How are you all doing? Made it through the festive season intact? I’ve not posted in a while precisely because this time of year can get a little crazy! I’m finally sitting down to write to you about New Year Goals…
One of the things buzzwords for early January is resolutions. I have mixed feelings about new year resolutions. They can seem cliché – focusing on those areas of life we feel we should improve. They can seem depressingly challenging – even the name evokes a slow and desperate trudging, ultimately destined to leave us face down in failure.
So I have decided I prefer goals. Although I am far from ‘sporty’, this word conjures up for me ideas of focused activity with a clear object. Where resolutions emphasise effort, goals emphasise specific achievement.
Some Blocks to Goal-setting
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of striving. In the past I have made a virtue out of the effort I’ve put into an achievement. After all, without blood, sweat and tears, is an achievement an achievement at all? I want to begin to celebrate success arrived at with joy, and where the hard work simply flowed.
Assuming that new year goals either a) set me up to fail or b) must necessarily cause me intense suffering, I have (unsurprisingly!) avoided them.
Of course, there is a further complication to my setting of goals. As a Third Culture Kid I can have a tendency to assume my life will uproot just frequently enough to make goal-setting redundant. Accustomed to regular ‘new start’s, I (like many other TCKs) can lack faith that we can see projects through to completion.
Not so this year. This year, I’m allowing myself to dream, to hope, and to acknowledge my own investments… and successes!
Join me. I’ve designed a printable that allows you to organise your goals in different areas of your life – Work, Personal, Close Relationships and Community/Place. Especially if you are new to goal-setting, it can be easy to focus in on one or two areas of our lives where we want to see growth. So it can be helpful to be prompted to consider other areas for potential growth that we may have overlooked.
Third Culture Kid Goal-setting
Given my focus on the Third Culture Kid perspective, I have emphasised those four areas that are especially significant to our identity and sense of belonging.
Work for so many of us is where we focus our search for purpose, a meaningful contribution to the world around us. Many of us grew up with parents in work of global significance, perhaps even more easily defined as ‘callings’ than careers. This model of work becomes our blueprint and can make achievements in this area feel challenging.
Personal goal setting may orient around identity development for the Third Culture Kid. Perhaps you want to find ways to express different facets of your identity, and mark growth in these various areas? Perhaps you have a language you want to reconnect to, or an element of your story you wish to make peace with?
Close Relationships are those relationships we can often find the most challenging. Goal setting in this area can be both terrifying and incredibly helpful. Is there a family relationship that needs growth? Are there friendships that need investment, or even letting go of? Do you have close relationships? If not, what is getting in your way, and how could the setting of small goals move you towards greater intimacy?
Community/Place goals are especially significant for Third Culture Kids. We typically grew up in ready made communities either via expatriate living or the international school system, or perhaps in smaller local host communities in which we felt very embedded. Until we moved. Or until we moved ‘back’ to our passport countries. Then finding a place to belong, and a group with which one does not feel ‘alien’ can be a peculiar and frustrating challenge. Consider where you would like to belong? Where do people who think like you congregate? Can you find global community? What about local community?
Use my one page printable below (click on the image to download) and use it to help your exploration of where you want to see growth this year. Have the courage to imagine the change you want, and set some new year goals!
Let me know how you find the printable and, if you feel able to, leave comments to let me know some of your goals for 2019! As always, if after consideration you feel you would benefit from some therapeutic support and accompaniment in the achievement of your goals, just get in touch here and we’ll set up a free consultation to see how I can help.