I’m a big advocate of New Year’s Resolutions – I’m not quite down the “New Year, New Me” road (perhaps I was when I was 12 years old), but I think rounding up your year and setting goals for the next year is the best way to reflect and keep pushing (a nice bit of cheese for you this evening!) If I’m totally honest, I usually spend all this time thinking up my resolutions for the next year, start January on some sort of goal-getting-high, and then November rolls around (like now), and I scratch my head and ask myself oh yeah… what were those things I wanted to do again? Let’s say this is you – you’ve checked back on your resolutions and maybee… things haven’t quite gone to plan. But there’s only a month or so left of the year… so how do you finish on as high of a note as possible?
Whatever it is… start now
I speak to people often (and have indeed been one of those people) that are forever pushing things back in an effort to ensure everything is *perfect*. I remember when I was getting up the Instagram for DAME I pushed it back for weeks and weeks (and maybe even months) because it just HAD to be the most perfect “semi-launch”. Eventually – I realised it 1) wasn’t that deep and 2) was just an excuse surrounding my own fear to just start. There’s always something – “I’ll start my Instagram when I get into shape”; “I need to wait for the perfect holiday photo to launch my social media profiles”; “I’ll move jobs after I reach level X”; “I’ll launch my product after 2 years… has to be perfect!”
I learned a concept recently called the “MVP” model (Minimum Viable Product) – surrounding business, instead of waiting for your item to be 150% perfect and complete, release a not so 100% version, and build off of this. I recently read “Shoe Dog” by the founder of Nike – and actually the first sets of Nike shoes were truly shabby (even at the time)… but… they had to do. Also, the more you hype something up the more it has the capacity to seriously disappoint. Whilst I’m not encouraging moving ahead with/putting out something really terrible, often you need to just get out there and find your feet.
Switch up your tactics
I can be pretty defensive… I can convince myself that I’m doing everything in my power to achieve X that when someone comes to school me otherwise, I’m opening my mouth to defend myself. Whilst I (very) often reflect and eventually come around – the truth is that… it’s not everyday excuse. I feel like shouting this from the rooftop sometimes when I see people stood back forever in defense mode about everything. There’s always more that you can be doing – nobody’s perfect at all and expected to be at 100% all the time, but if you find yourself way off one of your goals and 100% certain that you have done everything in your power to achieve this goal, sometimes stepping back, reassessing, and then diving back into the ring is what’s best. Things aren’t as simple input => output, and the truth is that sometimes your input needs to be 2x larger that someone else’s to get to their same outcome, but often there’s scope to keep on going by changing your methods. You know how the saying goes ~ the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expected a different result.
Set some easy goals for the rest of the year
If you really aren’t where you expected to be (I mean I tend to set myself some very strict goals such as “achieve all A*s, 95% minimum in every exam tenk u!”), sometimes you can just set yourself some realistic and achievable goals for the end of the year. For example one thing I actually want to truly work on before year end – is to drink at least 2L of water a day. Currently I average around 1.5L. I’m not so sure if I had any health / fitness related goals on my resolutions list (I honestly haven’t looked back yet – but there tends to be one every year!) – but say I was to look back and feel pretty disappointed, well at least this is a simple task I can focus on up to the end of the year. It’s an easy way to sort of pick yourself back up, and finish the year on a high(er) note.
Appreciate the good
Something I’ve always struggled with in the past is actually celebrating my achievements – because in my opinion there’s always more. I got into LSE? So did hundreds of other people so I guess it’s good but yeah whalleva; I got 1K followers? That’s great – I worked so hard for that! But… I need to get to 10K!; Brand X wants to work with me? That’s so cool but if they want to work with me perhaps they have a low threshold…
You get the deal! I must say, my mindset has really pivoted from this recently. Not that I’m sat here constantly singing my own phrases – for sure I am still forever pushing for more, but I can take time out now to genuinely be proud of the things I have achieved. What made this change? Every now and again, I sort of reflect on where I wanted to be X years ago, and where I am now. A good example is my job – over the weekend I sat on an Investment Banking panel at the LSESU WiB conference and spoke to a bunch of lovely ladiesabout what I do, and really just about my motivations. In 2015, I was actually on the LSESU WiB committee and helped to set up this exact same conference. On my “about me” page on our website at the time, I had written that I wanted to go into Investment Banking – well, look what time does! Situations like this where I have been able to reflect this year made me start to think – if I can’t ever appreciate anything… then what’s the point?! I’m just running towards an invisible finish line! Ambition is good – but sometimes tap yourself on the back, too. Even if you’ve just ticked off one thing on your New Year’s Resolution list!