Here comes the New Year and here comes the same old list of resolutions. Here comes that burdensome feeling you get from having the same list drag on from one year to another without an actual outcome. You may see some friends and colleagues making it big, living the life of their dreams. You may even look up to those brave and pioneering souls who changed the face of history. And why not? We are all contributing in writing history together. So how do they do it?
Well, below is a list of behaviors and attitudes that can help you make a big shift and be more aligned with the life you want in 2019. With enough commitment, you will hopefully harvest the fruit of your efforts:
Have the Courage to Pursue Your Dreams
We need more brave people in this world – particularly in this region. You know, that thing that makes your heart sing? Get up and do it. Your dream may challenge the social norms. It may upset the status quo. Heck, it may even “disappoint” some of your relatives and so called “close” ones. Do it anyway! And watch your life transform in this beautiful process.
With that being said, it’s important to maintain a solid strategy to go on about your goals while staying safe and protected. Remember, bravery is not naivety.
If you are not yet sure what your passion is, it is good to explore your options. Make 2019 the year in which you find your passion and try a spectrum of new activities that you find interesting.
Consistency is Key
Whatever your passion is, make sure you practice every day to perfect your craft. The more you are committed to your dreams, the sooner they will materialize. A big dream can be overwhelming, but if you break it down into tiny little steps that you can take every single day, you will eventually get there.
The key is not to work hard, but to work with love! Of course, there will be times in which you will need to crunch and grind, doing tasks that are not necessarily enjoyable. Hang in there! Do it and you will realize that the tasks you dreaded the most may be the very ones that will take you to the other side of the river.
Narrow it Down
The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to achieve them –even if it looks scary at first! Try to have a much shorter list of goals that really matter this year, things you truly wish to manifest in 2019. You can even narrow your list down to 3 items; it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly long.
I know, I know… At first, this seems like a juvenile way of dealing with others, but I truly believe that not every opinion deserves to be heard. In fact, some “opinions” may hinder your progress, so be careful what feedback you lend your ears to. Even if it was a “professional opinion”, if it does not contribute to your greater good, then don’t listen to it. Einstein’s teacher said he wouldn’t amount to anything. I’m glad he didn’t take it to heart! I am reminded of a quote by the inspirational Sean Stephenson: “Never believe a prediction that doesn’t empower you”.
Try to fine-tune your ability to discern a constructive feedback from a negative criticism and make use of comments that you find valuable to improve yourself.
It is great to join a community of like-minded people who share the same interests. It can provide you with support and a sense of belonging, it can even open doors for you to take further steps towards your dreams. Contribute to your community, share your riches, and celebrate other people’s success and growth as if it was your own. Build strong friendships and help others without expecting anything in return. You’d be surprised to see how far a good reputation and network can contribute in your achievement and over-all wellbeing. People will come out of nowhere to help and support you! There is no place for jealousy and malicious scheming in a heart that is aligned with its purpose.
In the age of over-transparency, secrecy is the best policy! Sharing your dreams and goals with others may actually deter you from achieving them. Why? Well, for a good amount of reasons.
You may be faced with the typical “You can’t do that.”, or “What will the neighbors say?” arguments. At best, your friends may praise you, tricking the subconscious mind with the instant gratification from all that encouragement which may make you lazier and less determined to achieve your purpose.
Once you put your idea out there, it’s no longer really “yours”. Some people may go ahead and do it. Even if the intent is not really to “steal” your ideas or hurt you, it can simply happen on a subtle and very unconscious plane. Plus, it’s always better to back up what you say with solid deeds.
Therefore, my recommendation is to share the fruits of your labor only when they are ripe. You may confide in a good friend or two if you are too excited to keep your vision all to yourself!
Your dream is probably not going to happen overnight. Sometimes, a seed may take many years to see the light, while other times you may get a lucky streak out of nowhere. Keep going either way.
You may lose motivation at times, feeling that there is no purpose behind your hard work, weary from knocking a hundred doors. Remind yourself of the magical pot at the end of the rainbow and realize that your dream may be closer than you think!
Keep a Journal
Nothing fleets faster than thoughts. My teacher always used to say: “If you think it, ink it!” As good ideas need to be anchored with writing. A thought is like a fishing line: sometimes it can make you pull out a hearty catch! I keep a yearly journal for all my writings, scribbles, drawings and random thoughts. It is very heartwarming to go through the past years’ journals and see that many seeds have already flourished, while some are still in incubation, waiting to be nurtured.
Fall in Love with Yourself
When you have a good amount of self-worth, everything seems to fall into place. Unfortunately, I know some very hard working, decent people who only get crumbs of the good stuff because of their poor self-esteem.
You begin to experience the good things in life because you have the inner feeling that you truly deserve them. Make 2019 the year you make peace with your shortcomings rather than concealing them, celebrating your gifts, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love with your very traits that society deemed imperfect along the road.
Take a Chance
Good opportunities pass by quickly! Be alert and develop the intuition to “sniff-out” a good chance if there’s one floating around. Or even better, create your own “chances” and dig out your own channels when there are none. There are many fields in our region that could be explored and further developed, such as the arts and creative arena, as well as tech development.
It is a fun and exhilarating feeling to take a risk and tread where no one has stepped foot before. Do not wait for approval or appreciation, as it will sooner or later come as a by-product of your efforts.
And with all this being said, I wish you a very happy, prosperous, and productive new year! I hope you consider some of these suggestions and break the glass ceiling of old habits.
May this year be the year in which we promote growth in our society as well as our personal lives.
Dana Al Rashid is a writer and poet from Kuwait. She writes in Al Jarida newspaper and has also published a few English articles in Kuwait Times newspaper. She published a poetry book last year under the same name as her blog: “Reflecting Moon.” In her blog, more intimate poetry and articles can be found.