2012 is here. Happy New Year! I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions, but I have given some thought to some changes I’d like to see in 2012. I don’t consider them resolutions because they don’t apply to any one specific thing and I’m not restricting them to 2012. I see them more as themes for the future in general.
Baby Steps. In years past I made extreme resolutions, thinking that they would transform my life. Invariably, these resolutions were short lived. Radical changes are hard to implement, and even harder to maintain. Subtle changes, sustained over time, are much easier to live with and much more likely to last.
With this in mind, I will focus on taking baby steps in the areas of my life that need attention. Instead of trying to run twenty miles tomorrow, I’ll jog for 25 minutes. I’ll gradually change my eating habits. I’ll gradually rebuild my savings. Instead of being frustrated with my inability to make giant leaps, I plan to take small, deliberate steps toward my goals.
Right now, my life is making baby steps in the right direction. My emotional state is improving slowly. I am will soon start work as a substitute teacher. I will soon put my house on the market. Things are happening. Slowly. My goal is to continue to pursue the life that I want—one baby step at a time.
A Little More. I want to stretch myself. I want to go beyond. I want to go as far as I can, and then go a little bit further. I want to push past the limits of fear, fatigue, weariness, shyness, and complacency. It’s about running a few more steps, calling one more person, sending out one more resume. It’s about going a little bit further, even though I feel like I’m going to collapse.
I went to a business Christmas party on December 19, and there I talked to a gentleman whose wife worked with the same jewelry company that I work with. Both she and her husband urged me to make “just one more phone call” when I felt that I couldn’t call anyone else, because that one last call has often opened doors of opportunity for her.
That will be my second theme for 2012. I will go a little further, do a little more, and try a little harder. I will push myself harder than ever before.
Boldness. I’ll never forget this. When I was in school, I had a class on histology. One afternoon, I sat with three classmates and my teacher at a $30,000 microscope that could accommodate five people. I was loading the slides, and focusing on various images that were displayed for all of us (we called this “driving the bus”). In this instance, we were looking at a slide and the teacher asked me to go to the next lens, which had a higher power of magnification. I hesitated, and told him I was afraid the lens wouldn’t clear the slide and that it would get scratched. My teacher cocked his head and considered this for a second. The he gave a small nod and said, “Try boldly.” So I swung the high magnification lens into place. It did not scratch. I beamed at my teacher, and he smiled back. I have no idea what was on that slide. But his words will be with me forever.
Boldness will be a theme for the future. People that know me know that boldness is not in my nature. I have a tendency to be extremely shy and timid. I am naturally soft-spoken, and I tend to hide. But my roles in life are changing. In order to be a successful jeweler, I need to be more vocal. In order to be an effective substitute teacher, I will have to interact freely with the students. It is time that I boldly step in to these various roles. It is time for me to be myself, not a shadow of myself.
I’d like to be a better version of me going forward, not just in 2012. 2012 will only be the beginning. What are your themes for 2012?