I promise I’m not trying to make clickbait with that title. I just couldn’t think of a good title to embody what I’m talking about today. SO HERE YOU GO: AN OMINOUS OPENING TO A (HOPEFULLY) INSPIRATIONAL POST. I suppose the next thing you’re expecting me to say is: the world is going to end in 2018 so… no need to make any goals. But, surprisingly, we’re not talking about the apocalypse today! We’re talking about something much scarier: YOUR BRAIN.
The new year has to be one of my favorite seasons of all. Not because it’s a cold and desolate tundra outside my window, but because the beginning of a new year always feels so FILLED WITH POSSIBILITY. It’s the feeling of starting afresh with a blank slate and IT’S TIME TO CHASE YOUR DREAMS.
If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know that I’m a planner.* I love to set goals, make plans, dream big, reach for the stars. I love to overcommit and overachieve and impress myself with my own accomplishments. But…that doesn’t always happen. BECAUSE I’M HUMAN, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. I fall short of my goals all the time. I procrastinate, I lose motivation, I even give up on myself sometimes. And whenever that happens, I am overcome with guilt. How can we stop this from happening? There was a time when I might have replied to that question with: “just accomplish the goal!” …but now I have a different answer: look at the to do lists you’ve been throwing away.
*like a literal booklet with a weekly calendar written inside. hi.
LOOK IN YOUR WASTEBASKET
The new year can be an inspirational time, but it can also be discouraging. It can make you think about all the goals you didn’t achieve, all the dreams you didn’t chase, all the work you procrastinated… the new year can be frustrating because it makes you think about LAST YEAR at this time, when you set all these goals, only to watch them fall to ruin. But if you’re anything like me, you might have something I like to call Crossed Off List Syndrome™. It’s what happens when you make a list and cross off the things that you accomplished, then throw the list into the wastebasket, never to be seen again. THAT’S WHAT MOST PEOPLE DO, RIGHT? Most people don’t look at their crossed off lists, right? Well… I’m proposing that we should.
The first of January is always a promising day – filled with exciting prospects for the 364 days that follow. But how encouraging is it to move your unfinished 2017 goals over to your new 2018 goals list? You feel kind of like “I accomplished nothing this year,” don’t you? I know that I do. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO NOT FEEL LIKE A FAILURE THIS YEAR?? Well, read on, my friend. Because I’m going to show you how. (And this is something that I haven’t seen anyone else talk about before, so… I like to think I’m super original. *sparkle sound effects*)
FIRST, STOP MAKING GOALS FOR 2018
CHILL. IT’S NOT AS BAD AS IT SOUNDS. YOU CAN RESUME MAKING YOUR GOALS AFTER YOU FINISH READING THIS BLOG POST. Here’s the deal: goals are awesome. Goals are the stuff of life!! I COULD LIVE ON GOALS ALONE. No food, no water, no oxygen – just goals. BUT. It’s important to stop for a moment and take a look around and see where exactly you spend most of your time. Past, present, or future?
I’m mostly a future-dweller. I LIVE FOR TOMORROW. AND IT’S NOT HEALTHY. (Please don’t follow my bad example.) I love planning and making goals SO MUCH that I tend to forget about the present moment…and the cool things that have happened in the past.
So, I have to literally stop myself from making new goals and force myself to look back. And that’s when I discover something cool: I ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED WAY MORE THAN I THINK I DID. And, to be honest, I didn’t notice this until I wrote my last three posts
about the various things I learned in 2017. I didn’t notice this until I made lists. (that’s my buzzword right there…LISTS AND WAFFLES AND INSPIRATION WOOOOOOOOO!!!!1 *confetti explodes from the woodwork*)
NEXT, MAKE A LIST
A NEW KIND OF LIST. A LIST THAT YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER MADE BEFORE. It’s time to make a list of all the things you accomplished in 2017. Maybe you didn’t achieve all your goals or stick with all your resolutions – maybe you just did three or two or one. WHATEVER. Write it down. Write down the things that you’ve crossed off your lists this year. Write down the things in the wastebasket because YOU WILL FEEL LIKE A FAILURE UNTIL YOU DO. Make this list… and then (if you feel like it) POST IT IN A COMMENT BELOW. I would love love love to hear all about the things you’ve accomplished in 2017. This is no time for modesty!! I ENCOURAGE YOU TO BRAG. Or just make a list for your eyes only. You’ll be amazed by how good it feels.
WHY SHOULD YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS MORE THAN YOUR GOALS?
Because it literally affects your brain and the kind of person you are in a frighteningly physical way. You become what you think about.
It’s science. It is ACTUAL FREAKING SCIENCE. Which means you need to be focusing on the things that PROVE you are capable, strong, incredible, talented, beautiful… you need to feel PROUD OF YOURSELF in order to continue being the kind of person you want to be.
A lot of people see Dreams™ as distant fantasies – a lot of people make goals that are easy and tangible because they don’t actually believe that they can accomplish the incredible, the unthinkable, the outstanding. A lot of people shoot for what they KNOW they can hit. But you want to stand outside of that norm, don’t you? You want to be different* – you want to be the kind of person you feel in your heart that you were MEANT to be.
Do you want to accomplish the incredible? Start thinking that you ARE incredible. Don’t look at your unfinished goals and think “I’m a failure… I’ll never be able to stick with my new year’s resolutions…” < HOW TOXIC IS THAT. When you think about failure, you’re setting yourself up for failure. But when you choose to see the positive, the good, the talent and potential BURSTING out of you – THEN you are setting yourself up to win and accomplish and soar to the finish line.
*that’s a statement, my dear. you can’t have read this far and not be different in a TOTALLY AWESOME AND STELLARIFIC WAY !!! You’re a superhero. Believe in yourself, dang it!
SO WHAT IS THE POINT?
The point is: you are capable of more than you could ever imagine. When you look at your shortcomings and failures and decide what kind of person you are BASED ON THAT… it’s only going to bring you down. STOP THIS VICIOUS CYCLE. Stop setting goals just because you feel like you failed. Instead, pause. Pause for a minute a look around you. Look back at 2017. See everything that you’ve accomplished. I don’t care if it’s epic or miniscule, LOOK AT IT. Write it down. Make a list of the goals you’ve reached. Take a whole day – maybe even a WHOLE WEEK – to do nothing but look at that list and smile and say to yourself, “you know what? I’M PRETTY AWESOME.” Start your new year from THAT perspective. You will feel empowered to be better, not pressured to avoid failure. You will feel capable of anything…and you know why? BECAUSE YOU ARE.
Go conquer the world, my friend.
2018 is your year.
I believe in you.
Make a list of all the things you accomplished and post it in the comments below! I would love to talk about everything you did this year. ALSO: what are your goals for 2018??? Remember: THE SKY’S THE LIMIT. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. WAHOOOOOOOO!!!!