Resolve. Opportunity. Ambition.
A while back, I started assigning themes to each year as a way to narrow my goals and focus on what I really wanted to accomplish within a year’s time span.
2015 was my Year of Resolve. At the time, I was thinking I’d like to work in film, so I was determined to get an internship at a media company. However I didn’t have any direct connections, and for the record, it’s a lot harder to get a job working in entertainment if you don’t already know someone on the inside. But after several applications, a couple of emails and a few sleepless nights, I managed to land one just in time for summer. That kicked off a year-long process of hopping from internship to internship.
Then 2016 became my Year of Opportunity. I was graduating in May and knew I wanted a job out of college. At this point, I had done three internships and wasn’t sure if my last one was going to amount to anything. I had planned to start applying to places after the initial buzz of graduation had worn off, but two weeks before the ceremony, I was offered a position. So of course, I did what any recent college graduate would do: I accepted.
Flash forward to 2017. When thinking about the theme for this year, there was one word that stood out in my head: AMBITION.
So why that word? First off, let’s define it.
ambition (n): 1. a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. 2. desire and determination to achieve success.
So what is it about 2017 that I specifically chose to assign that word?
Well, you have to understand the mindset that I was in last December before going into the new year. 2016 had started off strong, but by the end of it, I was not in a very bright place mentally. Long story short, I had been working a 9-to-6 job that I realized I was no longer passionate about. I was losing my motivation in my career, I had huge anxiety issues, and most importantly, I wasn’t happy.
And even though I realized most of my anxiety and stress was due to all the pressure I was putting on myself, I knew I had to do what’s best for me and move on. That’s when I decided to change my situation for the better in the coming year.
Thus the Year of Ambition was born! Starting January 1st, 2017, these were the goals that I set for myself:
- Find a new job within the next three months.
- Live healthier. (Cook more at home, go to gym regularly, etc.)
- Read more.
And because I knew I had to take better care of my mental health, I threw this one in as well: Practice more self-care.
It’s been almost six months since I set those goals. If I had to grade myself on how well I’ve accomplished them so far, I’d give myself maybe a C+. Because it’s only halfway through the year I want to be realistic about my achievements, and while I’ve been able to cross some things off my list, there are others that could use more effort.
The good news is that I was able to find a new job within a month and a half of setting my first goal, which in my opinion should be a new record. Not only am I so much happier, I really love what I’m doing and learning, so I’m very grateful for that opportunity.
I’ve also been pretty good about taking care of myself mentally. I’ve been trying to prioritize taking mental breaks as a way to keep my anxiety and stress levels low. I’m someone who really values my alone time, so on lunch breaks, I’ll step away from the office and find a nice, relaxing spot to recharge. On weekends, I also like to spend time out of the house and watch a movie. If that’s not an option, there’s always Netflix.
However, I still need to prioritize my physical health. Trying to set aside time to cook or go to gym has always been a struggle for me, since I barely have time to do those things. Plus, there’s always the temptation to eat outside, especially around where I work.
And I’ve tried getting back into reading. I actually bought Carrie Fisher’s last autobiography The Princess Diarist but I have yet to pick it up and turn a single page.
So what does that mean for the rest of 2017? Well, clearly there’s still plenty of room for improvement. And there’s also room for more goal setting! You can bet I will definitely be adding this one to the end of my list: Write more… Because, you know, blogging.
Let me know: What would your theme for 2017 be and why?
Real Talk Tuesday is a weekly series that explores the professional and personal struggles of career-minded twenty-somethings by focusing on real-life experiences, meaningful lessons, and giving unfiltered, unapologetically honest advice.