Redefine Success In 2022

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New year, new you!

Every January, we are flooded with the promise of rejuvenation and excitement around ways we can attack our life and career goals in the year ahead.

Included in that mindset is a call for resolutions and planning on how to make our lives better.

While I firmly believe in planning, I have found that the resolutions I set for myself are often destined to fail. This is because the lofty goals I set are often too difficult to achieve.

For too long, I set goals that were unattainable or simply unrealistic for the path that I was on. Before my resolutions even have a chance to start, I am back to square one.

A few years ago, I challenged myself to write a blog post every day for six months. I was on a roll for about six weeks, then, I hit some major hurdles at work which meant that I had to stop writing for a few days until I could tackle the problems at hand. The few days of a pause in my writing turned into a six-month hiatus as a blogger. I could have gotten back to writing after a few weeks but, in my mind, I failed at the challenge, making it infinitely more difficult to get back to the work.

In recent years, I have taken a different approach to goal setting and planning when it comes to New Years Resolutions. This approach has less to do with the resolution itself and more to do with how I define whether or not I am successful in achieving my resolution.

Here is how to redefine success in 2022:

  1. Step One: Take the time to set resolutions (goals) for yourself to achieve. Do not compromise in your pursuit of excellence with these goals. Excellence should sit as a strong foundation for everything you do. Write down these goals and narrow them down to your top 4-5 that you would like to accomplish in the year ahead.
  2. Step Two: Instead of accepting an all or nothing approach to your goals, set smaller intentions for each goal in micro-goals. For example, with this post, I am embarking on a challenge to write every weekday between now and January 1 of 2023. My first (obvious) goal is to hit publish on this post after one hour of writing and do it again up again tomorrow. Setting habits around small goals and achiving them will give you confidence to tackle bigger goals down the road.
  3. Step Three: Give yourself a break. I know that I will miss the goal of writing one post every weekday for a year within the next month or two. My goal when that happens is to accept that everyone fails to achieve their goals from time to time, pick up with my writing a day or two later, and continue attacking my goals.
  4. Step Four: Find an accountability partner. Having a friend in the work who knows your goals can really hwlp you move your ideas and resolutions forward. Take the time to find that partner while you are going through the goal setting process.
  5. Step Five: Make sure you set up a time to evaluate where things stand on your resolutions/goals. So much of the time, resolutions fail because we make them but we fail to look back on whether or not we were successful. Set some time to take a look at where things stand every few weeks and don’t be afraid to redefine your goal if necessary.

With this post, I am 1 for 1 on my resolution to write more consistently, ha! Here’s to hoping you are getting after your goals and please let me know if I can help.

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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