My new year resolutions for 2018
Or the ones still standing 2 months in
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” — C.S Lewis
Setting goals in the beginning of the year is complete bullshit. 40% of Americans make New Years resolutions but only 8% sticks to them. But I do believe in taking the time to set/(re)-evaluate my personal goals throughout the year. The difference this year is that the beginning of the year coincidentally aligns with a tipping point in my life. I’m not gonna talk about that tipping point in this article, but trust me, I’ll write about it later.
In this article I want to share some general guidelines I’ve setup for myself this year.
1. Stop complaining
This one is big for me. Last year, I really gained awareness around my complaining, mainly my frustrations with things I can’t do anything about, like getting a work-visa for the US for example. People, including myself, love to default into complaining. And in our society, were even encouraged to do so.
Here is why: We love to portray ourselves as the victim. We complain about external factors to convince ourselves that we’re doing the best we can and that we as an individual can’t do anything about it.
This is called self-victimization.
“For many people, the power of their excuse is more powerful than their dreams”
Here is one way to make your New Years resolutions stick: you tell everyone about it.
As I said before, I’m not making these resolutions because it’s New Years, I’m thinking about this stuff because I have the chance to go abroad and be whoever I want to be or become.
“Moving abroad is the closest you can get to being reborn”
So once I got to NYC, I told everyone that I couldn’t complain this year. I bring it up in every conversation to the point that the people around me become more self-aware of their complaining and start taking action on this too.
2. Over deliver
I’m a strong believer in overdelivering. In business, relationships, friendships, always give more than what’s expected and never expect anything in return.
“Under promise over deliver”
It was Gary Vaynerchuk that opened my eyes to this. And last year was the year I really started executing. Consciously at least, I feel like I’ve always done this to some degree feeling that chip on my shoulder from dropping out of high-school.
It might look random to the outside world, but what the hell do they know. I just now and believe that everything you do for someone else, will come back to you. That’s just how the world works and you have to trust that. Even if in the moment it might not make any sense.
3. Stay on the path I believe in
You guys know the one thing I care about is to move to NYC. And last year, I did my best to make that happen. That’s the least I can say about that. In some way, you could call my operation of being here in NYC for six months last year a failure. Because I didn’t find a way to stay here and I had to return to Europe. I’ve never looked at it that way though.
For me, the mission is more to stay focused and active on finding my path to make it happen.
“Happiness is found on the way, not at the end of the road”
I owe it to myself to stay focused on NYC, no distractions, no excuses. When I’m here in New York, I’m happy. I’m happy because I have the luxury, the opportunity to chase my dream. Literally all I do day in day out, is look for ways to make my dreams come thru. Not a lot of people can say that…
4. Stay out of Belgium (at least for this year)
This one is pretty harsh, and my Belgian readers might not like this part but I honestly fucking hate Belgium. I don’t like hating, it’s not a word I use, ever. But it’s really in place here.
(Quick disclaimer, this is technically not complaining because I’m actually doing something about it 😉)
“It’s impossible, said pride”. “It’s risky, said experience”. “It’s pointless, said reason”. “Give it a try, whispers the heart”
Even for me, it is said to think about the fact that I lived in a place for 19 years and don’t feel any attachment to it what so ever. Last year, I left everything I knew behind, for something unknown, and it felt so much better than staying.
It’s not one event that created this dynamic, it’s little bits and pieces over years and years stacking up to the point where I now promised myself to not go back to Belgium this year at least. And honestly, hopefully never.
You can ask my parents about this if you don’t believe me, but every time I come back ‘home’ after a trip from the US, I get physically sick for at least a week.
Belgium, Europe is stuck in the middle. I was reading an article from Peter Hinssen about technology in Europe and he opens my eyes to this. In the technology space, Europe is stuck in the middle for sure. We don’t have a search engine, e-commerce platform, consumer hardware manufacturer…
I would even say Europe is stuck in the past. But here is the thing, I’m not saying Europe has to change, I’m just saying it’s not the place for me. And I want to share the differences with the US to inspire other to go take a look around in this world, before settling, before being stuck to a mortgage or have 2 kids… Because there’s a lot to see out there…