Hello everyone, and Happy 2018. Toby was gracious enough to give me the keys to the mansion today, so I’ll try my best not to burn the whole thing down.
The start of a new year presents an opportunity for most people; it is a time when we find ourselves setting goals and resolutions for the year. Many of us have become quite adept at setting these goals over the years, but only a few can look back at the end of each one and say they’d achieved any of them. Why is that?
I think the problem isn’t that we aren’t putting enough effort into attaining our goals, but rather that we aren’t setting the right goals to begin with. You’ll find that what most of us consider to be goals are actually dreams. Our dreams would of course determine our goals, just as our goals can bring our dreams closer to fruition. So how do you differentiate between the two?
The key difference here is that a goal should be something firmly within your control, while a dream is simply a wished for or desired outcome. By “within your control” I mean that you should be able to take certain steps or make certain changes (that is, resolutions) that can bring you closer to your goal, without having to rely on external factors like blind luck, favor from third parties, or divine intervention. To illustrate the point, I will dissect variations of two common goals I keep hearing people set for themselves every year:
“This year, I want to get a job/get that long-overdue promotion/make a fuckton of money!”
First off, these are not real goals unless you happen to have a money printing machine in your bedroom, or your father owns the company where you’d like to work, in which case I’d have to ask, “Could you hook a brother up?” More importantly, these are all things that fall outside your direct control and sphere of influence. A more sensible goal would be “This year, I’d like to boost my overall employability,” because this is something you can do by taking clear, measurable steps like getting professional certifications, revamping your CV, and applying for more openings, all of which are within your control.
“This year, I want to meet my soul mate/get married/make beautiful babies!”
Once again, unless you have an aunt who sells love potions, or you work in a sperm bank, I’d say these aren’t very good goals to set for yourself. You’d only be setting yourself up for a world of hurt and disappointment. What you can do instead is say that “This year, I would like to learn all I can about building relationships and becoming what is considered good wife material.” You can even go the extra mile and decide to reexamine your current lifestyle, standards and social circles, and making adjustments where necessary. These changes are the resolutions that would help you attain your goal.
Ultimately, we need to realize that our goals take time and effort to attain. But by setting the right kind of goals from the onset, you are that much more likely to see your dreams and wishes come true. So, tell us, what are your goals and resolutions for 2018?
Michael Abayomi is a speculative fiction writer, film critic and all-round art lover. You can find out more about his works, thoughts and guilty pleasures by checking him out on:
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