New Years Resolutions/Goal Setting

A common theme that’s drilled into many people’s heads around this time of year is the process of creating New Year’s Resolutions. What seemingly started as a harmless way to set yourself up for success in the new year has become universally mocked due to the inability for many to stick to the goals they set out prior to their “fresh start”.

Goal setting, in general, is a harder task than it comes across as. In my personal experience, being out of school for 8 months now, I find it’s more difficult to determine if you’re actually achieving your goals or not.

In school, it’s typically black and white. For example, if you aim to achieve higher than a 75% average in a class or on a test, then that’s your aim and the corresponding result is quite clear afterwards. (Note: if you aim any higher than that you’re a NERD). If you received an 80% you exceeded your goal, or if you received a 60%, you fell short of your goal.

But what happens when the environment changes and now those black & white goals become more complex? Personally, I’ve found this to be a lot more difficult since leaving a structured eco-system like school. Obviously, many people set goals outside of their schoolwork but it’s different when that’s no longer a variable. I can’t speak for others but I’ve found my goals have become a lot more arbitrary and broad now that I’m working a 9-5.

That’s why I’m glad I stumbled upon David Meltzer. In consuming his content on LinkedIn and Instagram, he’s preached more about enjoying the consistent, persistent, pursuit of your potential than being destination driven. Meltzer mentions the concept of lowering the bar in one of his videos.

Meltzer mentions in another video that when you think of your goals as mile markers and not the destination you are detaching your happiness from the outcome and shifting it to the enjoyment of the journey. By doing this, you are removing the limitations that are set when you make your goal an end-point. This is something I’m going to try doing going into 2019 and I’m looking forward to what the results will be in a year from now.

The following are some of the goals I set at the end of 2017 going into 2018 and how well I did achieving them:

  • Read a chapter of a book every day: LOL.
  • Make everyone I meet in any situation feel welcome: Hopefully.
  • Stop being so negative: Actually kind of did this!
  • Approach a healthier lifestyle: Dill Pickle chips.
  • Be more straightforward with people: No idea, honestly.
  • Move to Calgary: Check.

These aren’t all of them, but the ones I felt were worth sharing. As you can see, some were specific whereas others were very broad and hard to quantify. Knowing what I know now about setting goals and benchmarks for myself, I’m really looking forward to setting them up in 2019. While New Year’s resolutions get a bad reputation, I feel as though it’s a good exercise to evaluate where you are in life and where you want to go.

The best part is, this doesn’t have to be a New Year’s thing, do it once a month, on your birthday, at the change of a season. Whatever works for you, but I think it’s important that you do it because when you’re outside the confines of school or your work, life can feel quite lonely, empty and sometimes scary. And if setting up certain benchmarks, even as simple as meditating one minute every day helps, then it’s more than worth it in the long-run.

What are some of your goals for 2019? No matter how big or small, they are worth pursuing because why the hell wouldn’t you? Thanks for tuning into my random ramblings this past year, more to come in 2019!

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