New year, same me

Nyree Johnson says the New Year is a great time to consider where you’re heading.

New year, new me? No. New year, same me? Yes.

I’ve never really been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, preferring the consistent and deliberate approach to personal growth, development, life experience lessons and goal achievement instead. I recognise that this time of year is excellent to consider where you’ve come from, where you are, and where you’re heading.

I do love to cheer for those who are setting big goals publicly, even though I don’t do this myself, appreciating that we all operate in different ways and what works for some doesn’t for others. I prefer my spreadsheet of goals which takes me from the current year through to my expected end and is categorised depending on where the goal fits – family, business, career etc., to name a few. Over the top for some, but necessary for the way I work.

With experience and time come differing perspectives. Knowing what you’re working towards is necessary; however, structuring the objective where possible to allow for unexpected openings and essential changes will enable a plan which fosters maximum impact and takes advantage of opportunities. For example, I had planned on considering entering the political arena in my 40s, but I did so instead at 35, with the opportunity of a by-election in our local Government area in 2020/2021. As mentioned a few columns back, if you ask me if I’d do it again, the genuine answer is that I don’t know; I’m still deciding.

Another change to my plan happened when I was enjoying my part-time corporate career with three young children.

Having returned to Rockhampton and juggling three children with a husband who worked away, this was made easier by working part-time, knowing that I was working towards long-term career opportunities once ready. One day though, the chance to take on a full-time fixed-term contract role in a career I loved and left behind in Brisbane presented itself. Full of risks, sacrifice and uncertainty, it was an opportunity I didn’t think I’d obtain in Rocky due to the specialist nature of the role.

While I didn’t work with this goal-setting framework in the structure it’s morphed into today (the spreadsheet) for many years, knowing what I’ve been working towards has always been a fundamental key to achieving my goal. For some, this looks like daydreaming; for others, it’s journalling, and some may share their hopes and dreams with another and then subconsciously work towards them without really knowing it until the goal becomes a reality.

Having left school at 15 with only a Junior Certificate under my belt, my goal and desire to further my education in a different format to school was what led me to gain a business traineeship with the Longreach Shire Council, which then gave me the qualification and experience I needed to get a head start in the corporate world down in the South East corner at just 18 years old.

Vision, strategy, and drive for me, my family, and the organisations and teams I’m privileged to work amongst and, in some cases, lead, are what keep me motivated. Seeing a plan come to life and knowing my direct contribution and role is rewarding, especially when the outcomes have significant positive impacts on others. I love to encourage vision, drive and action, too, by those who either lack direction and motivation or who have never really been taught how to harness the gift of vision and strategy.

Even though it sounds easy, it isn’t, and the deliberate focus and action required often need to be taught.

I’m unsure if it’s just me or if many social media newsfeeds are filled with people wishing or manifesting their goals. There is a place for wishing and manifestation (dreaming), but ultimately, it takes relentless hard work and determination. There are no Genies popping out of bottles to grant us three wishes. Sacrifice, hard work and commitment is what it takes.

When I reflect on our family’s journey as a DIDO mining family, it was for a goal and one reason – to set us up financially while enabling part-time work for me. We were never in the game for the long term, and even our home loan was obtained, with one key priority being that it was affordable on ‘town wages’.

The young family we had and the part-time work I participated in was supported by mining income and a lot of sacrifice by us all. But the goal was always clear and kept us going, to buy or build our own home and set ourselves up for the future, after having returned home to Rocky.

The evidence of a flexible goal was that it was a 10-year plan but was reduced to just under eight years because the opportunity to own our own business presented itself much earlier—a goal in itself, 20 years in the making.

To clarify, I am never saying what someone else chooses to do is wrong or even that I disagree with it; I am focusing only on my journey and my family to unpack why we’ve done things the way we have. To tell stories with the experiences in the hope of cementing the purpose of each message with a real example.

When looking at your 2023 year ahead and what you hope to achieve, here is my advice if you’ll have it – be consistent and work towards your own goals. Don’t aim for perfection because it doesn’t exist. Done is better than perfect any day of the week. And if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal. Here’s to 2023!