4 months in and you may have or may not have made progress on the resolutions you set at the beginning of the year. Last year, only 6% of Americans reported following through on their new year resolutions. We hope that you are among those conscientious among us, but if you are not, join us this year as we choose to be kinder to ourselves.
We believe there might be more growth, more optimism, in an outlook that faults us less and therefore encourages us to salvage what we have left. Adapting a harsher outlook, one that is less forgiving and less kind only enlarges the feeling of failure and demotivates us from keeping at the same goals that once seemed so achievable. It’s all about perspective, right?
Anyway, we like to think of April as the month of boldness at Yakutti — the month when we reconnect with our personal goals, motivations and resolutions, and make even bolder commitments. We are not alone in choosing a word to represent our goals. Melinda Gate’s 2019 word is grace, the space where she finds reprieve to hope and to keep going despite the heartbreaks of encountering overwhelming sadness and great suffering.
Whether you choose a new empowering word every month or every year, in lieu of or in addition to your resolutions, we believe in consistent self-reflection that does not place a deadline on internal work and on self-improvement. That is self-kindness. So this April, even as we challenge ourselves to some bold commitments, we think the following not-so-bold commitments are just as affirming and significant, and have exactly the right kind of balance for mid-year rejuvenation
Thinking broadly about the future is admittedly less bold than acting in ways that influence it, but it is a start. You obviously, we hope, are already thinking about your future in terms of spending and investing, and careers and life-long learning. But you might not have thought about your future in terms of the world you will inhabit.
Will robots take your job? Will climate change affect you or your loved one? Should you invest in a unicorn IPO? Get curious, read related news, be engaged in related dialogue, position yourself to understand the future in ways that will inspire decisions that propel your career, direct your investments, and inspire your global citizenship.
Add to your investment portfolio (or start one if you haven’t already).
Don’t get stuck eating cat food, Sallie Krawcheck, founder of Ellevest warns women who have not started investing. You investment doesn’t have to be bold and risky, but an addition will give you a sense of satisfaction and control.
If you have not invested before, this is a not-so-bold move as well given how many resources you have access to in order to learn and get started — including a minimum account balance of $0 for a new account, low barrier options that build a future from spare change, and investment options whose values you can get behind.
Learn a skill
Learn a cultured skill that connects you to history, to other parts of the world — from Japanese yoga, to Dominican merengue, to African folk dance. In the interests of futuristic thinking, learn a 21st century skill too that expands your scope of life-long learning even if, but especially if, it is not related to your current job — a new language that makes your an engaged traveler, a new artistic skills that compels you to slow down and exercise more mindfulness, etc.
The benefits, if you are wondering, will be some blend of monetary returns, professional success, health and wellbeing and personal motivation and satisfaction. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Start something new.
Could be a company or a non-profit, but it doesn’t have to be! Not so bold remember? So, doable! Begin a new project at work, work with a colleague you’ve never worked with before, host a team-building event to revamp team dynamics, initiate a new mentorship relationship, develop a new hobby.
Start a new important and personally meaningful thing to reinvigorate your curiosity and your sense of possibility and competence this year. To get started, we like the idea of talking to strangers and distinguishing between thought and opinion. Sound off ideas, question assumptions and clarify thoughts, then get to it!
Reconnect with an old friend
We have been learning to exercise more proactivity in our relationships. To not get away with loose phrasing of “see you soon” and “let’s get coffee sometime.” Find enrichment in genuine conversations with family, friends and acquaintances, and find peace in forgiveness, in letting go of past grievances.
And if Seneca’s idea of friendship should be inspiring, once decided that one makes a great friend, build your relationship with them on the basis of a non-judgmental camaraderie that fosters true loyalty — if you should get so lucky.
For what purpose, then, do I make a man my friend? In order to have someone for whom I may die, whom I may follow into exile, against whose death I may stake my own life, and pay the pledge, too.
We hope you find meaning in the not-so-bold!