Around this time of year I usually start thinking about my resolutions for the new year. As silly as it seems, I’ve always enjoyed setting goals each year.
This past week I was flipping through old notebooks and found a list of goals I made way back in college, over 10 years ago. The pages were dog-eared and coffee stained, full of doodles in the margins and faded post-its sticking out at odd angles. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve opened this notebook since I wrote in it.
But there was my short list of goals staring me in the face, a prehistoric TimeHop back to less stressful times. It was like opening a time capsule that forces you to confront your personal progress.
When you work at something every day, progress is incremental at best. Yes, sometimes there are fantastic days that feel monumental, but mostly you take tiny, imperceptible steps forward that go unnoticed at the time. Often it feels as if you haven’t achieved anything at all.
I’m super hard on myself. I always strive for perfection or think I could have worked harder. And I never feel like I’m where I should be at any given time.
That’s why I love setting goals. It gives you a chance to stick a pin in a particular moment so you can come back later and remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
It could be a month later or maybe a couple years. Or it might be over ten years ago, back to a silly list of career goals you made late at night in your college dorm room. And maybe you might scan that list and frantically search for a pen, realizing that it’s time to cross off every single one of those goals.
That’s what happened to me this week. Turns out I was right, I’m not where I thought I should be right now - I passed that place a few years back. Those early goals weren’t quite big enough.
I won’t tell you what’s on my list of resolutions this year but I already put them in a notebook and they’re on my shelf. In the meantime, I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and I’ll let you know when it’s time to cross them off again.