It’s that time of year when we naturally assess how the year went, if we met expectations (either stated or unstated), and tend to cast a vision for the future. While we absolutely believe in the power of intentionality, we also recognize it can cause stress and the infamous “shoulding” on ourselves and others.
Before you eat your collards and black eyed peas and settle down to make a list of all you plan to accomplish or change in 2022, we invite you to take a reflective pause and reconsider going through the practice this year.
Here is the reason why.
Leaders tend to be goal setters extraordinaire. We love to set lofty goals that challenge and push the envelope for ourselves and our teams. However, there is a serious problem. That gap between our expectations and the reality of what actually happens is a key source for drama. By living so heavily into the future, we forget about today, this day we were not promised and will never get back again.
So, instead of going through your usual end-of-year exercise, we have three things to consider before making resolutions this year:
1. Value is created in the now. Don’t be so future focused that you forget you are only able to live in this moment and on this day you were given.
2. Nothing has meaning but the meaning you give it. You decide what the meaning of today is. What the meaning of your past is. What your interactions indicate.
3. Whatever you are grateful for always increases. Whatever appreciates, goes up in value. When you appreciate people, they become more valuable and better people.
The act of uncovering gratefulness is sometimes a challenge, especially these past two years when we have been bombarded with hard news from every direction. Step back and take inventory of the things you do have. Literally get out a piece of paper or make a note on your phone and write them down. What is working well? There is always something working well; you just have to find it.
Train your mind to see the good and that list of gratefulness is going to serve you far better than an overachieving wish list that will only bring you drama.
If you take one thing away from this post, it is this: Gratefulness is Greater than Resolutions. So, what are you grateful for?