Ditch the New Year's Resolution--Try This Instead

In 2016, I attached a photo of myself to my bedroom mirror. At the bottom of the photo I wrote the new job title I wanted. For six months I got ready in the mirror and looked hopefully at the photo. Seven months into the year, I got the title, accomplishing my goal of being promoted.


My original goal was to be promoted in 2015, but instead I received my promotion a year later in 2016. Having started as intern then being pulled on full-time and working really hard, I expected to move up in my company fast. Fast as in promoted every fourteen months fast. Where I got this idea, I'm unsure. But somehow I figured if I was good enough at my job I would be promoted quickly. When I wasn't, I grew discouraged. My biggest obstacle became staying committed to my goal even though it didn't pan out in the timing I expected. Instead of giving up on the goal because it didn't happen in time, I refocused my intention and attention. Rather than worry whether I was good enough to reach my goal, I zeroed in on why the goal was important in the first place. It wasn't the money or the title I truly wanted. They were just bonuses of a bigger achievement. What I really wanted was the experience the role brought, as well as to be recognized as a reliable resource. Once I focused on my experience as a credible team player and an inclusive leader--instead of simply as an employee--I opened myself up to learning more, doing more, and consequently achieving more.


By putting my name and new position on my mirror, I made my promotion past tense. In my mind it had already happened. Thus, I worked as though I already had the job I wanted, and looked to gain more than just a title. By the time I got the good news, I wasn't surprised. I was no doubt grateful, but mostly overjoyed by the prospect of taking the photo down and putting up a new, even more ambitious goal.


So instead of writing down a a new year's resolution you'll forget half way through March, pick a goal, any goal, and put it on the wall. Put a name and a face to it. Better yet, put your name and your face to it. You don't need to be skillful in Photoshop or anything. A simple cut and paste will suffice. Have a dream home in mind? Post a photo of yourself in the place you'd love to call your address. Want to publish a book? Make your screensaver a pic of you at your book signing. Want to get into grad school? Put your headshot on someone holding that degree. Seeing is believing--no matter how outlandish or silly the vision looks.


Here are a couple of mine.

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