As 2013 comes to a close, many of us are enjoying the holiday kick-off and looking towards a new year. Thoughts about change, reinvention, tweaks and making the upcoming year better than those before it are not uncommon. That said, anyone who has ever treated resolutions as wistful wishes as opposed to action-infused goals knows that change walks towards us step-by-step. On a personal note, 2013 offered a great deal of both joy and disappointment, but also great life lessons that truly changed the direction of my life in (what I believe to be) a much better one.
Today, I would like to share the 10 goals I have for moving further into my best life. Perhaps you’ll find a couple of them helpful in your own journey.
Spend Time Wisely and With People Who Share My Values: I have always been someone who worked more than played (easy to do when work feels like play) but, let’s face it; a life that feels balanced is usually one that is balanced. I also tend to hold onto relationships and situations too long in the hopes that understanding and time will work together and bring things back-on-track. It’s time like these when hope and good intentions can work against you. With this in mind, I decided to write down what I wanted out of my life and to make decisions as to how I spend my time (and with whom I spend it) based on their ability to bring me closer to my goals. Leisure and frivolity are both essential, but wasting time on things and people who are holding us back does nothing for us.
Cut Out The Unnecessary Noise: Mindless chatter about celebrities was left behind soon-after college, but what about the snide comments about colleagues that find themselves sprinkled onto conversations or finding yourself in the same complaint-filled conversation? Having the same conversations about the same things (or people) is boring at best. Worse, negative thoughts and words create negative energy, so it’s no wonder we fill drained after engaging (or having to overhear) them. An uncomfortable question to ask is, “Am I draining those around me with unnecessary negativity?”
Go On a Mission: The idea that you’re going to go from assistant to CEO in a year is a little much, but treating yourself like a business, setting quarterly goals and making daily plans where you address the priorities of the week will have you looking back at 2014 and seeing significantly more progress than just allowing the days to pull you into various directions.
Be Accountable: Maintaining a victim mentality is comforting in the fact that we don’t have to walk around feeling anything is our fault, but it also encourages the delusion that we don’t have control over our own lives. The fact is that, true duress aside, no one makes us say, not say, do and not do anything. We choose what to engage and what to ignore. We choose to hold on or let go, and even if our minds or hearts are still attached to something (or someone), we can push ourselves to take action and move forward until they catch up with us. Holding on to idea #1 will aid in this.
Don’t Be Sloppy: Not with your words, actions, work, drink, dress or trust–regardless of intention. Over-promising with good intentions is sloppy, and so is sharing information that is best kept under wraps. No one has ever found themselves in hot water by not sharing gossip or leaving a party the second they realize they have had one martini too many.
Try Hard To Look At Yourself Objectively: This is almost a impossible task, but it’s worth a try. Instead of infusing the number on the scale with a bunch of self-bashing or coloring difficult situations with big, sweeping statements like “I’ll never” or “I always”, pay attention to where you are, right now, and tools and resources are around you to help you achieve your goals. Try and speak to yourself about these things with as little emotion as possible. Example: Instead of “I hate my stomach and legs, I am never going to look like so and so…” say, “In order to lose weight, I will need to cut calories and exercise. Motivating is hard for me, so let me find three resources to help me get past this.” It sounds silly, but it works.
Give To Others Exactly What You Want For Yourself: If you want understanding, motivation, respect, kindness, forgiveness, assistance, favors, etc., give it. If you want criticism, judgement, people to talk about you, to be devalued, put down and ignored, hand that out. Our behavior has a direct impact on those around us and how the world responds to us, so changing what you put out will literally change the world around you.
Cover a Thin Skin: Let’s face it; some of us are more sensitive than others. But allowing every dirty look or proverbial scratch to cause us to bleed is not going to benefit us in any way. Being a martyr is not an appropriate aspiration if you want to be happy. Work on building a strong support network, a thick sense of self and a deep understanding of what is important to you and then walk through the winds of other people’s projections and drama protected.
Get Help: Whether it’s someone with a Ph.D, a friend or a mentor, going to someone who has knowledge they are willing to share is never a bad thing.
Finally, Grab the Lesson and Let It Go: We have all lived a hell of a lot of life. We all have our disappointments and missed opportunities, but show me one person who was able to undo what has been done by dwelling? The only way to make amends with the past is to apologize and forgive where you can and then do better in the now.