Goals for the New Year

Here are some goals I’d like to try out next year, and some explanation of why.

  • Stop qualifying things I say to people with “Don’t be offended, but…” or “You probably already knew this, but…”. The reason I’d like to cut back on these sorts of apology modifiers to my statements is that they are unnecessary and, when you really think deeply on them, pretty stupid. As far as not being offended goes, the person may well be offended anyway since what usually follows is an offensive or at the very least brash statement that is unapologetic, possibly even rude or inappropriate. I don’t intend to start saying rude things to people either, but often times I want to express an opinion that runs contrary to my conversation partner’s opinion, and including that modifier is a way to soften what I say. I don’t need to soften it. I am as much entitled to my opinions and beliefs as anyone else. Tossing these utterly useless safety blankets over my words is likely to make me less of a competitor, and I do feel as well that it may lead others to respect me less. As I will be entering a male dominated work force next year, I need to have every ounce of respect I can harness. I do not need to be seen as a weak contender, who is openly and primarily worried I might offend someone.
  • Attempt a more open attitude with people as I venture into my new life. This one is tricky and I debated even putting it here – I am introverted and very private by nature so it might be that I am unable or unwilling to change this about myself. Some part of me is always a bit disappointed, though, when I go through a life stage with the opportunity to meet new people and form solid friendships, and end up not doing that. I am a closed off person and prefer not to share or mingle in a large group. I am capable of forming strong bonds with others, but only after a trust gaining period which often means I appear rude, boring, or unapproachable when people first meet me. This often means that it takes a certain type of person to get to know me, which in a way is preferable. The friends I have made are similar to me and I do not have to worry about being myself around them. That being said I have been told that, once people know me, I have a very nice personality that doesn’t shine through at first because of my [hostile/protective] shell. I am hoping to finally do what I have been telling myself to do since middle school which is to start coming out of my shell more. If it happens, it happens – but I am not going to feel I’ve let myself down by continuing to be the person I’ve been for 27 years.
  • This one is also a stretch – I’d like to form a routine for myself. I’ve never been comfortable or good at forming and following routines, but I see that people who have routines manage to accomplish a lot more. After a day of accomplishing very little work, I feel that, although I enjoy relaxing and running on a free-flowing schedule, it leaves me feeling somewhat unsatisfied at the end of the day. I feel that if I scheduled myself I could get more done, and I realize that I am also capable of this type of time management – after all, I graduated college magna cum laude while working over part-time hours, while still having time to do Let’s Plays and other hobbies. The trouble, I believe, is that when I do not have any obligation to complete a task, and no deadlines, I will procrastinate indefinitely. I have been told before that I am happiest when I have many things to do within a deadline. I think that this is true, but it is the deadlines that are key. Without them, I can give myself any number of tasks to do, and it may take years to finish them, if I ever do finish. That being said, I will attempt to set up a system in which I have outlined “due dates” for myself on personal projects, and rewards for completing them within the alloted timeframe. It seems the reward is a large part of my motivation as well – a paycheck, or an A in a class. Coming up with other rewards may be challenging, as I tend to be the type of person who will reward myself for nothing – the strongest power of the reward is when it comes from someone else, and definitely when it comes from an authority figure. I will need to take charge of myself, and be my own authority figure, if I am going to advance myself as a person on my own time.

What are everyone else’s goals for the new year? Do you see new year’s resolutions or goals as cliche? Do you practice them at all?

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