Figuring out what you want from 2018

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 don’t.

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.

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  1. January 17, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Interesting list of questions. If I had all the money in the word? I’m a believer that the person makes the money not the other way round, but if I did, I would still be working and exploring.
    The other question, fulfillment. Doing anything I feel good about and positive. From taking a photo to helping someone cross the road.
    Nice post 🙂

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      January 17, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      Interesting answers, Alan! Thanks for taking the time to wonder. I totally agree with you in saying money does not make a person. I think I too would still work if I had unlimited money, however I’d probably be working on my own passion projects. Makes you think.

  2. January 17, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    Loved reading this! Really makes you think that the only thing stopping success in you- even if you don’t realise it yet. Simple steps to make big action! Love it.

  3. January 18, 2018 / 4:04 am

    Those are ten good questions to ask and it made me stop and think about my answer

  4. January 18, 2018 / 10:02 am

    I knew straight away what I wanted from this year as I just thought about where I’d like to be this time last year and my goals are based around how to achieve them x

  5. January 18, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    Some interesting questions. i have found that this year has been the first year that I have known truly what I want from life and everything involved in it – and I am going to work hard to achieve it

  6. Dannii
    January 18, 2018 / 1:32 pm

    You have to set your own goals based on what you really want out of life, not what other people want.

  7. January 18, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    I think we all have to set goals no matter what they are for, but we also have to make them achievable x

  8. January 18, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    A very interesting post that makes you reflect on your life and the direction it’s heading. I learnt a lot last year having become a mother for the first time and I realised that all I really need is to believe in myself and I’ve started to overcome my fears of not being enough.

  9. January 18, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    We need to ponder more about what we want to change in our lives and strive to make the weak parts better. So far we’re pretty content, just as long as we don’t compare ourselves to others (easier said then done) x

  10. Joanna
    January 19, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    I actually didn’t set any goals because I don’t really believe that 1st of January resolutions get you anywhere. Indeed, you have to be motivated in the right way so that you can achieve something you really want. Going on a diet or stopping drinking for a month means nothing if you don’t do it because you want to and because you believe in the results.

  11. January 21, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Admittedly I don’t think about the things I know I can’t have, such as all the money in the world. All I really want is to be comfortable, loved and happy.

  12. January 23, 2018 / 11:47 am

    I have a couple of things I want to achieve this year, but I don’t have any ‘big’ dreams, like most people do. It makes me a little sad that I don’t. But I also know I won’t be beating myself up all year if I don’t make that dream a reality. I’m just going to go with the flow, as they say!!

    Louise x

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      January 25, 2018 / 10:41 am

      That’s definitely the best way to be Louise, sometimes you have to go with the flow! Please don’t feel bad for not having ‘big’ dreams. It’s all perspective. Owning a car might be a big dream for some – to others that might just be a stepping stone. You’re dreams and goals are personal, don’t compare them to anyone else :).

  13. January 23, 2018 / 5:04 pm

    I was drawn to question 2. I think I would own a small cafe, probably no more than 8-10 tables. We’d serve cakes made by my wife, barbecue cooked by me, craft beers and locally roasted coffee.

  14. January 23, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    Great article! I think that people should dream a lot, and also set goals. Our goals should be transformed into action plans and in this case everyone will see real results. I have a feeling that this year will be full of magic! 🙂

  15. January 23, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    I set myself goals but find it much easier to break a big down down into smaller goals then create action steps. It makes big goals a lot easier and more realistic to achieve. I think everyone should have something to work towards.

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      January 25, 2018 / 10:39 am

      Hey Chelsea, that’s the best way to approach goals once you find them. Breaking them down gives you a much clear path!

  16. January 23, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    Amen I don’t create new years resolutions either and you are right in saying that we should ‘focus on our own shit’ rather than worry about other people. If I had all the money that I could ever need I would take my events company global, I would travel more with my blog and I wouldn’t have to worry about paying my rent!

  17. January 24, 2018 / 12:05 am

    I love this post so much. It’s exactly what I needed. I’ve been going through a rough time recently, and trying to figure out how I’m going to make the most of 2018. This put things into perspective! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  18. January 24, 2018 / 11:33 am

    There were so many things I had to think to define what I want from 2018, but these questions you have posed are so worth asking one self, as to what exactly do we want in life, be it personal or professional.

  19. January 24, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    I already copy and pasted these questions. Great food for thought and inspiration to find and expand upon the most beneficial areas. Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this and best of luck getting what you want out of 2018 as well.

  20. January 24, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    Great post! Make you sit and ponder for awhile, asking those questions will also lead you to better thinking. Thanks!

  21. January 25, 2018 / 10:32 am

    Good list of questions, especially number 6! People sometimes tend to blame circumstances, you really have the power to change!

    • Jess - Actual Philocalist
      January 25, 2018 / 10:38 am

      It’s a tricky one isn’t it Simone? I’m glad you get it! I don’t ever want to make people people feel like it’s ‘their fault’ but there are steps you can take to change your circumstances on occasions. It’s a complex one. I was a bit worried about that question!

  22. January 25, 2018 / 11:21 am

    This is so inspiring. Each year, most of us try to be better at every aspect of life. This article gives great insights for sure. Definitely agree with question #10

  23. January 26, 2018 / 1:40 am

    I loved this post, and I really loved these questions. I will definitely take the time and thought to answer them to figure out what I want from this year… i really enjoyed this post!