No Comparisons. Just You.

This is the 28th new year I have welcomed in my lifetime, and I’m only now beginning to understand the magic of fresh beginnings. For so long, I considered the start of a New Year to be a “so what?” moment. It was like an extra appetizer after the main courses were finished; you could do without it, but you’ll take it.

Perhaps this indifference is driven by my strong feelings of breaking stereotypes. Just as we shouldn’t need Thanksgiving to show gratitude or Valentine’s Day to appreciate those we love, we don’t need the months of January and February to remind us of the importance of self-development and growth. We should be focusing on these things every month (I know, I’m being a wet blanket).

I guess my real hang up is in what I like to call “resolution-mania.” You know, the masses who post about their lofty goals only to half-heartedly commit and then drop them right around this time of February. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing people commit to wellness and growth no matter the circumstance. But I think many of us have been missing the real message behind New Year’s. One that I myself failed to recognize for decades…

Personal growth and development should be defined on our own terms.

Here’s the thing: we’re all constantly changing. Our outlooks, personality, friendships, family relations, preferences, behaviors, bodies…it all fluctuates. So, if you’ve gained weight over the last year but feel amazing (don’t go by the number, folks!) who says you need to resolve to lose anything?

This point equally applies to leadership. Who says success looks like any one thing for you or your business? You may be aiming to make significant strides in 2018 (which is great!) but if not, that’s okay. Each new day, month and year…it’s all evolving and changing form. Maybe you’re looking to launch one or two smaller projects over the course of the year. You might be satisfied to retain your current client base, or make a few key connections. Your goal for this year could be something as simple as to stop setting unrealistic expectations for yourself.

The bottom line is that personal growth and development is whatever you want it to look like. Success is so much more than amassing thousands of new social followers or even increasing revenues. Those accomplishments would be incredible, but they’re not the end of the road. In fact, nothing is. Successful growth is a never-ending journey.

So, here’s a to a new year of whatever the heck you want it to be. My wish for you in 2018 is that you unapologetically embrace what you personally feel success should look like this year, knowing that we’re all on different tracks for a meaningful and purposeful reason.

Allison is a Freelance Content Marketer and Author of “The Everyday Woman’s Guide to Entrepreneurship.” She helps disruptive brands drive extraordinary outcomes as a writer extraordinaire, and in her spare time consults female entrepreneurs as a personal brand strategist. She loves helping women discover their innermost power and confidence, which is what she believes to be the most effective drivers of sustainable change and long-term success.