If I hear someone ask me ‘what’s your New Year’s resolution?’ one more time, I may just go and hide away in cave until February. At least then I know that most resolutions will be broken and abandoned, and people can get on with their lives in splendour and guilt-free positivity.
The major problem I have with resolutions is that people make them so grandeur that they're unachievable. Or they're just unrealistic from the get-go. Or even more so, they're so cliché or broad like ‘find love’ or ‘travel’ that they're soon forgotten about. So I tried a new approach: I made goals instead.
(It's also important for me to just jump in here and just quickly separate the two words resolution and goal from each other. A resolution is something you make the firm decision to (try to) commit to, whilst a goal is a target that you continuously work towards until you achieve it. Sometimes the lines get blurred, and that's fine, but I just thought it best for me to establish the difference in this instance.)
I knew that by making goals for my growth and development, for both my work and personal lives - because I'm a firm believer in having a good work-life balance - that I needed them to be realistic yet be enough to show that I can achieve them by the end of 2018. I read an article by the Talented Ladies Club about setting up new goals, whether it’s relaunching your career and finding flexible work, becoming a freelancer or starting your own business.
They talk about the impact that overly ambitious goals can have on us, both in the positive and negative sense, more often so the latter, and that there's a way that we can break down one almighty goal from looking so scary. It's called 'chunking', which is a method that breaks down those larger goals into smaller steps that are both more achievable and realistic. It also helps you to realise that it takes achieving multiple small goals in order to ultimately achieve the bigger one. Also, by completing the smaller tasks on the way to smashing your big goal, you feel less demoralised as you're constantly building up your confidence and sense of achievement.
This approach makes so much sense! Imagine being able to set up your own side hustle by the end of 2018, and actually following through instead of relegating it to your dream journal. Or how about setting up a goal to ask your boss for a raise, but ‘chunking’ it up into smaller steps for how to achieve the asking. By rights, this method should be common sense, and it's up to us career gals to make it so!
Whilst trying to figure out how best to break down my goals into these achievable steps, I imagined the analogy of a £1 coin to summarise how it could work for different people: a £1 coin is a coin in itself, but can be made of a combination of smaller value coins, such as 50ps, 20ps, 10ps, 5ps, 2ps and pennies. If the £1 coin represents your main big goal, then you can break it down into the size chunks that you need in order to reach your goal. Whether this be two 50ps, five 20ps or ten 10ps etc., the combination of smaller steps and their own individual size as a step can be tailored to how you will best reach your goal.
So what is your goal going to be for 2018? Whatever it is, continue that badass hustle.