I have been set­ting pro­fes­sion­al goals for­ev­er. Each year when Jan­u­ary 1 rolls around I come up with a mul­ti-part list detail­ing exact­ly where I’m head­ed and how I get there. I do this instead of allow­ing myself the free­dom to explore and exper­i­ment through­out the year. And at the end of every year, whether I’ve hit my goals or not, the famil­iar pres­sure mounts to come up with a brand new set of objec­tives. So the cycle con­tin­ues. And it leaves me feel­ing tense AF.

These days, women I love and admire pro­fes­sion­al­ly are being pub­lished, doing tele­vi­sion appear­ances and launch­ing their own prod­uct lines, and I’ve begun to won­der if these are things I should want too. I debate whether my res­o­lu­tions should involve tak­ing on more speak­ing events, or dab­bling with pro­fes­sion­al brand­ing.

But here’s the thing; I love what I do, exact­ly as it is. Sit­ting in front of a com­put­er in my sweats, pro­duc­ing con­tent with a small team of writ­ers. That is my idea of a per­fect work day. My work allows me, a wife and moth­er of three, to pro­vide for my fam­i­ly while work­ing on my own time. It has taught me about entre­pre­neur­ship and how to be tac­ti­cal­ly and finan­cial­ly smart. It has opened up the world, both through the peo­ple I’ve met online and in my abil­i­ty to blog from any­where. (And I have! From Hawaii, Nice France, Cos­ta Rica and Jamaica.) And yet the sub­text of my pro­fes­sion­al New Year’s goals seems to be ‘Your job, as it is, is just not good enough.’ 

So I’m not set­ting goals this year. Instead I’m going to mas­ter the art of appre­ci­at­ing and show­ing grat­i­tude for ‘my lane’, and trust­ing that, as my per­son­al self learns and grows in 2017, my pro­fes­sion­al self will also.

In an age of vision boards and speak­ing things into exis­tence I know this sounds out of step. I under­stand too that some peo­ple are in a bad place pro­fes­sion­al­ly, and need New Year’s res­o­lu­tions to moti­vate them to get out. But if, like me, you are hap­py with where you’re at — even if it doesn’t look like much to oth­ers — con­sid­er resist­ing the urge to set pro­fes­sion­al res­o­lu­tions. Grat­i­tude might be the only one you need.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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1 Comment on "Why I’m Not Setting Any Professional Resolutions This New Year"

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Goal set­ting and reach­ing that goal require dri­ve and push to achieve beyond the norm. Some are com­fort­able as is.