It’s the time of year when everyone vows that THIS is the year they will be better at EVERYTHING. New and Improved. The fact is, this goal is not only limiting, but also essentially contradictory. If you’re “new”, how can you be “improved”? A better YOU is always a good idea; after all, who doesn’t have room for improvement? But it’s also crucial to remember that you are human, and that while it’s important to set goals, keeping them realistic and achievable is perhaps the key to you really feeling good about YOU.
You know by now that the road of life is not on a map. We think we know where we’re going, only to realize we’ve lost the map key somewhere along the way. Life is unpredictable, we make choices and those choices have consequences. How we chose to cope with those consequences is the key to making it through the hardest times.
We all have a vision of what our lives will look like at certain milestones. Do yourself a favor: Let that go. Seriously. While it’s true that you should visualize your future and set goals accordingly, it’s important we acknowledge that we’re not always the ones at the wheel. This is where it’s important to find your “people,” or a good support system. People to talk to or a sounding board that won’t pass judgement, a place to go where you feel heard, and where your private life will stay private. Find these people and this place and lean on them, let them help you find resources, and admit to yourself that all drivers need, from time to time, a copilot. Having that support allows you to focus on how you will meet your challenge, face the struggle and the year ahead, head-on.
A new year always brings promise and potential. Hope and optimism are what will help us get up each and every morning and try again. But it can also bring challenges and obstacles, rough and unpaved roads, dead ends and forks in the road. Life is, and always will be, a mix of all of these things. It’s because of those bumpy roads that you learn to appreciate the long stretches of wide-open horizons ahead.
So perhaps you don’t need to usher in a new year of a new YOU. Fine tune the YOU that already IS with help and guidance of those who lift you up. Set those goals but remain flexible. Become a collector of strength from those who offer it to you. This may be what the best 2018 version of you is MEANT to be.