010117: A Call For Bolder NY Resolutions

Hello and happy freakin’ new years! I hope you had a loving and turnt up transition into 2017. As you’ve now (hopefully) recovered from that, we may start preparing ourselves for what’s to come. Whatever new years resolutions you may have, or perhaps you don’t have any, or way plenty; let’s evaluate them for a sec.

If you’re like most of us, your new years resolutions are focused primarily on incremental improvements, supported by the belief that progress comes with small repeated changes. It’s not necessarily untrue that dropping 5KG or cutting back on smoking can change your life. But much more often, the greatest impact lies in the less obvious and more personal, and therefore easy to miss if not sought out, ambitions.

I can speak of myself as an example. Amongst my new years resolutions have been all the usual suspects such as start having breakfast or sleeping earlier. Although a firm believer of small steps, I’m also a fan of bold moves and in that spirit, I’d like to pose myself, and you if you like, a different challenge this year.

“Out with the old, in with the bold”

As I moved into my new home last September and was determined not to bring all the clutter that has been hiding and building up in those moving boxes, I decided to go through them all. As you may know, I have a tendency to do excessive life planning and in combination with my hoarder tendencies, there was loads and loads of artifacts of this. Notebooks and loose papers filled with plans, ideas, resolutions and whatnot. Most of the notes were madly outdated, but overwhelmed me with long forgotten memories and nostalgia. Looking back at them, I realized how far I had come since. Like the things I wished for back then, that are now so abundantly present in my life. I felt very blessed.

On the other hand, I found something painfully confronting there. A recurring theme that I kept on mentioning and supposedly pledging to on practically every piece of paper, meaning that time after time, I failed to actually start on it. Year after year, semester after semester, month after month. While my other habits gradually improved, this ambition (that was actually really important to me) somehow got left behind.

Fast forward 5 years and I’m still stuck with the desire to do exactly that which I had written down so many time. Still. Trying to wait for the right moment, as if there’s such a thing. Waiting for my knowledge to expand and writing abilities to sharpen, before publishing. Hoping for my confidence to one day just flourish, so that I would dare to share my work. But of course this day and this level of whatever never comes.

So this year I decide to attack this fear-fueled procrastination head-first and to focus on that one thing which I’ve been putting off for far too long, for far too many silly reasons. For me the case is blogging, but it can be anything.

The Questions

Does this pattern sound somewhat familiar? Maybe self-reflections and past resolutions are flashing through your mind, maybe it’s just one big question mark, but if you’re open to examine your resolutions; I recommend you try answering the following questions, just for yourself, from wherever you are right now.

1. What may be that one thing that you have been putting off for too long?

2. What is that one thing that if you’d do it this week, it would be your achievement of the month? If you’d do it this afternoon, it would make your day?

In the words of the famous Tim Ferris, “it is often what we fear most, that we should do most”. Now, we’ll talk about fear, it’s functions, limitations and tactics another time; but for now let’s try to to answer this one honestly.

3. How would you feel if you never get to do this thing?

4. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you do?

5. What would you do if you know you could not fail? What is that one thing that you have been avoiding out of fear and insecurities, but you deep down know is yours for the taking?

6. And whenever you’re feel like you’re getting somewhere, what could be your bold move(s) for (early) 2017?

Although habit building is powerful, so is the magic of audacious acts and daring experiments. Let’s stop obsessing over the petty things, look at the big picture, get our balls and courage together and kick fear in the butt. Let’s stop blaming ourselves for some of the things we do, but start doing the things we truly want to be doing. Let’s channel our curiosities rather than our compulsions, protect our energy rather than our ego, and follow our aspirations rather than expectations.

Perhaps the truest of our resolutions are not those in which we try to be better,
but in those that encourage us to be bold.

What do you think? Should we dare to take on bolder NY resolutions? Will you?
Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this read, please consider sharing it.

With love,
Nadia

 

Illustration is by Dmitry Zubarev for Offset x West Elm.

Posted by Nadia Piet

New Zealand-born, Amsterdam-bred terrestrial being, practicing the art of living in a digital age, and help others do the same. Passionate about shaping the future of work, education and life and helping people and organizations navigate the many challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Because I believe "the best way to predict the future is to create it”.