep in and told myself it was never going to happen. I took the bitterness and my crushed spirit and decided I would change career paths and go back to school. I would try something new. Still, no matter how dejected I felt I kept applying for jobs as I considered a new path.
On June 26th, I started my first full time staff job in my field.
I reached my goal with a few days to spare.
Now I’m not saying I reached every goal I sought to complete for the year. Did I lose 30 pounds and workout everyday of the year? No, because that wasn’t realistic.
I won’t share all of my goals for 2018 but I will share my two biggest ones:
- To get a raise by July
- To publish my book by June
Not to sound like a broken record but in order to achieve your goals you need a plan. I want a raise but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will get a raise because the ultimate decision is out of my hands. However, I will still work towards my goal by presenting an argument as to why I deserve one. In the last month I started to write down how I contribute to the company. I have been focusing on the bigger picture: How do I make them money? What is it that I do that gets project A/B/C/D to fruition and gets them paid?
My second goal is to finally publish my novel. I wrote a novel a few years ago but never did anything with it. I have had people read it and they’ve given me feedback on what could be better but ultimately they all thought it was an interesting read. For the next six months I will make the time on the weekends to revise the chapters. There is a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into revising a novel. On June 1st, I will finish my revisions and will publish it as an ebook.
While my goals might sound lofty I have broken them down to make them attainable. So if you find yourself for the third year in a row writing down you want to lose twenty pounds for the New Year, try something different. Break it down, say you want to lose five pounds by February, and another by March. Write out a realistic workout plan for each week and tell yourself you will do this.
What are your goals for 2018?