As this year comes to a close there are always some sort of societal pressures to look at our past and also look ahead to look at our future.
Honestly – I hate this process of ‘self discovery’ and goal setting.
We’ve Been Taught to Set Goals
Sure, my MBA taught me I should set goals, review them periodically, and try to figure out how to keep them on track; this is especially important as a self employed, new entrepreneur. After all, goals make us successful – right? I should have a way to measure my success…or failure. Every business person and entrepreneur I look up to goes through this process. But I really dislike this process. Instead of looking back at last year at my 2010 goal post; let’s just say that I probably didn’t make my original blogging and business goals, let alone my travel goals. Maybe I hate going through that process because everyone goes through that year-end ‘must set new goals’ process…it’s the sensible thing to do.
That’s the problem – I hate being sensible and I really hate doing something because everyone else is doing it. In fact the quickest way to get me to do something is to tell me that ‘everyone’ is doing the opposite thing…then you’ve got me where you want me.
The Pressure of Goals
It’s that time of year of annual reviews and goal setting. There was a discussion thread recently on a Facebook group I belong to that encouraged people to share their blogging goals. I read through it and saw everyone listing number of subscribers, followers, and ‘likers’ that they wanted to reach. I just thought to myself…I’ve been doing this for 4 years…I simply want to survive next year and still be here. That’s it…that’s my goal. Screw numbers…I want to have fun…and I hope people follow along…but I’m tired of putting pressure on myself. I did that for 14 years in corporate jobs and I’m done with pressure and guilt and comparison ruling my life.
Somehow this year I grew my blog, created new websites, products, and events; but what I learned is that old habits die really hard. Overwork caused by the drive to succeed (or simply not fail) have seeped back into my life. I realize my type A personality never really left; it was just dormant. The problem is – no matter if it’s a corporate job or blogging – when I start to push myself to succeed – I tend to push myself right over the edge to the point of unhappiness. I can feel that happening again…I see the signs. And the sign reads B-U-S-Y.
I feel like I’m busier than ever; not making time for friends and other things that are important to me but have fallen to the background. I don’t want to be that ‘busy person’…always talking about how much they have to do and how everything is more important that the next. I’m tired of apologizing for not getting back to people in a timely manner. And I tend to start most sentences with the words “I’ve been so busy…” I find it annoying when other people talk about how busy they are so of course it makes no sense for me to do it either. I don’t know if ‘being busy’ is an American cultural thing or if it’s everywhere. I guess that’s something to research as I travel this year.
Instead of the ‘busy syndrome’ I want to be the vision of calm, cool, and collected. I have a couple of friends who I really look up to who seem to accomplish so many diverse things in their life, yet never once do they seem flustered or talk about how busy they are. I’ve always looked up to these people, I want to know what their secret is…but maybe it’s not a secret, maybe it’s just how they approach life.
Therefore my second goal is to not appear or talk about how busy I am; even if I really am. I want to invoke that calm no matter if I’m doing a lot of a little. Every time I start to say the ‘B’ word, I’m going to think of those role–model friends.
This year I’m not really setting goals – there are no numbers. Instead, I’m going to just focus on a couple of guiding principles this year:
Have fun and keep the websites alive
Don’t get caught up in the ‘busy syndrome’; appear balanced.