Are Your Goals for 2010 BIG Enough?
Of course it doesn’t take the beginning of a new year to make a decision to start something new, make changes in how we are living our life or turn over a new leaf. We can do that any day of the year. But there is something about January 1st that makes it feel like a good time for new beginnings.
While reflecting on what I wanted to do in the year ahead, I found myself feeling a bit anxious. As someone who writes and speaks on living courageously, I wanted to come up with some really big, bold and audacious goals. Yet as I began to do so, I found myself feeling simultaneously overwhelmed by the thought that it was very likely I would fail to achieve them.
Which is when it occurred to me how important it is to make the distinction between a commitment (which any resolution or goal is) and an attachment.
Hopefully you are committed to achieving something(s) that is meaningful to you in 2010. Some of your goals may be very do-able (like my goal to try one new recipe each week). Others may be more of a stretch. What matters most though is not whether or not you achieve each of your goals (or resolutions), but that you give them your very best shot.
As I’m sure you well know, often life can get in the way of following through on what you’ve set out to do. Job loss, illness, market crashes, relocation, children… stuff like that. 2009 was a hard year for many, a cautious year for most, and an unpredictable year for all. And frankly I’m not sure that 2010 will offer any respite when it comes to living with uncertainty. But that doesn’t mean we should hang up the towel and declare 2010 the year of “getting by.” It just means that we need to be willing to adapt them to new circumstances as they arise and let go of our attachment that everything should happen just as we think it should.
So, let me ask you, if you weren’t afraid of failing at achieving your goal and instead threw caution to the wind, what is one thing you would dearly love to accomplish (change, do, create…) between now and the clock striking midnight next New Year’s Eve? What one thing would give you an incredible sense of achievement, delight and joy? (It may be more than one, but it must be at least one thing).
Life never guarantees you anything. Certainty (even in a robust economy) is an illusion. Our experience of life is always what we create it to be and we always have the capacity for new and deeper experiences. So, what’s it gonna be for you in 2010? A year that strengthens your “life muscles” and enlarges your capacity to live it fully or a year that has you playing safe on the sidelines, afraid that if you dare to live it more boldly it mightn’t work out as you want.
The choice is always yours but the bigger risk to take in life is to not take any risks. As Anais Nin said, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” So here’s to a year of expansion — in your relationships, in your career or business, in the impact you make on those around you, in your ability to rise to the challenges that life brings your way and most of all, to your experience of being alive in the world.