Leave Your Insanity In 2019 And Get Your Plan Right To Have A Happy New Year!
Leadership Lesson: Instead of hard-charging at their goal(s), anyone who is working on getting better and improving themselves should tackle them tactically in a focused manner by considering all their resources.
Here we are in a new year — again!
Is it my advanced age, or do the years just seem to pass us by faster? It feels like it was just a few weeks ago — and not a full year — since our last new year routine, where we left 2018 in the rear view mirror and began working on our new year’s resolutions for 2019.
Speaking of…New Year’s Resolutions. Remember those? Where did yours stand at the end of 2019? How did you do? Oh, you don’t want to talk about it? Fair enough. We can focus on the future instead.
First thing’s first, though: Before doing any kind of building or developing, we need to check our foundation for stability. Before going any further, right here, right now, we should ditch our insanity that makes us believe we can repeat what we’ve always done, year after year, thinking that this time — THIS TIME! — we’ll finally keep our resolutions.
It’s time for a NEW plan. But in order to blaze an effective path forward using that plan, we need to consider a new mindset for resolutions, goals, challenges — whatever you want to call them and whatever it is they mean to you. (The word used doesn’t really matter. Use whatever construct makes most sense to you.)
What do your resolutions generally look like? Are they solo journeys? Who else benefits from your resolutions? Are your goals too comfortable? While building up the positive, are you trimming back the negative in your environments?
Let’s break those questions down further to begin sharpening the path you cut through 2020:
Who Will Make Up Your Social Circles?
Aside from picking a resolution that’s right for you — and I leave that for you to decide — the first thing you need to consider is who you have around you. Rarely can anyone make it on their own. Even those people you believe are the most successful had others around them they could trust, at one point or another, to help them push forward.
You are the company you keep. The people around you make you who you are. Most importantly, they can support and challenge you, seeing in you things you may not see yourself. Take stock of who you have around you and how they contribute to (or limit) your progress.
Who Are You Going To Help?
Resolutions typically are thought of as promises of self-care, but helping others, a great gesture in itself, also makes us better. Providing to others through teaching, volunteering, mentoring, etc., makes us better in both those forms of sharing and overall.
As a side note, and at a deeper level, because it has come up in conversations about how one gains a sense of happiness from helping others, there are people who say that satisfaction gained from helping others is really not about those being helped at all but actually about the helper.
And they’re absolutely right!
Yes, through our generosity we become selfish. Most of us are in fact being selfish when we help others. This is because, yes, the other person or people are being helped, but we simultaneously find it a satisfying and fulfilling experience to assist others. That, at its core, is selfish — “I get something great out of this!” — and that’s ok! It isn’t sneaky, shady, or nefarious if for in exchange for the assistance we’re taking away fulfillment and satisfaction. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
In Which Areas Will You Improve?
While enhancing and building upon — and remaining in the safety and comfort of — the valuable personal assets you currently have, be sure to simultaneously expand into new areas — new knowledge, abilities, skills, or even relationships. You don’t have to jump all-in right away, but consider what you lose out on by merely playing it safe and turning your back on new exploration and curiosity.
Let me take this one one step further. You can build up slowly to your big goals. Depending on who you are and what you need, you don’t necessarily need to achieve them quickly or right away. (This is what throws most people off track — a need for instantaneous gratification, not having the patience to see their goal journey through.)
Reaching your goals is a powerful desire. We’re all seeking that satisfaction and fulfillment. Even just getting a taste of those sensations can encourage us to keep working for more.
If you have a huge, audacious goal that’s been tough to conquer, consider working on some other smaller ones in the meantime. Working on smaller goals, especially goals you can achieve much more easily (but which are still valuable nonetheless), refreshes the mind with a whole new perspective by working on, making strides in, and achieving another point of progress. In that process, you’re fine-tuning, strengthening, and focusing your mind. With those benefits, you’re now working from a different, elevated base of attack, and you bolster your overall confidence and ability.
Everything you do, in one way, shape, or form, contributes to your approach in another area. Try it, please. And let me know what you think.
What Are You Going To Leave Behind?
You can’t move forward or improve on anything without letting go of dead weight. Negative environments, toxic people, and self-critical thoughts may not be easy to dismiss, but you limit your progress if you don’t at least try to do away with the negativity holding you back.
The energy you’re using to put up with or tolerate someone, or any other form of negativity, is being squandered. That’s energy you could be using to meet new people, take on new challenges, and learn new skills that could up your game in life and work.
This isn’t to say you should turn your back on anyone. But it’s up to you to weigh the pro’s and con’s of the time you spend with people. It sounds transactional, yes, maybe even cold. But if you’re not protecting what you’re capable of today, think about how much you’re giving up on for tomorrow.
Overall, forget the limitations of meeting goals within the confines of 2020 or any subsequent year for that matter. Don’t pressure yourself into believing you need to get things done this year. The pressure will more likely make you cave. Yes, it may work for some people. But what type of person are you? We’re all so different and have our own unique approaches and paths, thresholds and limitations to getting what we want and need.
What I’m providing here is just one way to look at things.
With this view in mind, set up both a thorough plan and committed path to move forward. Keep the focus on your steps. That creates a stronger foundation than focusing solely on what’s left in meeting your goal in any given time period or year.
Most times, clients grow to learn how much satisfaction they can gain from the challenges on the path to getting what they want.
I would argue that the path is more valuable — even the trial-and-error of paths that don’t work out — than achieving the goal itself. Those paths can lead you to results and realizations about yourself you never even knew you needed or could benefit from.
But, hey, that’s just me!
So, read through the above, see how it plays into your circumstances, whether in life and work, and get going!
I’ll be doing it the same. Learning, growth, development — they never hurt anybody, right?!
And if you need a good, swift kick in the pants (metaphorically speaking) to get you motivated, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Honestly, chances are I’ll probably need one, too.
Happy New Year!