When a new year begins, it is hard not to look back at the past year you just finished living. I think of the Zora Neale Hurston quote, "There are years that ask questions, and years that answer." The year 2013, for me, was one that answered. After the recent one-year birthday of my business and the culmination of many projects, I feel like I have so many new questions to ask. To ask these questions, I think I need some kick-ass resolutions.
I have done the research too. I am very serious about my resolutions. Some articles state that New Year's resolutions do nothing. One said that in order for the goal to work, you have to write the resolution in the negative. For example, "I will never be late this year." Actually, the article was from Business Insider and the author's example was "No reading outside of math." This sounds like my nightmare, but I get the point.
Other articles state that you have to get specific. It's not enough to say "I want to lose weight," it's better to write "I am going to join Weight Watchers," or "I will stop drinking soda." A Time Magazine article stated that the two most commonly broken resolutions were to lose weight and/or get fit, and to quit smoking. One of the best ideas I read was from the Huffington Post: Make a goal that you can commit to for five minutes a day. Five more minutes of walking, five minutes of meditation, five minutes of calling your parents. You get the picture.
Specifics are all well and good when you have clear things you want to do, but those sorts of resolutions are for the years that answer. It seems to me that I'm clearly in a year that asks questions and that's O.K. Last year I had a lot of specifics about the things I wanted to do with my business (mainly, to get it off the ground) and, for the most part, I did those things. Now I'm asking, "What's next?" "Where am I going to go this year?" "Who am I going to meet who will have an impact on my life?" Sometimes you need concrete goals and things you can check yourself against — lost those 15 pounds, quit those cigarettes, hit that gym three times a week — but other times it's nice to have things you want to accomplish even if you don't know exactly what they are.
This year I am asking questions because it helps me define the next couple of years, but doesn't require that the goal be complete in 2014. The questions that keep coming up are "how can I make a lasting impact on Des Moines?" and "what do I want my legacy to be?" Heavy questions for a 28-year-old, but the point of question resolutions (questolutions?) is that they don't need to achieve that legacy or make that impact this year, I just need to have an idea of what they will look like. Every year is different, and each needs different resolutions to go with it.
I'm asking tough questions this year. What kind of year are you in?