At the start of every New Year I set myself a list of goals that I want to achieve over the course of the following 12 months. For the last couple of years, my goals have been quite similar and any goal that has not been achieved one year gets rolled over on to my list for the next year ahead. This year however, the way I’m approaching my goals is a lot different to previous years. I’ve began to realise that accomplishments and milestones that would be rewarding to achieve are not necessarily relevant to what I want.
Time is Precious
I’ve never been one to follow what others do, but it is easy to get washed up in the so-called “success blueprints” that we believe everybody else is following. What I’ve come to realise in rather an abrupt, albeit positive way, is that there is no point following what somebody else is doing if your end goal is not to be like them. In life and business I pride myself on creating my own path and not being afraid to do what might not necessarily be classed as “the norm” if it means doing what’s best for me. There’s something really liberating about being able to say no and not wasting time or energy on anything or anybody that isn’t going to add value to my life. The older I get the more firm I become in making these decisions and it’s an incredibly empowering feeling I can tell you! This isn’t meant to sound harsh; in fact, it’s intended to have quite the opposite effect. I’m sure that we can all agree that over the years we’ve all wasted time doing jobs we dislike, tolerating people with whom we are not a good fit, reading certain books because they’ve been recommended to us, and watching dreadful films until the very end because we feel as though we should?! But...why?
Has Fear Become a Sort of Trend?
I recently read the book Daring Greatly. It was good, but nothing I felt like I hadn’t read before (more on reading books later). While reading, there were a couple of sections on different genders and age groups accompanied by lists of the types of fears somebody of each demographic might suffer. The list of fears was very accurate for both men and women. But what about if you don’t suffer from these stereotypical fears? Reading this book made me question whether or not we feel the need to fear certain challenges and changes in our lives just because that’s typically what everybody else experiences? With that said, in that sense, has fear become some sort of a trend? The need to fear particular things in order to fit in with the majority because you feel judged and wrong if these common worries don’t bother you? It’s not easy to be fearless, but when you question the worst that could happen if you set certain fears aside, you’ll often find that the potential consequences are extremely trivial.
Prioritising a Positive, Happy Mindset
Having a positive, happy and healthy mindset is crucial in all areas of your life. However, during the time in which I've been my own boss, this has been more important than ever. You can't run on negative - be it negative energy or a negative mindset. It hasn't always been something that comes easy to me but I am getting there. Maintaining a positive, happy mood requires adequate amounts of sleep each night, days off from time to time and equally important, recreational time! My job is very creative and the only way to ensure that I can keep on creating is by retaining a happy mood and a positive mindset!
The Importance of Personalising Your Goals
In all aspects of my life, I’ve learned that personalising your goals is an absolute must! Whether it’s work, business, health and fitness – whatever it might be, make sure your goals suit your needs. We can all feel pressured to workout for hours a day, eat certain foods, earn X amount of money and even use particular phrases when we speak! Recently, more than ever, I’ve observed how establishing a lifestyle and habits I’m happy with is what’s really important. I want to attract clients and followers on social media because they like what I do, not because I’m using pre-approved phrases that have now become so-called “Instagram cliches”. I also don’t want to sound like I’m quoting from an overshared meme. I structure my work goals so that I’m able to do a job that I love, run my own business and also enjoy my free time as well. I don’t workout as such, but focus on being active and eating a healthy diet, with no processed foods. Since running my own business, I’ve learned that although some things are nice to have, they're pointless if you don’t need them. Sure, having branded Online Personal Stylist vehicles on the road would be nice, but what on earth would I use them for?! Always, always focus on what you need and want from life!
Innovation is something I learned to master many years ago. Quite often in life nothing goes as planned but this can actually be a blessing in disguise. The career and lifestyle plans I made after leaving school took a sudden U-turn when I moved abroad and began a new life embracing cultural and travel experiences. The twists and turns throughout my life so far have made me an excellent problem-solver and have granted me the ability to think on my feet and innovate when needed. Innovation isn’t about letting opportunities pass you by, but rather enable you to react to them in a positive and progressive way with the hope that the end result will turn out to be something even better. One of the most interesting and inspiring stories on innovation is how Condé Nast overcame digital disruptors and repositioned themselves as a dominant figure in a saturated world of online media. On a final note, the more you innovate the less comparable your life journey is to that of anybody else. Initially this can be a tricky idea to get your head around, but long-term you’ll find that you become more in tune with what choices you need to make to benefit you rather than fitting in with others.
Why I’ve Stopped Reading Self-Development Books
There are so many self-development books out there and as quick as you read one, there seems to be a new one popping up, claiming to be a “must-read”. I have nothing against these types of books. Over the last decade or so I have read countless motivational titles on every topic from money, to business, positive thinking and the law of attraction. It’s just that over the last year or so, I’ve begin to feel as though I’ve read the same kind of stuff again and again. Some self-development books are fantastic because they focus more on the topic at hand rather than sharing the authors' own personal stories. While I enjoy reading personal stories, I’d rather read them in the form of a biography or autobiography where I know what to expect. Carefully studying the opinions and beliefs written by others can be confusing and in the end, I think you can give up being creative and thinking for yourself. Plus, when you read non-fiction books where you don’t agree with the heavily praised words of the author, it can feel awfully disheartening because you’re not one of the large majority who loved the book! I’m not saying that I won’t read any self-development books again, but for this year I am making a conscious effort not to read any and it’s been such a blissful break so far! Knowledge can be a curse at times and it’s so lovely at the moment to immerse myself in fiction and think for myself again, instead of reading what seems like the same old recycled information just from different authors.
In short, I’ve learned one all important lesson: “Do what you want and what’s right for you and don’t do anything you don’t want to do!” It’s simple, effective and exhilarating!