My goals for 2013

January 1st. The day our resolutions begin. A clean slate from last year’s mistakes and shortcomings. It’s a day when many begin diets, ban alcohol and vow to get serious about cleaning the house/office/car/yard more often.

Since none of those typical goals sounded appealing to me, I decided to do something different this year. In the past, I’ve gone the way of “run at least X miles per month” or “stop eating fast food.” Guess what? Setting limits and monthly minimums for myself only made me feel like a failure when I didn’t hit the mark.

This year I promise not to limit myself. Instead, I’m going to free myself from being so calculated and cautious.

I’m going to write more, take more risks and spend more time outside. I know, I know. Those goals sound pretty vague and don’t relate to any specific measurable progress. This may not sound very smart. So I’ll explain myself.

Too many times to count, I was the kid in class who knew the answer to the question but waited for someone else to raise their hand. I would glance around sideways, thinking how obvious the teacher or professor was being with her clues, unable to believe no one else knew the right answer. I would then start doubting myself, thinking maybe it wasn’t so obvious. Of course by then the teacher had given it away or so many students had guessed wrong that I would chime in without fear.

That’s just one example of how I’ve played it safe over the course of my life. Trust me, I could go on for hours about my aversion to risk and my obsession with not doing something unless I was certain I would succeed.

Now that I have my own business (something I thought I as a chickenshit could never do), I feel it’s so important to set meaningful goals because my personal growth means growth for my clients and growth for my business.

If you’re still reading, I’ll share my reasoning for choosing each of these goals, not because I think it’s perfect advice for everyone, but because I know it’s perfect for me and I hope it will inspire you to do what’s perfect for you.

Write more. I have to spend more time putting pen to paper. Yes, I’m one of those people who prefers to see my words in ink on an actual sheet of paper. If I take the time to write down a goal or an idea, I feel far more committed to seeing it all the way through. When it comes to my blog, this past couple of months I haven’t written a fraction of what I wanted to. Partly because I haven’t made the time, but also because I was afraid to give the wrong advice or even put myself out there and have no one respond.

But this year I commit to put excuses and fear behind me. I will write down my ideas and I will blog about whatever is on my mind. I will do this not for the benefit of others, but for my own personal growth. It’s good to write. Writing cleanses the mind and frees up space in my cluttered brain. So I apologize in advance if my blog becomes even more random. I have to do this for me.

Take more risks. This goal will be the tough one for me. Last year I learned I was stronger and braver than I ever imagined, so in 2013 I’m going to be open to more possibilities, even when there are unknowns. Especially if there are unknowns. I’m going to ask what I think are the dumb questions. I’m going to reach out to new clients in a more direct manner. If the answer is no, then I’ll go in a different direction.

I have some potentially wonderful news I’m not allowed to share yet, but if it all goes through there will be a good deal of risk involved. I could fail. I could have to go back to square one. But I could also open the door to unlimited possibilities in my target market. So I don’t care if it’s scary. Hey, I quit my well-paying day job last month in a horrible economy because it wasn’t making me happy anymore. That was and is scary. It was risky. But they say nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Spend more time outside. There is no mystery behind this goal. I love the outdoors, I have two furry babies who love the outdoors. Instead of worrying at my computer about how I’m going to get by, we’re going to spend more time walking, running and hiking in the fresh air and sunshine. I don’t think that could hurt anything. In fact, I think it’s going to help give me the confidence and the balance to reach my other two goals. I think I’ll get started on this one right now!

Siberian Husky-style inspiration
Siberian Husky-style inspiration