A different perspective on goals + my word of the year

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Isn’t there some kind of requirement about blogging on the first day of the new year? I pretty much assumed I was obligated to do some type of writing today. :) It’s the first time in a long time I didn’t buy a new journal for a new year, as I’ve really been out of the journaling habit for quite some time now. Between writing blogs, writing content for social media, and writing for client websites, I’m typically out of words by the time evening rolls around!

To be honest, I’ve really struggled with this particular blog post. I knew I wanted to do a post on goals and the new year but as I have read post after post on the blogs I follow, I doubted there was much more to say. Set goals. Make them realistic. Decide what you need to do along the way to achieve those goals. Make daily habits that will get you closer. Sound about right? But if that’s the formula, why do so many people never achieve their goals? Why do resolutions become a distant memory by February?

I think for many people, myself included, we set the goals we think we “should” set. We spend precious time looking around us, deciding that so and so is doing “that” and so yes, that’s a goal for me too. Or she is adding that service to her business so I’m going to go ahead and make a goal to add something too. Maybe that organization over there is now doing “this big thing” so we’ve got to work something similar into our strategic plan, as well.

Sound familiar?

When our goals are determined by what we see others doing, we are destined to fail.

The truth is, our goals must come from a deeper place - a place where our passion and our beliefs and our souls push us to want more. Our goals, when set from that place will hold such meaning that they become a way of life. They won’t be centered around stuff or achievement or competition. They won’t be numbers on a scale or likes or followers or even sales. They will be milestones and celebrations. They will be memories made and moments captured. Dreams realized.

This isn’t to say that those “smart goals” aren’t the way to go. We have to set some measurement of success and timeframe with any kind of goal. But, we don’t have to set the goal we think we should. We need to set the goal that moves us closer to the kind of person we want to be.

For me, I’ve decided my word of the year is Progress. I’m tired of beating myself up about not being where I wanted to be at a certain time. I’m ready to be okay with making forward progress. And my goals are centered around making progress toward the kind of person I want to be, not who I think I should be.

Some of my goals are simple like “take one yoga class each week.” But that goal gets me closer to being mindful and strong and present. It’s progress.

Another goal is to spend one-on-one time with each of my boys every week. This is progress toward building relationships with them that will grow deeper with time.

For you, progress might look like opening the doors to a small business for the first time, or maybe just getting the idea down on paper. It may be leading your nonprofit in a manner that honors its mission or rewriting the vision statement, or applying for a grant that will expand your staff. It might be a combination of business and family or a way to better balance the two.

It’s something unique for all us. No amount of looking around or comparison will ever get us any closer because for each of us, the goal line is somewhere different. The fun, the living is figuring out how to get there and celebrating our progress along the way.

Happy New Year friends.


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