Personally, I’ve stopped doing a long list of new year’s resolutions.
Like most people, I start off with good intentions, inspired by the spirit of a new beginning that comes every January first. After the excesses of the holidays, I think we’re all ready to feel a little virtuous.
But here’s the thing I’ve found: it is really hard to make more than one change at a time. Even if they’re little changes. My brain just doesn’t work that way.
So for the last couple years, what I’ve done instead is set one big goal or theme for the year. I decide to make it my priority. I can still make smaller changes throughout the year (which I try to do in small increments), but this one goal is the thing I hold myself accountable for.
My 2013 Goal
This past year, my goal was to learn how to manage other people well.
This was a very difficult and interesting goal for me, primarily because (as Kenn has pointed out to me) I have an aversion to authority. I have loads of respect for people who earn their positions, but I find blind obedience really dull and chafing. Hence, I am my own boss.
So learning to manage other people has been a learning experience. Which makes sense, because I knew absolutely nothing about managing people going into this whole small business thing. I’d had a few interns and assistants here and there, but nothing to compare to being the woman in charge.
I’ve made some mistakes and learned from them. I’ve read books and thought hard about managers I’ve had that I respected, and ones that were dismal. I learned that not all people want to be guided the way I’d want to be guided. I learned that sometimes doing the right thing is also doing the hard thing. I learned vulnerability is not anathema to being a boss. Most of all, I’ve learned how far I have to go. That’s a good start.
My 2014 Goal
This year, I have a new goal. Actually, I think it’s more of a theme or watchword: focus.
See, I’m the kind of gal that always has a billion ideas bubbling. I see a million ways to grow the business, a million projects I want to sew or knit, a million improvements I want to make to our house… you get the idea.
But no matter how excited I am by all of these things, pursuing them inevitably leaves me feeling scattered, tired, and stretched thin. And do you know what being exhausted does to your creativity? I bet you do.
So this year, I’m going to slow down and give things the time they deserve. It means working on fewer projects and doing them exceptionally well; making time to meditate every morning; finding space to really dig deep.
One place that I’d like to get more focus is this very blog. I feel like it’s time for a little bit of a refresh. I’ve been suffering from blogging burnout off and on for a long time. If you have a blog, you know how much time they take, and when it’s part of your business there is this very heavy feeling of obligation that goes along with that. Obligation, another creativity killer. So I’m dreaming up ways to make blogging joyful and interesting for myself again (and hopefully for you).
This watchword also mean focusing my wardrobe and sewing a bit more. I’m actually going to announce a little blog project along these lines that you can join me in if you want to do that too. It’s something I’m doing because I think it will be fun and rewarding to do together.
I am paring down. Less striving. More peace.
Do you set resolutions? Have you ever tried setting a single theme for the year instead and seeing where that takes you?