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Ironic, Isn’t It? Letting Go of the Clean Slate Mentality

You might think that a blog devoted to goal-setting and success would be full of articles on 2012 New Year’s Resolutions during the first week of the new year – and yet, here we are, strangely silent. The team has been taking an extended – if well deserved – holiday break! Goals and resolutions can be set at any time.

In fact, there’s nothing sacred about setting them on January 1. It may even be a bad idea.

Research shows that about 80 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day, according to Marti Hope Gonzales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota.

We get all caught up in the notion of starting with a “clean slate” – I know that, somehow, I feel worse about breaking resolutions made on a fresh new day, new week, or new year than I do about goals set at 2:13 PM on a Tuesday afternoon. You’d think the guilt would motivate, but what tends to happen is, we feel that sensation of failure – the slate is smudged, the day is shot, the year is over before it’s begun. Discouragement sets in early, along with all its negative self-talk. The thing to do, then, is to break free of the clean slate. Instead, imagine the slate full of bad habits and scribbles – imagine yourself cleaning it up, one corner or smudge at a time. Begin your resolutions now – right now – where you stand. Simply decide if it’s something you really want to do – to develop a new and better habit, to be slimmer and fitter, to accomplish a professional goal; are you truly committed? Is it a crazy big goal you’re convinced you could never accomplish? Is it a crazy big goal you MIGHT not manage in a year, but are ready – wholeheartedly ready – to try? Every journey begins with lifting a foot or setting a wheel in motion. Begin where you are, recognizing that you will need, now and then, to pause and refuel – perhaps to detour down the path less traveled. The trick is to keep moving forward. That’s progress.

Pardon Our Dust

Another reason for our “hiatus,” besides the fact that after ten weeks of frenzied blogging and competition, the Frog Bloggers needed to do something – anything – besides blogging, is that part of the prize is a new web hosting home for TheNextGoal.com. We thought we were moving to it last week, and didn’t want anything to get lost in the move. All the boxes were packed and labeled – twice – and the moving trucks arrived. The dust flew as they went to work. And apparently, some of it worked its way into the server’s gears or one of the gerbils was allergic to frogs – but our new web host reportedly had some “technical difficulties” and the move’s been postponed. So do expect a bit of dust and shifting ground as we eventually do get settled in to more permanent digs. We hope, at least, that our new host won’t ever display “account suspended” just because you like us too much.

Speaking of Goals

We’ve been individually thinking about ours – posting them on our personal blogs (well, except for Neeraj, who’s doing his own hush-hush redesign over there at The Freelancer Diary and celebrating another trip around the sun by bodysurfing at Goa and Brandon – these two are busy with plans to attend grad school soon!).

Get Ready To Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet!

Kicking Butt in 2012

Resolute in 2012

and maybe one of the craziest, biggest goals is one that started out as a silly, tongue-in-cheek dare aimed at my “frienemy” from Team1, Mitch Allen – who’d flippantly said something about winning a Hugo Award being the “most important thing in life.” That got me thinking – why not? Even as I smacked him with the velvet gauntlet, the mental wheels were seriously turning, and the Race to the Hugo was on.

So, there are some of our goals – we’d love it if you’d share yours with us! Feel free to leave them – or links to them – in the comments, below. What’s your most important goal for 2012?

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About Holly Jahangiri

Holly Jahangiri lives in Texas and claims to channel the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry and Erma Bombeck. She has known since fifth grade that she wanted to be a professional writer. Holly is a technical communicator whose imagination is allowed free rein in her short stories, children's books, and poetry. You can visit her personal blog, "It's All a Matter of Perspective," at http://jahangiri.us/new.

About Holly Jahangiri

Holly Jahangiri lives in Texas and claims to channel the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry and Erma Bombeck. She has known since fifth grade that she wanted to be a professional writer. Holly is a technical communicator whose imagination is allowed free rein in her short stories, children's books, and poetry. You can visit her personal blog, "It's All a Matter of Perspective," at http://jahangiri.us/new.

Comments

  1. It seems that you haven’t kept your goal. Doesn’t it?

  2. 80 percent is too many..that is why i dont do New Year resolutions coz it does not work…do it when you are ready to start a clean slate

  3. change when you are ready.that what i believe..a clean slate when you put your heart to it

  4. Hi Holly,

    Interesting post here,

    I think the “clean slate” mentality is abit of a waste to be honest, I think people use this phrase too easily to start again be it business or personal life. I would like to think i try and act the same all the time, mistakes are made by everyone its how we deal with them that counts.
    Glenn recently posted..MS Destiny | Colourful Coast Cruise | Canary Islands | Holiday Complaints | January/February 2012My Profile

  5. My first goal is to WIN my very first blogging contest. Another is to be counted in the list of “Awesome Bloggers”. 😀 Working hard for them. 😀
    Abhi Balani recently posted..Awesome articles you might have missed!My Profile

  6. You nailed it with the remark about it seeming a worst thing to break a rule or goal you set yourself at a meaningful time like new year, however, I also find that the longer you have been sticking at something the more you feel committed to it and do not want to waste the time invested in it. For example if you gave up smoking today then to start again tomorrow is a small fail but to start up again in a week seems much more of an issue, I think its because you invested more time in getting things right so it feels you have wasted that time?!
    Kass recently posted..How to watch TV on your laptopMy Profile

  7. Holly,

    Why haven’t you told me about this till now… really I am cross… hands folded! 😉

    But I still love you so much! 🙂

    2012 began funny for me, because I had left my old job and was looking for something new; now that it is sorted out I feel 2012 is finally turning into something nicer. For me, the biggest resolution was reading and I started off wonderfully but somehow got a little off track in between. I blame the contest and all that competition keeping me on the edge. Can I charm your team members into coming and comment bombing my contest entry.. that will be like the next big goal for me 😉
    Hajra recently posted..Will they call you over for a bloggers party?My Profile

  8. losing weight has been in my resolutions’ list for the last 5-6 years. i was never successful though and even gained some pounds. this year, i made a bet with wifey,i should be able to buy a new bike by june if i shed 30-40 pounds. i pay double if i gain weight. :).

  9. Great post Holly. You know this year I did not make a resolution at all. I don't know if I'm so focused in just achieving my overall goal (helping as many people as I can in a 24 hour period while still trying to get a descent amount of sleep), but I'll be doing the same thing I was trying to do in 2011, continuously improve myself!
    Carlo St. Juste Jr., L.Ac recently posted..Exposure to Chemicals Doubles Risk of Miscarriage in NursesMy Profile

  10. I remarked to someone today that I am NOW  1/24th of the way through keeping my goal to publish a blog post every day in 2011.   I am not 100% confident that I really will publish a blog post 365 days in a row  (to even make the pledge is to tempt the fates to kill your laptop or cause a lengthy cable outtage).  But we are 1//24th of the way through the year and I'm still in the running!

  11. Research shows that about 20 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 fall off the wagon by Jan. 2. 😀 And I am unfortunatelly one of those people! LOL
    Emilia recently posted..composite veneersMy Profile

  12. Research shows that about 20 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 fall off the wagon by Jan. 2. 😀 And I am one of those people! LOL
    Emilia recently posted..composite veneersMy Profile

  13. Hi Holly,

    I am glad that one of your goals for 2012 “incorporated” mine, so to speak, and I enjoyed being featured on your “It’s all a matter of perspective” blog and hopefully soon right here on “The Next Goal”.

    You guys have been working so hard you did deserved the break 🙂 Can’t wait to see what’s coming for 2012!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Five Law of Attraction Habits That Will Change Your Life In 2012My Profile

    • Yes, our goals went together quite nicely, didn’t they? I thought that was a sign it was meant to be – that’s when I wrote to you.

      And thanks! Big things in 2012.. for us as a group, and individually. When we started TheNextGoal, we all agreed we needed to walk the walk, not just post a bunch of preachy “how-to set effective goals” stuff we didn’t follow, ourselves! It’s about getting there together – there are bound to be false starts (hehe – the imminent move of this blog among them), failures (naaaah – “learning experiences”), and unexpected successes (you know, the kind we find when the path diverges and we think, “Hmm, let’s just see what’s down THIS way, while we’re here…”) – as well as the very expectable and expected successes – along the way.
      Holly Jahangiri recently posted..Making True Connections Online Could Make a Difference in your LifeMy Profile

  14. Happy healthier eating and exercising..one step at a time. Be gentle as you go. Keeping an eye on you:)

  15. Hi Holly,
    Great blog you have here, love the design and the positive tone of the posts. Now that the niceties are out of the way, 🙂 In response to your question about 2012 goals, I have several personal and professional

    1. This literally falls under the “body” category – I know it is cliche but I need to shed some pounds in 2012. I am a week into the Atkins diet and so far so good.
    2. In regards to my online stuff, I want to be a more engaging blogger and i am committed to spending more time interacting with like minded bloggers. Several years ago, this was top of mind but I have slipped in this area over the past year or so. I am feeling the blogging bug again so I want to run with it.

    See ya around…
    Dan Keller recently posted..I finally jumped on the Comment Luv Premium badwagon – here’s whyMy Profile