I have been setting professional goals forever. Each year when January 1 rolls around I come up with a multi-part list detailing exactly where I’m headed and how I get there. I do this instead of allowing myself the freedom to explore and experiment throughout the year. And at the end of every year, whether I’ve hit my goals or not, the familiar pressure mounts to come up with a brand new set of objectives. So the cycle continues. And it leaves me feeling tense AF.
These days, women I love and admire professionally are being published, doing television appearances and launching their own product lines, and I’ve begun to wonder if these are things I should want too. I debate whether my resolutions should involve taking on more speaking events, or dabbling with professional branding.
But here’s the thing; I love what I do, exactly as it is. Sitting in front of a computer in my sweats, producing content with a small team of writers. That is my idea of a perfect work day. My work allows me, a wife and mother of three, to provide for my family while working on my own time. It has taught me about entrepreneurship and how to be tactically and financially smart. It has opened up the world, both through the people I’ve met online and in my ability to blog from anywhere. (And I have! From Hawaii, Nice France, Costa Rica and Jamaica.) And yet the subtext of my professional New Year’s goals seems to be ‘Your job, as it is, is just not good enough.’
So I’m not setting goals this year. Instead I’m going to master the art of appreciating and showing gratitude for ‘my lane’, and trusting that, as my personal self learns and grows in 2017, my professional self will also.
In an age of vision boards and speaking things into existence I know this sounds out of step. I understand too that some people are in a bad place professionally, and need New Year’s resolutions to motivate them to get out. But if, like me, you are happy with where you’re at — even if it doesn’t look like much to others — consider resisting the urge to set professional resolutions. Gratitude might be the only one you need.