My goal on January 1st was to come up with a list of goals* for the rest of the year. I planned to spend some quiet time ruminating on what I’d like to accomplish in 2014 and then log them somewhere for future reference.
And that’s when I hit my first roadblock: I couldn’t decide where to write down my goals.
Should I flip to the next available blank page in the journal I’ve half-heartedly kept since 2011? Or does a new year require a new notebook? If one of my goals is to journal regularly (and I’m still undecided on that), perhaps I should crack open a fresh book — but what type? Big or small? Lined or blank? Thick or thin?
Unable to choose a notebook, I wondered if I should simply post my 2014 goals online. Many bloggers do. Then I remembered this TED talk by Derek Sivers, who posits that announcing your ambitions makes you less likely to accomplish them. According to Sivers, it’s better to keep goals secret.
But wait! Should I be making resolutions instead of goals? Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin says there’s a big distinction between the two: “You hit a goal, you achieve a goal. You keep a resolution.” Once you’ve met your goal, you no longer need to work on it, whereas resolutions require on-going attention, she explains. Crap. Perhaps it’s time I finally dust off my copy of Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, as she apparently delves into the differences between goals and resolutions in Chapter 1.
Then I read about Erin Cooper of Pippin and Pearl‘s approach to the New Year. Instead of resolutions, she creates a picture of what her happy life would look like using “I want” statements, such as “I want to have the freedom to travel to see new places” and “I want to have a respectable reputation as a creative.” In 2013, the activity seemed to have paid off. So does that mean if I simply announce what I’d like out of life (“I want to be influential,” perhaps), I’ll be one step closer to getting it?
Shit! Too many choices! So I contemplated nixing the idea of a list completely and picking one word, which seems to be the trend du jour among bloggers. Except I tried choosing a word last year and it didn’t help; I acted on very few of the ideas I had in 2013. Although there are a couple of exciting endeavors in the works for the beginning of 2014, I still feel as though I’m treading water on most of the things I want to achieve (both professionally and personally).
As of today, January 2nd, I don’t have any goals, resolutions, wants, or words written down anywhere. I have an idea of things I’d like to do in 2014, but I’m going to marinate on them for a couple more days in order to determine the best ways to accomplish them. Hopefully, I’ll have a little bit more clarity after the pressure of drafting New Year’s resolutions on New Year’s Day passes.
While I’m determining my course of action for 2014, I’d love to know about your New Year’s resolutions (or goals), if you have any. Where did you write them down? How will you stay accountable throughout the year?
*Clearly, one of my goals should be to stop overthinking everything… Or would that be a resolution?
PS – A declaration of intention for the new year, and the one goal I had in 2012.
(images via My Attic)
Hey dear — thanks for the link! 🙂 It’s worth noting that my approach is the result of a couple things I learned listening to that Neil Gaiman keynote address, and hearing Stefan Sagmeister speak at Alt about his happiness project. http://www.uarts.edu/neil-gaiman-keynote-address-2012
Neil Gaiman basically says this, (and this is the bit that resounds with me) :
“Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.
And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain. ”
So, I just decided to paint a clear picture of MY mountain. Not just as it pertains to my career, but also, my life in general.
I hope this helps. xoxo
I made two cheesy resolutions this year…
#1: Do my best. At whatever it is I am doing.
#2: Be kind. (This is an attempt to improve upon my resolution from last year of “Stop getting confrontational with strangers in NYC no matter how mean they are”… which I failed at so badly that I got spat upon by a pedicab driver… true story)
And that is the first time I wrote them down/”said” them aloud!
loved this post! too many choices but so many good things to think on… and i love how gretchen rubin differentiates goals and resolutions! xo . t