Setting New Years Goals every January is a tradition for most people whose year starts on January first. I know people who slap them out every New Year’s Eve and face January 1st all ready to create a new them. By January 4th, most have forgotten all about their good intentions and life goes on as usual.
The same as before.
At any-rate, this is how goals usually work for me. So the last two years I have chosen to go with picking a Word for the year. This is a popular method among my fiber artists circles and I have to say I’ve gotten better results using this approach. For 2011 I chose the Word “Conquer“. I spent the year trying to learn how to conquer some of my messes, my bad habits, my fears. For 2012 I chose the Word “Focus” and spent my year trying to learn how to be more like a laser and less like a shotgun when it came to my attention span and getting things done. I’m a true creative/multipod, I’m distracted by every shiny new object, funky new design or fabulous new idea that manifests in my brain or crosses my field of vision. I want to drop what ever was my latest hot idea and chase the new one. This would be great if someone was paying me to be a brain-storm trooper but, bad if I want to actually develop an idea to its conclusion.
This is a self-portrait I did several years ago. I’m sure some of you recognize it as I have used it for my avatar on several social sites. It is still highly representational (can you guess why ;o)
And I like that. I like that part of me, I just wish I had some control over it – hence, last year’s Word; Focus.
What has picking a Word done for me? I have not mastered the concepts but I have built some very real and useful skills/habits/traits that bring me closer to being able to take steps toward my Goals.
Back to Goals
Don’t mistake me, I haven’t abandoned the whole Goals idea. I just think that my long-term goals don’t need to be muddled by a slew of smaller goals for the year that will only make me feel like a failure if I don’t reach them or they get changed, or abandoned as useless. And because they are long-term, I don’t want to keep listing them every year and making myself feel worse because I haven’t reached them yet. I’ve decided that building some skills needed to work towards them is a more efficient use of my time and energy.
This year I’m keeping the practice but, inspired by a post from Emilie Wapnick of PuttyLike, I’m not calling it my Word for the year anymore, I’m picking my Theme. It’s a more accurate way to describe what is actually going on with this process.
So, this year’s Theme is “Progress“. I’ve built some skills (not enough, but a start) and feel like it’s time to start using them to inch toward my long-term goals – I have many, see the self-portrait? So my themes from the last two years will continue to be worked on, but some progress can now be made. I am publicly stating that I will try not to procrastinate so much and work to make Progress.
What is your theme for the year?
After all, as someone said “It’s about the journey to the destination”, because without a destination in mind you will only wander aimlessly.