Here it is the first day of the year and the first day of the rest of our lives. Or at least that's what I've been reading from many posts. Actually it's January 4th and after a solid week off of everything, I realized I hadn't made any mega resolutions. I had set some big goals for myself last year. I'm glad that despite what 2020 had in store for us, I achieved several of these like writing a book (to be published in about a week), recording several of my songs, and some running goals.
This year however, I decided to forego the whole SMART goal thing and go for what I hope will be more developmental goals. In fact, I like to think of the following as not so much as goals or objectives but as Being Resolutions that can support me in simply being the best version of myself - the one that can make the best contribution to my family, friends and community. Here's what I resolve to do in the coming year:
Slow down - way, way down. I like to think that if we learn one incredibly valuable thing each year, that's an important accomplishment. For me, the standout concept I was introduced to this past year was that of SLOWING DOWN. I am incredibly grateful to my coach Melissa Ford and her coach (and just an overall special coach, writer and speaker Steve Chandler) for encouraging this thinking. I know it's critically important because I struggle like crazy with it. But it's not just that I struggle - that would just be work for work's sake. It's that every time that I get past that struggle and actually SLOW DOWN, great things happen. In fact, I've learned that if I slow down and fully stop, really cool stuff happens. If you want to learn more about that, check out I Took A Break. Really Good Things Happened. So, my first resolution is to practice at and get better at Slowing Down. I'm not quite sure yet how I'm going to do it. Maybe I'll take an afternoon off in the middle of the week. Or I'll try a morning in the beginning. One thing I'm sure of is that some trial and error will be involved which brings me to Resolution #2....
Make more mistakes - and bigger ones! I could have also labeled this simply Be More Creative. The second most important thing I learned last year was that the more often I put myself out there creatively, the more creativity becomes a wonderful and joyful practice. While creating things i.e. music, writing, as well as drawing and painting (when I was a teen) has always been important to me, it's taken on and even a greater importance as I work as a coach and consultant. I find the ability to create something fresh and new - and not necessarily perfect - to be an incredible way to start every day. What's even more important, the willingness to do it in a way that truly reflects who we are as opposed to some previously created set of rules, is one of the best means of self-expression we can have. So, what does it take to get better at this? Quite simply the freedom to take risks, screw up every so often (as long as you're not hurting anyone!) and make put out big, bold and exciting things into the world. Will everyone love what you're offering? Nope. But some will. And as I learned as a musician, don't write your songs to please an audience that you're chasing. Create the music you love and eventually your audience will find you.
Strive to be incredibly - AVERAGE. Have an average day! Go get 'em - get that C! You are so amazingly average....Can you imagine finding joy, encouragement or enthusiasm if someone said any of these things to you in the beginning of the day? Probably not and it's understandable. Most of us are conditioned on the idea of having a killer day, getting an A on every test and simply being the best. The problem is that those are labels that too often hold for the short term and rarely hold consistently. As writer and author Michael Neill describes in "In Praise Of Average", you can create a remarkable life by striving for average yet consistent achievements every day. For example, if you're in sales, committing to just ten prospecting calls a day over 250 work days equals 2500 calls. Even if you're an "average" closer that only closes 1% of those, that's 25 new clients per year. Imagine doing that over a 30 to 50 year career. Or what if you want to commit to being a better friend, parent or spouse - doing one intentional act of goodness adds up quickly when you do it every day. You get the picture. My final resolution is to strive to be more average in the major areas of my life including family, community and work.
While these probably don't fit the model of your typical New Year's Resolutions, I'm kind of loving them. Why am I sharing them with you? Two reasons. First, I hope you (the reader) if you read my posts from time to time, will hold me accountable. Feel free to ask - or better yet call me out - if you find that I've gone into mass productivity or perfection mode. More importantly, if you haven't created your resolutions yet, give yourself a break - you still have 361 days to do so. I also hope that by sharing my goals, these can inspire you towards some new thinking, approaches and ultimately, a happy, healthy and utterly average (every day) 2021.