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The Case for Tossing Resolutions in Favor of a Mindset Shift

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. Or at least, I don’t call them that.

The lists of lose weight, eat better, be better, do more…yada, yada, yada felt inspiring as I wrote them down full of possibility for the year. And like most people, I was full tilt into my list…for about a week and a half. Sometimes, a month or two if my will was strong. And in my race to commit to being better about everything, I’d give up before I’d really begun and return to my old habits; my old ways.

But there were things I wanted to do and in order to see them through, I’d have to make a change; a mindset shift.

Switching Gears

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Then, I must be crazy or caught in a hamster wheel. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, wouldn’t you say?

So, I took a pen and paper out of the drawer on some random day in the middle of the year and began a new list. It was everything I wanted to accomplish. It no longer mattered if I did it in one, two, five, ten, or more years. Suddenly, it was about Getting S**t Done (GSD). And it was no longer about the when something might get done or the what, but the why.

I began to look at things from a different angle and see if I could fit it into my goal of GSD. And then, I got creative! Somehow, by just thinking out of the box – please pardon the passé term – out of the ordinary things began happening. I had managed to switch my thinking to what I needed. Apparently, this has been my modus operandi since birth.

Oh, you’re shaking your head, confused right now, aren’t you? Let me explain.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

November 2018. This would be the year, I decided, I would attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I like to think I would have a nearly completed novel now, requiring revisions and editing only, but things don’t always work out as planned.

Halfway through the month, I changed my mind about what I would write. This would be the year I wrote my memoir or autobiography or some variation of thereof. And in so doing, I would rope in my family. After all, they were there before I was and they have better recall of what happened during my earliest years.

I’m smiling now as I remember asking my Dad to be part of this project. “I could write a book!” he exclaimed. I know, that’s the plan, Daddy. A few weeks later, I received in the mail seven handwritten pages. Yes, I just said “handwritten” and “received in the mail” in the same sentence. That’s a whole other subject I’ll get to another post. But I digress.

How I Learned to Look Right Side Up

In the pages, my Dad explained that due to my heart defect – have your attention now, don’t I? Book preorders to follow. Just kidding! For now.

A doctor explained to him, it seems, that because of my heart defect I should see everything sideways, so I had to teach myself to see things from a different angle in order to gauge car trajectory when crossing the street and driving. It certainly explains why I used to run into walls, fall up the stairs, and that I am most confident walking while listening to music and dancing. But the point is resourcefulness is in my blood apparently. Later this year, if you’re very good, I’ll tell you how to open a beer bottle with a spoon. Desperate times and all that.

Where is this Going?

Glad you asked.

I reconnected yesterday with a student who’s interested in breaking into the freelance writing market. And before you tell me its saturated. It isn’t. Some sites will have you believe otherwise, but again, that’s another post to come. Anyway, back to my student.

She’s currently in a job she doesn’t see herself staying in, but two things happened when we spoke about mindset shift. Now, she goes into the job with a purpose beyond her job description. That purpose is to gather information and learn about the company, perhaps work toward becoming a subject matter expert to have either the required knowledge to write from her own experience or from those she works with. A steady stream of possible writing opportunities.

The other interesting thing to happen is in her new way of thinking, she found a job she’s interested in, which fits her skill sets, but can also challenger her.

In December, I visited with another student, who wanted to know what skills she would need to get into the writing field. Again, my mindset shifted and a thought struck me about our world today. The most important skill anyone needs right now is whatever skill will get you in the door. Once you’re in, the rest will fall into place when your skill set and the company’s needs align.

Agree? Disagree?

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Break a Pencil!

© Lisa Street Rogers 2018
Images: Paper Birds – PHI325 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

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