The year 2020 will never be forgotten. From the COVID-19 pandemic and Kobe’s untimely passing to the murder of George Floyd and the stock market crash, the rollercoaster of events rocked global citizens around the world. The international community has felt the seismic shift of changes that forced many people into some level of response, whether they wanted to or not.
Marching toward the cusp of 2021, it is time for everyone to make those anticipated New Year’s Resolutions to start the new year in a good direction. Today’s resolutions tend to be more self-serving mandates that involve changing an undesired character trait, continuing to make progress in a certain area or simply completing a desired goal. However, ancient history suggests that the first New Year’s celebrations were rooted in religious offerings to deities and to repay any unpaid debts. According to research by Statistic Brain Research Institute, “while as many as 45 percent of Americans say that they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals.”
Thus, without further adieu, I invite you to read my modern New Year’s Resolution letter-to-myself in dogged pursuit to be this year’s eight percent in regards to my career.
This letter-to-self is designed to be simple, but highly effective. This letter is not meant to be a long list of self-improvement. Rather, what I write to you today is to consolidate power, focus and momentum into three core concepts that will help accelerate improvement in my life as well as my career.
At the dawn of Year 2021, my pledge to you is to live by these determinations to the fullest extent. If I fail, then get up and find a way to move forward. If I succeed, then realize that I am only as good as the previous day; daily consistency is the ultimate key. With success, I will help others along the journey if they seek assistance.
Thus, my top three New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 include:
Focus on the Progress More Than the Outcome
My outcome is measured only by the success of my progress.
In the past, I have focused more on how hard it would be to scale the mountain instead of just making small, incremental actions toward moving up that same mountain. My prior mindset let me down at times. I felt that I could build Rome in a day and when it didn’t happen, I self-sabotaged my entire mindset and fell back into the comfort of my present instead of reaching or maintaining top value. When would I realize that my pain and suffering is the gradual release of toxins that were accelerating my past decline?
Once, I heard a wise man remark that there is a reason why your rear view mirror is much smaller than your windshield. For example, we tend to look in the rear view mirror briefly to only survey the action behind us before we look forward again. Even when the car is in reverse, we either look in that same mirror or turn to see what’s behind us for a short period of time before shifting the car in drive and looking ahead. Conversely, the windshield is where the overwhelming majority of our time where our eyes will and should be. Additionally, the windshield serves as a beneficial partition to thwart wind pressure while protecting us from the unpredictability of life and Mother Nature.
Therefore, I pledge to keep my eyes forward on the road, traveling in relentless pursuit to self-improvement, one kilometer at a time. Regardless of the detours, accidents, drops in GPS service or frequent stops for food or re-fuel, I will commit to driving ahead, forever, as I understand that cluster of progress reveals how successful my outcome will be.
Embrace Sustainable Growth
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” - Chinese proverb
Wow, this is such a power adage. This proverb has become my marching orders to invite sustainable growth and favor for the future. I have to farm my dreams and aspirations in order to give them an opportunity to grow over time. Rapid progress oftentimes does not last while prolonged action towards my goals will serve my development better over the course of time.
It’s rather difficult to fast track because a person can miss the growth pains that often accompany the growth gains. These trials and tribulations often build the character and fortitude necessary to fight admirably instead of stopping or abandoning ship altogether. Regardless of how busy I am presently, I understand that even the best visionaries and executors keep the future chiefly prioritized, as well.
Therefore, I pledge to be more consistent as consistency is a grand method for moving forward. Other people or competitors will gradually wilt within the pressure to perform while others will talk a good-but-empty game. Shoutout to music icon Kanye West for his prophetic lyrics that “slow motion (is) better than no motion.” Even if I slow down, I readily recognize that changes in speed are a natural part of growth, but I refuse to ever come to a screeching halt anymore.
Pay More Attention to Social Media
In the words of famed author Robert Greene, “court attention at all cost.”
I have been shying away from social media for years! Today, I admit that not entertaining social media can be damaging or counterproductive in today’s digital landscape. Using social media as a tool to connect with new people, places or things can help me develop meaningful relationships and exposure to differing perspectives.
Recently, I asked myself an important question - Does my professional image align with my social media profile? Well, there are some things that are positive and there are some things that are negative. Not negative in the sense of sharing my nightlife college pictures, but there weren’t enough pictures to balance the entire view of who I am as a person. Thus, we all should analyze the (in)congruence between both and evaluate if our social media accounts need more work.
On the opposite spectrum, having no social media presence is strictly prohibited!
Therefore, I pledge that my professional and digital imagery will be more aligned while striving to authentically set me apart from the masses. The key is to not be an open book of predictability; I’d much rather accentuate who I am with a tinge of mystery sprinkled in.
Thanks for your time, Self! I’ll check back in with you same time next year.
Justin Tyler is a International Communications Strategist who partners with CEOs, leadership teams and managers to communicate messages and narratives - with a human touch. Today, as a co-founder of Mercer County Works, he is actively living in his passion to create a win-win career resource for job seekers and job creators that is hyper-focused on the growth of the local economy and employment opportunities.