Thursday, December 27, 2012

Changes for 2013

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” 
       -  William Jennings Bryan
Far be it for me to talk about learning like it was somehow destiny.  But in the light of a new year I think it is fitting that we all pause for a short time and take stock of the past year.  What did we set out to do and, more importantly, what did we actually accomplish?  Did we make progress in our personal and professional lives?  Did we even take one step forward?

Those that know me will quickly point out that I am a stickler for measurable results - in many cases annoyingly so.  It's easy to set goals, and even easier to allow the momentum of life to carry us into the future without really moving at all.  The daily grind can be debilitating.  Some days it's all you can do to simply tread water, fight fires, or whatever metaphor you need to describe survival.  But as tough as anyone has it, they're still just excuses.

Excuses are the easiest trap of all.  Most of the time we're just trying to convince ourselves.  We need somehow to not feel bad about not taking that step today.  It's one thing to have someone else calls us lazy, but it's altogether something much worse for us to start to believe it.  Humans can create elaborate, intricate fantasies in an effort to protect our precious self-esteem.  But in the end, the constant question remains.  The essential measurement.  How many steps did I take?

I took some steps in 2012.  I achieved some of my goals.  Others I did not.  One of my failings was this blog.  I vowed to blog at least once a week, and it won't take a reader long to discover I missed that one by a country mile.  And when I think back on why, I come across the same theme.  If I didn't have time to write an entire post, or I didn't have a good idea at hand, I just put it out of my mind.  I used that dreaded admonition we all use, I'll get to it later. 

So to this year's goals I will add a simple one.  I will vow that if I can't take a large step I will take one none the less.  However small, however seemingly insignificant, I will take a step.  Maybe I won't write a whole blog, but instead write down three ideas.  Or maybe just one.  Anything is a step forward.  And you know where a lot of small steps leads.

So here's to all of us in 2013 achieving our goals.  And if you don't achieve your goals, achieve something.

Happy New Year.

PS - try to make one of your goals to learn something new!