When you’re getting to know someone, you inevitably ask them loads of questions about themselves throughout the process. Where did you grow up? How long have you lived here? Do you have any pets? As those conversations continue you inevitably learn valuable information. You learn about another person’s likes, dislikes, favorite sports teams, interests, career, etc. So why is that we often fail to ask ourselves those same questions?
I was listening to an episode of Death, Sex & Money with Gabrielle Union where she said something that struck a cord with me. “If you don’t know what makes you happy, how is someone else supposed to?” I then thought back to my most recent visit to my psychic where she advised I do some goal setting at the end of 2017, in order to have focus in 2018. Probably seems like common sense, right?
But what I’ve found is that in all the business of work, friendships and relationships, and tackling the typical errands of the day, finding time for myself has often been focused on destressing and decluttering my mind. What it has not entailed, however, is continuing to ask myself meaningful questions…and putting those answers to paper.
Here are 3 lists that you can write for a strong 2018:
10 Things That Make You Happy
This topic stemmed from Gabrielle Union’s conversation with her life coach. When she was asked to list 10 things that make her happy…she didn’t know what to say right away. I feel like I could probably list 3-5 easily at the top of my head. But what about the others? Would they come so easily? Knowing that they are there if you had to think about it isn’t enough. Because again, if you don’t know exactly what makes you happy…how can anyone else? More importantly, if you don’t know what makes you happy, how can you give that to yourself?
What You Want From a Job or Company
I had always looked at career goals with an academic lens. If they weren’t specific or measurable, what there a point in creating them? While some know exactly which company they want to work for, the salary they intend to make, and the deadline for doing it all, I’ve always looked at my career more fluidly. What I could still do instead, however, was decide how I wanted to feel at work. What perks did I need to be happy? What cultures had I thrived in? After putting those thoughts onto paper, I realized I thrived most in a tech atmosphere where I could be innovative. But I also needed a solid work camaraderie where I could make friends and have fun work events. Starting here, allowed me to get closer to the specifics and realize what was missing from my current role and which companies might offer that.
What You Want In a Romantic Partner
This is very similar to making a list of what you want from a job. After ending things with a guy I was seeing, I was left a little confused and frustrated that I had found myself with the same romantic problems but in a differently wrapped package. So based on the recommendation of my psychic, I made a list of what I wanted in a partner. I focused less on specifics and more on how I wanted to feel with this person, and what traits I wanted them to have. I wanted someone who had a career, although I wasn’t too picky about what they did. Someone who could make me laugh. Someone who was emotionally mature and a good communicator. After making my list, I felt I had a clearer picture of what I wanted my next meaningful relationship to look like and be, which has made weeding out some feasible, but bad matches, easier ever since.
It’s easy to get caught up in making a solid resolution with each new year. For me, those have never really worked out. I am instead more excited to take steps that will perhaps lead to mini-resolutions throughout the year. Regardless of if they do, I know with just a little bit of time, effort, and list-making, I’ll have an even stronger sense of myself, what I want, and what I’m not settling for in 2018.