This month’s T-SQL Tuesday blogging party is hosted by Jason Brimhall. He’s asked for a moment of quiet reflection to share a story that portrays Resolution. As such, this post will have a bit of a different feel as I write honestly.
Resolution has been on my mind lately. The new year happens to be coincidence in timing, since I don’t typically make resolutions – I think they suck and we suck at keeping them. But I’ve felt stuck in a few ways – stuck in my head, stuck in my skill set, stuck in my career progression (even with the new job!), stuck in life. I noticed it this year around the holidays: most people tend to take it easy, enjoy family, and relax, but I felt the past few weeks were in no way different from the weeks that had preceded them. Stuck. Which caused me no small amount of anxiety, because I was worried that I wasn’t enjoying myself enough!
The funny thing is that these kinds of feelings can be indicative of one’s goals. Especially if you feel like you’ve not been in a great place lately – concerned about your job, your debt, or even overextended in juggling all your “typical” tasks – it may feel impossible to take a step back to reflect on where you are and where you’d like to be.
Reflection isn’t even enough for me though. I’m a thinker. I love to spend hours in research to discover the best way to do anything, and it doesn’t quite matter how insignificant the decision at hand. I’ve read that sharing your goals helps you keep resolve. I’ve heard that keeping your goals secret works better since you don’t get the share the positive news until you’ve accomplished your task. Lately, I’ve been considering gamification – à la Brent Ozar à la Steve Kamb – as a means to level-up my life.
The time spent in research hasn’t furthered my goals. I’m a thinker, and mental stimulation is wonderful.
Regulated and Decisive
I think that’s why defining goals has been tough for me in the past. I get too much enjoyment from the task of simply thinking about all the possibilities that I leave too little time for the actual work. But I’ve got a secret: no one cares about the research, it’s the execution that matters.
In the past few weeks from the holidays, I’ve implemented more structure to my life – from the time I sleep, work, and even exercise – and I can tell that it’s helping. All those insignificant decisions are decided so I can remain focused on the ones that matter. And it’s given me more time to think about the goals I’d like to pursue as well as the steps needed to make those goals.
But structure alone didn’t do this for me. I also had to change my mindset. Not simply in becoming more decisive, but in deciding that in spite of the ruts, life is maleable – and the choice is in owning that change or allowing it to happen to you. In a roundabout manner, it requires resolve. Who would have thought?