This time of year generates all kinds of thoughts and emotions for each of us – not necessarily all good. As I watch the social network feeds fill up with, “What are you committing to for 2014” or “Take Time to Set Your Goals” etc etc, I sometimes wonder what lasting impact these moments in our lives really have. Ultimately, new choices and new beginnings can happen any day – every day – they’re not limited to January 1st!
“A goal not written down is just a dream.” While that may be true, I don’t think there’s one pat answer for how to start a new year. I do believe it’s an opportunity for reflection and renewal, but I also believe it can put unnecessary pressure on us to perform to someone else’s standards too, sometimes setting us up to ultimately fail. That may very well be why so many New Year’s Resolutions fall flat within the first few weeks of a new year.
If we set unreachable targets or get caught up in ‘hoopla’ rather than heart, we’re ‘hooped’ before we ever begin; however, as Wayne Gretzky says you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so true. It’s clearly important to have a vision and goals to shoot for, no question. I’ve heard it said that without a vision in front of us, we stagnate or ‘die’ inside. The key is to dream and set goals with realism so we create winning opportunities for ourselves. When we’re going through this whole process, we also need to eliminate fear as our decision maker.
My challenge for you in 2014 is simply to become aware of how you want your life to look and play out, and then ask yourself what steps you need to take to make that happen. Sure, write it all down, read and re-read it. What do you want your work life to encompass and what kind of impact do you want to have with your coworkers and clients? What memories do you want to create with your family and friends? How do you want your kids (if you have them) to identify with you as a parent?
Keeping in mind not just what you want to accomplish but who you want to become, here are four of my key learnings from 2013 that I will carry forward with me, and I hope they trigger thoughts and challenges for you this new year:
- Who do you want to be in this situation?
- What would love do now?
- What doesn’t get discussed gets assumed.
- Don’t let fear be your decision maker.
At the end of the day, what really matters to you becomes apparent to all those around you. Choices make memories, so make sure they’re choices you want to remember, and that you want to be remembered for!
May 2014 be a year of reflection, renewal and restoration for each of us.