It's been three months since you made your New Year's Resolution. How are you feeling about what you committed to do? Even though I never really resolved to do anything, I spoke with a couple of friends at a New Year’s Eve party about things I really wanted to make happen this year. One of those things was saving up enough money to travel for at least one month this summer. Despite my grad student lifestyle, I was doing great through all of January… until I went out one too many times, paid for one too many brunches or decided I needed that dress in my life one too many times...and like magic, I was no longer on track towards achieving my goal.
If your plans didn't stick, don't you worry my little pumpkin, We’re gonna do some trouble shooting today. First, let’s get rid of the notion that you were ever going to get up and decide to do something one day without ever going back to your bad habits... because that is a lie. That never happens.
Here is how greatness is made: You RESOLVE TO UPGRADE your life in one shape or form. You make a PLAN and take steps towards the goal. You STUMBLE. You FALL. You CRY. You GET UP. You REASSESS and attempt to make the aforementioned upgrade one more time. You do this repeatedly and you do it with a smile on your face because you are officially on the path to greatness. You are growing up.
In this's post, we are going to look at 10 mental shifts that will help make our goals a reality this year. Let’s call it the drop and pickup model. Here goes...
DROP: THE MENTALITY THAT 2015 WILL CHANGE THINGS IN YOUR LIFE.
While it’s true that each new year (or new moment) has the potential for a different experience, waiting for that different experience is not living… it's actually a slow and painful death. You decide when you've had enough and when you are ready for a change.
PICK UP: SOME PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Personal responsibility is soooooo unsexy..... but also super duper real. You alone are responsible for your year, and you alone are responsible for how your life turns out. I didn't grasp this concept for a very long time. Think about it. When your time is up, say you are laying on your death bed all old and wrinkly, you are going to have a movie reel of your life playing in your head. You get to pick the theme song, the lighting, the actors, the love scenes, EVERYTHING. Do you like the movie you've made? Where did it take place? Were you the grumpy main character, or did you make new friends and experience new things? Did you laugh a lot, or did you mostly experience life through your office window?
2. GET YA HAIR FLIP ON
DROP: THINKING SMALL
If you want something, it has to be compelling enough for you to get it. In other words, if your vision doesn't make you wanna do a Bey hair flip, it’s way too small. And small visions will not pull you out of bed in the morning.
PICK UP: A COMPELLING VISION FOR YOUR YEAR... AND YOUR LIFE
At Depth & Candor, we are moved by the people that get shit done. These are people who have visions bigger than themselves and aren't afraid to go for it. This year, what is stopping you from becoming that person? What is the biggest, boldest, baddest thing you've dreamt of doing? Can you start taking a tiny step towards that vision today?
My baby step of traveling for 1 month throughout Europe is part of a much bigger plan. My bigger vision is to have a life and career that lets me travel often with enough time to enjoy the places I get to travel to. Without this vision, traveling to Europe for a month seems pretty trivial. After all, isn’t this what most Americans do at some point in their lives?
3. THE OBSTACLE THAT IS YOUR......
DROP: GETTING STUCK IN YOUR FEELINGS
I only semi-belive in astrology... but I am pretty sure they were studying me when they named Cancers super emotional creatures. If I am not aware, it’s so easy for me to define life through feelings. But differentiating facts from feelings is so crucial if you want to achieve anything…and especially if you want to do it WELL. The really detrimental thing about this is that getting overly attached to your feelings blocks you from thinking rationally about the future. In other words, feeling like the world will end if you don’t buy that dress is like saying, “fuck travel plans!"….which is of course, a lie.
PICK UP: A NEW MANTRA, "I AM NOT MY EGO"
If you haven't heard of the Ego before, it’s basically the part of you that creates all the unnecessary stress in your life. It is also the part of you that gets you stuck in your feelings. Dropping your ego allows you to get to your goals without the extremely emotional peaks and valleys.
4. Stop being crazy... goals take time!
I was born missing the patience gene… but the lesson here is very simple and I’ll be practicing it for life. Lacking patience leads to frustration. And frustration deters you from your goal. Patience is not a virtue for all of us because somewhere along the way, we decided that we deserved things NOW. Which is sad because lots of really good things take a long ass time. So every time you give up on a goal because it didn’t happen yesterday, you are giving up on what could have been the step you needed to making it happen. And of course, you are frustrating yourself along the way.
Pick Up: Process-Oriented Thinking
Focusing on HOW you do things instead of what the end product looks like, allows you to be EXCELLENT. Think about your most accomplished (and happiest) coworker, classmate, friend, etc. I will bet you that they make the process fun, beautiful and creative. The end product then, is just the cherry on top. They are excellent because their process is excellent.
This is by far the best thing I learned in 2014. The vision of a jet setting lifestyle might pull me towards the end result, but the day to day tasks that go into making that goal a reality can be FUN!
Is it just me or is that the best news ever? You can have fun doing things that matter! You can have fun doing things that are bigger than you!
5. YOU ARE LOVED
DROPKICK: FEAR....THIS IS BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE
Whether you are a recent grad trying to find your dream job, an amateur actor trying to make it to the big screen or a working woman contemplating grad school, fear will always come to visit. I’ve learned to see fear as an indication for desire. If you are on this site, you probably came here because you want to make an impact on the world before your time is out, and in order to do that, you HAVE to practice drop kicking fear every chance you get. Maybe this year, you will introduce yourself to your dream employer, go for that audition that gives you goosebumps or write your grad school entrance essay from the heart. Use your fear as an opportunity to grow.
Pick Up: Confidence
Confidence, like patience, takes practice. It is a choice you make daily and you don't need a reason to be confident. The more you choose it, the easier it gets. Although it is easy to forget this in our consumer society, I’m learning and relearning that you can’t buy anything that will make you more confident, you have everything you need right now. Confidence is the integrity with which you do everything. Confidence is essentially the level of strength with which you approach life. And how much more fun would life be if you didn’t tremble in fear about all the cool new opportunities life has waiting for you.