I love the beginning of a new year because it feels so full of potential. It is like the whole future is at my feet, waiting for me to pick it up and turn it into a masterpiece.
Though I live in a colorful world of possibilities, I am downright terrible at goal-setting. Creating and adhering to a series of goals and steps to get from point A to point B, while the logical thing to do when progress is on the line, makes me feel like I am locked in a room with no doors or windows. In my mind, I am screaming, “LET ME OUT!! I CAN’T BREATHE! LEAVE ME ALONE, GOALS AND PLANS! YOU ARE SUFFOCATING ME WITH YOUR INFLEXIBLE EXPECTATIONS!”
Those of you who love lists and plans will surely not be able to relate, but the struggle is so real it’s nearly tangible. I know how to get things done, but I need the freedom to explore, change directions, and take things as they come almost as much as I need air.
My brain is not wired to conquer life with a planner. Understanding that about myself has allowed me to confidently bid farewell to traditional New Year’s resolutions in favor of something better suited to my big picture, flexible approach to life: a single focus word.
For 2018, my word of choice is (drumroll, please)…
For the past few years, I have been on a complex journey of self-discovery that has opened my eyes to a whole new world. If you had told me two years ago that I would soon find talking to people (even strangers) highly fulfilling, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Back then, I was 100% convinced that I was about as introverted as a person could be, preferring to sit quietly and keep to myself. Permitting myself to speak up, however, has made me realize that I LOVE interacting with people, can talk with the best of them, and don’t need to hug the walls at social gatherings.
After peeling back layer upon layer of shoulds and supposed tos, I believe I am close to discovering who I am at my raw and unfiltered core. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and think, “It’s nice to see you again, self. Where have you been hiding all these years?”
As part of my unplanned but highly fulfilling pilgrimage, many of my strengths and weaknesses have become clear. While I have an abundance of shortcomings, I don’t want to spend my days focused on areas where I am lacking. Rather, I want to pour my whole heart into developing my strengths and training them to work for me. I want my God-given talents and abilities to become reliable tools in my hands, allowing me to reach higher and accomplish more than I ever could by pouring energy into conquering weaknesses.
This year will be the year I own my strengths, work tirelessly to develop them, use them, and let them shine. It will be the year I stop believing the talent bus passed me by and start celebrating the unique array of abilities that come so naturally to me. It will be the year I show up for all the world to see, unashamed of what I have to offer because it matters.
Welcome, 2018! I can’t wait to get this party underway.
What would you like to accomplish this year? Tell me about it in the comments section.