I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. If you are going to make a change, make a change. A special start date is not necessary. If you decide to start jogging and sign up with a jogging club, your first practice date may be two weeks from now but you don’t need to wait until then to begin eating better or practice jogging on your own.
In relation to setting goals, there is nothing special about January 1, of the new year. You can start today.
That being said, I blew it. Near the end of last year, I decided that I was going to learn to speak Spanish and learn more American Sign Language (ASL). I asked around to see what would be the best method for me to use to learn these languages being that going to school was not an option for me. I spent the end of 2010 doing a bit of research on different products I could use and trying to figure out a time budget for me to learn two semesters worth of each language in 2011. Technically, I made a decision and started on my goals around the same time. I bought a CD-ROM set for learning Spanish and was still in the hunt to find a reasonably priced set to learn ASL. Here is where I blew it. I didn’t open up the CD-ROM to begin my study until…January, 2011. (hanging my head down in shame).
Nothing magical happens when the ball drops at midnight. Sure, it’s exciting etc etc etc but nothing in relation to having an epiphany in life or some new-found gusto happens that day. You can make decisions all year round.
Several years ago I set a business goal. It was a very high goal. (I didn’t think it attainable at the time especially in the time frame I allotted for myself to reach it.) I told my business mentor about my goal. He encouraged me to go for it. That was Saturday. As our traveling group was getting ready to depart Sunday afternoon, I got scared. Once we left our business conference, real life was waiting. The rubber was going to meet the road and either I was going to do the work necessary to accomplish my goal or I wasn’t. That is when I told my business mentor, “This is hard.” He said, “Xara, making a decision is easy. Sticking to it is hard.” Truer words were never spoken.
Up until this point, I have never been a fan of self-study. I am all for others doing it. I just wasn’t interested. If I was going to learn something, it had to be in a structured environment, with a teacher and a pen and paper in my hand. Then again, up until this point, almost everything I have learned was necessary to get a diploma, degree, or a certificate of some sort. Up until the Fall of last year, I had not set out to learn something simply because it interest me. It’s a bit scary on this side. There are no rules, which is freeing but causes a bit of anxiety at the same time. There is no set time-table, which also causes that mingled sense of freedom and fear. But, there is also that pleasant sense of accomplishment. The “I did it” factor. The no-one-made-me-do-it, I-did-it-by-myself-only-because-I-wanted-to sense of wowness (really into making up my own words now) that is so sweet. It’s like, wearing a thong for the first time when no one knows you have one on but you, and you walk around feeling sexy while putting an extra bounce in your step.
I found an ASL CD-ROM. It just came in the mail today. I plug away at learning Spanish at least 2-3 times a week. I am excited about experiencing the new-thong-feeling at the end but until I get there, I am determined to enjoy the ride. Bumps and all.