The start of a new year. Ah, New Year’s resolutions. I have assiduously avoided making New Year’s resolutions for quite a few years. If you don’t make New Year’s resolutions you can’t break them, can you?
Making New Year’s resolutions are a lot like setting goals and objectives. You, know, the kind you are required to set if you are employed by a corporation. I hesitate to admit this, but I have been employed by large employers for so many years that I can remember when management by objectives was a new and novel concept. An idea sold to companies by expert consultants for big bucks. Well, at least that is something that has not changed, expert consultants, I mean. The saying used to be: an expert is anyone who lives more than a hundred miles away and charges more than a hundred dollars an hour.
However, some things about that saying have changed. If you can hire the expert for $100 an hour it is unlikely anyone will believe he or she is much of an expert on anything.
But I digress, as I often do. How can it be that someone who has spent so many years deliberately avoiding setting personal goals and objectives at New Year's, or any other time of the year for that matter, would write a column on her personal goals and objectives for the upcoming year?
Well, the truth, surprisingly, is often the best place to start. I have three goals, supported by three objectives to reach those goals, in mind for the upcoming year. And they literally came to mind during the time I do my best thinking, that is, while I was not aware, at least consciously, that I was thinking. My mind, for some reason, has to be tricked into thinking productively about anything complex or deep.
For example, if I have a problem, I find the best way to solve it is not to think about it. I know this may sound a lot like procrastination. But it is not. It is a new concept I call “Creative Nonthinking”. When I Nonthink a solution comes to me, out of the blue, if you will. This sudden solution often comes to me upon awakening in the morning.
Even though my mind has worked like this for as long as I can remember, it is somewhat startling still to awake with a full blown solution in my head, whether it is a key passage to a brief, a solution as to how I can find time to get the car into the repair shop and still juggle the other things I have to do that day, or how to make amends to a friend whom I may have inadvertently offended.
Apparently while I thought I was sleeping my brain has been working out the solutions to whatever puzzle it could not complete during the day, just methodically fitting various pieces with each other until they snap together into a sunrise solution.
It is startling enough when this happens with regards to a problem I had been thinking about the day or so before. However, it is completely disconcerting when it occurs with regard to a problem I did not even know I had. It is a lot like when your mother tells you, “you know, you really ought to invite your cousins for the holiday dinner,” when you did not realize you were hosting the holiday dinner at your house this year.
So it was with complete surprise that I awoke one morning to discover I had three full-blown personal goals, complete with objectives, pre-formed and neatly packaged in my mind, upon awakening one recent morning. You may be eager to know what those three goals, and the objectives to their attainment were. But I am not going to share them here.
Oh, they are three very useful goals for me. And they might be useful for a lot of other folks. But I am not going to share them for three simple reasons. First, they are not terribly startling and surprising.
The second reason is they just might be a tad more information than someone out there cares to know about me. No, really, they are not terribly embarrassing or personal but they are MY goals and objectives. I don’t want someone to ask me in six months how I am coming with my three goals, or even just one or two of them.
The third reason is the primary reason I am not going to share them. They literally are my “dreamed of” goals and objectives. If I share them with you it would make it just much too easy for those of you who believe in setting goals and making new year's resolutions to borrow mine rather than dream up your own.
So instead I challenge you: put your mind to the task to come up with your personal goals for the year ahead. And then don’t do anything more except get a good night's rest. In the morning, if you have some great goals for the new year you can take credit for your mind’s work while you slept. If, instead, you come up with a solution to some other problems while you slept you can be pleased with that result. And if nothing else occurs, you can take as a goal to more often get a good night's rest and pat yourself on the back for having taken a step towards meeting that goal.
You also can recommend me to any of your friends or clients in need of an expert on Creative Nonthinking. I am available at a fee of something over $100 an hour. Oh, and the hours that you sleep are billed by me to you for your Creative Nonthinking time.
Happy New Year's.