You cannot hit a target that you cannot see. In the same respect you cannot simply pick a goal from thin air, can you?
January can be a frustrating time. The beginning of a new year is an excellent excuse to get to work on a new goal. Everyone around you seems to be so full of hope and enthusiasm.
Then there’s people like you and I. The people who want to ‘succeed’, but are not quite sure we can define or measure that success. We know we want something to work towards, but what will make us happy?
Sure, we could challenge ourselves to go vegan for a month, quit drinking alcohol or cut down on unhealthy food. But why would we? If it doesn’t move us, we have no drive which ultimately leads us to failure… and I’m sorry, but I’m not giving up cheese for the pure shits & giggs.
So you’ll look around at your friends and see them striving, feeling as if you’re missing out. Maybe you’ll feel a pang of jealousy and kid yourself that you want the same thing.
You need to figure out what works for you. If you wanted to write a book like your friend, you’d have figured that out yourself. If you truly wanted to learn a new skill like your co-worker, you’d have come to that conclusion yourself. If you wanted to learn a language like your neighbor or reach a saving goal like that one girl from instagram – guess what? – you’d have discovered that by yourself.
Challenges for challenge sake can teach us a lot, but they take us off the track from our true desires. It’s important to find your own ‘zig’ even if it seems everyone else is ‘zagging’.
So if that means using the whole of January to figure out your ‘zig’ and avoiding New Year goals, then that’s what you need to do. Guilt-free, might I add. You don’t need to feel ashamed for not have a goal or ashamed by those around you who seem to be working towards their peak. By working on figuring out what you truly want, you’re getting closer to the same spot that they are. Isn’t that exciting?
You’ll read, experience and discover more in this month than ever before if you truly want to and when you’re ready the goal will be realised.
And hey, maybe someone will accuse you of being boring for not being involved in the January fun. They might not ‘get it‘, maybe they’ll think you’re boring or to too lazy to get into the spirit of New Year’s resolutions. It’s not because we’re lazy, because that implies we’re born this way and we’ll be stuck at a slow pace forever. We’re not lazy. We’re demotivated. We just haven’t found that thing that makes us strive every day – yet – and the path towards that is anything but boring.
To get you started, I’ve listed 10 questions that will help you explore your desires.
1. Think about the last piece of work you put effort into. Why did you feel the need to go the extra mile? (Example: Was there a cash incentive? Was someone relying on you? Did you do it for the glory? Was there risk involved if you didn’t pull through?)
2. If you had all the money you’d ever need, what would you be doing?
3. What hobby do you enjoy that you’re a little shy about? (Example: Perhaps you like the idea of blogging but don’t want to be discovered online.)
4. What is stopping you from enjoying what you already do and what can you do about that?
5. Are you active or passive? Think about the opportunities you’ve already had, did you get lucky or did you have to fight for them?
6. Are you taking responsibility for your current situation? Do you feel as if you are a victim of circumstance or do you understand that you have the power to change?
7. If you had to experience this life forever in a loop, what would you change tomorrow?
8. What habits do you currently have that aren’t serving you?
9. What does fulfillment mean to you?
10. What do you already have to be thankful for?
Some of these questions may make you wonder, some may make you feel uncomfortable. Whatever reaction you have, hold on to it and think a little deeper. The way this list makes you feel might tell you more than the Q&A itself.
I can’t offer a quick fix, it’s going to take time, but this is your first step. An answer might not come instantly, that’s ok. This exercise isn’t about forcing yourself into anything. It’s about exploring your options; of which you have many.
Take the first step and copy and paste this Q&A into a fresh work document. Good luck, you’ll get there.