Alright, so are you ready for another post about New Year and how to make it awesome? Don’t worry, this isn’t that post.
We’re one week into the new year and if you’re like most humans, you’re already seeing some of that shiny, brand-new-year gleam start to wear off.
It turns out your job is still your job, your family is still your family, you probably live in the same place that looks mostly the same, minus any holiday decorations. Your hair is still doing that thing it tends to do despite all your deft ministrations, and not too much has changed, for better or worse, in the proverbial grand scheme of things.
This is pretty normal. After all, New Year’s Day is just a day we created on a calendar we made up. I don’t think Nature or The Universe or The Grand Scheme of Things are following our timetable, as much as we like to think we’ve got it right, god bless us.
I keep seeing loads of influential gurus, therapists and coaches preaching at all of us mere mortals about goals and resolutions. Generally, the vibe tends to lean more towards not having any, so as to avoid the inevitable disappointment and requisite self-loathing that follows when actual reality doesn’t match up perfectly with our cunning plans for The Perfect Life.
Here’s the thing: this all drives me crazy. It incenses me. It infuriates me. It breaks my heart.
Why are all these well-meaning thought leaders inadvertently (at least I hope it’s not on purpose) encouraging our fears and doubts instead of our potential? Why are they so committed to convincing us that we are less powerful than we really are?
I’m tired of seeing endless new year posts aimed at influencing people like you and me to believe that we are not capable of achieving our goals, that our dreams are unrealistic and our desires are unreasonable.
For what it’s worth, I don’t believe that you are incapable of having big goals, of breaking them down into small parts and then processing any predictable feelings and thoughts that arise when your plans don’t go perfectly according to plan.
I do think you’re smart and entirely capable of breaking big goals into small steps, as well as pivoting and iterating while you’re navigating the challenges along your way.
I don’t think we need to pathologize our dreams, goals or desires.
Having desire is not a condition to be avoided and your goals are not fatal. These things are not a disease and they will not—they CANNOT—make you unhappy.
You, and you alone have that power. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and for the record, neither can a goal.
How you feel might not be a choice, but the thoughts and stories you let those feelings convince you are true about you as a person, your capacity and the way Life/God/The Universe work are definitely optional.
I mean, think about it this way: if you can choose to ignore your desire, then why couldn’t you choose to ignore—or at least not wholesale buy into—your negative self thoughts?
You don’t need to believe anyone else about what you should or could do. No one who is not you is the authority on what you cannot or should not do. Your capacity doesn’t need to hinge on anyone’s opinion that is not your own. Not someone you follow on Instagram, not someone whose content you like to read. Not me, either, even though I’m in your corner, cheering for and believing in you.
Life is already challenging enough. We don’t need other people to tell us what we’re capable of wanting or achieving, or convincing us that what we want is too much and that we should aim lower. Bah.
What we do need are more people who will tell us that our desire is important, our goals are doable, and we can do really big things, if we’re willing to take teeny, tiny steps. That it’s okay to not meet a goal perfectly on the first try, or the second or even the thirty-seventh attempt. That any progress is progress, and that’s worth playing for.
I think this message is worth reading and sharing. I think this moves people towards their potential, not away from it. I think remembering that you can choose whether or not your goals make you miserable is an idea that can make all the difference in the year ahead of you.
You know what though? Don’t take my word for it. What do YOU think?