From Gratitude to Greatness: How to Accomplish Your 2023 Goals
How do you cope when you’re experiencing doubt? Do you stay in bed and scroll through your phone to avoid it? Do you reach out to people to talk? Are you looking for inspiration?
Doubt can eat away at your purpose and goals and hinder your progress. Get back on your road or start a new one by tracking your purpose through gratitude.
People Today: Seeking Purpose in the Workplace
According to a February 2023 Carhartt survey of more than 1,000 Millennial- and Gen-Z-aged people, 48 percent of the respondents were uncertain about their future career pathways. Meanwhile, 44 percent reported that getting a job that aligns with their values was their top challenge.¹
Climate change and the environment is one of the top priorities of around 74 percent of the Millennial and Gen Z respondents. According to 92 percent of respondents, preserving America’s national parks for future generations is important to them.
Let Gratitude Lead: Follow What Makes You Thankful
If you’re having a hard time understanding what your purpose is, start by following what makes you feel grateful.
Practicing gratitude can be defined as trying to find a sense of happiness and thankfulness in response to a fortunate event or substantial gift. It can be experienced long-term as a positive trait.
Being thankful can help you focus on the positive things in your life, improve your mental health, and help build and maintain your relationships. It results in hope, satisfaction, and more compassion for others. ²
When you have focused on the positive things around you, try sorting them out. See which ones bring you the most joy and go after them.
Understand How You See: Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
In achieving your goals, you have to understand yourself first. There are two ways that you can get to them, by being prevention-focused or promotion-focused.
Some people see their goals as opportunities for growth, reward, and achievement. If you see your goals this way, you might be after what you may gain if you become successful in reaching them. This makes you promotion-focused. You excel in creativity, innovation, seizing opportunities to get ahead, risk-taking, working quickly, generating options and alternatives, and abstract thinking.
However, this can make you error-prone and overly optimistic.
The other half of us see goals as a form of security. If this is you, you may tend to focus on not losing everything you’ve worked so hard for. This makes you prevention-focused and you want to avoid danger as you fulfill your responsibilities.
You want to become someone people can count on, and you want everything to run smoothly. You excel at thoroughness, being detail-oriented, analytical thinking and reasoning, planning, accuracy, reliability, and anticipating problems.
Despite all these positive qualities, you can be reluctant when it comes to taking chances and may move more slowly.³
Expressing gratitude can help you identify which you are out of the two types. See which set of these qualities you are most thankful and comfortable to have. Ask yourself which of these groups helps you experience a sense of accomplishment when finishing a task and moving on to the next.
If you are promotion-focused, you can be a mural artist who can be proud of your pieces dressing the buildings and streets with colors. If you are prevention-focused, you can be a lawyer who defends the people you believe in, or a doctor who can help find the cure for rare illnesses.
Step Into Greatness: Cultivating Gratitude
Bright, positive things are everywhere, even when you think they aren’t. You just have to shift your view to focus on them more clearly. Practice gratitude by reaching out to kind people and beautiful things around you.
Make mindfulness a habit.
Mindfulness is being fully aware of the present. This includes the good and the bad things that brought you to where you are.
You can do this by immersing yourself fully in what surrounds you. You can walk in the park, have meaningful conversations with people. You can meditate. Even pausing to focus is a good activity to be more mindful.⁴ You can even log out of social media to make the most of an hour or two.
Once you have fully felt your space and appreciated the people around you, continue your mindfulness through Gratitude Journaling. This can help boost your awareness, and even your creativity, further. Start by doing it on a daily basis. You can make lists or even illustrate them. Here are some examples:
- “I am thankful for my colleague who pointed out a mistake in my article.”
- “I am thankful for being able to have lunch with my family last Sunday.”
- “I am glad that I was indoors when it rained today.”
You may choose a unique format for your gratitude journaling, such as drawing little illustrations of gifts. If you’re very busy and can only manage it over the weekend, try highlighting the days on your calendar when you were happy. You may recap and write the things you remember once you’re free.
Make your intentions and goals more actionable.
Making them actionable doesn’t just mean you have to be realistic. You can still aim for greater things that you think may seem impossible, but always define each step you would need to take to get there.
If it can help you, create an outline. Give each part a deadline for when you should have them ready. Of course, it will always be helpful to bring people along who can help you move forward.
For example, if you’re planning to climb a mountain this year for the first time, identify what you need. How much would it cost? What tools and materials should you bring? What safety rules and dangers should you be aware of? Should you bring a friend or two? How long will it take me to get to the peak? What needs to be true to execute this goal?
Let yourself express goodness and to receive it back.
Expressing gratitude has social benefits when done right. Start by speaking words of kindness to improve your relationship with colleagues, or even your parents.
Thank them for any small, kind gesture they share with you. Compliment them when you think they look great. Tell them how much you appreciate them and why. Letting them know the “whys” can help them focus on maintaining or improving that specific trait.
If you’re a bit awkward about expressing yourself in person, try writing them notes and letters. Get your favorite pad of sticky notes and put them to good use.
If someone does the same and appreciates you, thank them. You may also be straightforward and ask them what they liked about that part of you. In this way, you can cherish yourself more and take care of that good thing they saw.
Appreciate individual differences to learn more.
Remind yourself that other people can do some things better than you. Empower them. Approach this thought with humility, so that you may find yourself more willing to ask for other people’s kind advice and opinions.
Gratitude helps you see what they’re good at. Think of learning from people as free training that can help you be closer to your goals.
Another way you can appreciate dissimilarities between you and others is by teaching others yourself. Professor Matthew Lieberman of the University of California says that learning to teach someone else makes you learn better than if you learned to take an examination.⁵
This means that you actually gain more knowledge with others, and you get to improve what you’re already good at.
With this in mind, you will also be able to improve your mental health and achieve a more positive outlook.
Find your sole purpose by practicing gratitude.
Gratitude practice doesn’t end when you reach your success story. It should only make the way you view the kindness of the world much better. You will eventually get to where you want to be, and you’ll be alright.
WE CAN HELP YOU FIND A CULTURE FIT.
ODG presents contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire technology opportunities for those looking to make a change. We can assist you in finding your next opportunity, so that you can grow surrounded by authentic relationships and supportive culture.
1 Mark C. Perna. “Why More Young People Are Exploring Jobs That Connect To A Greater Purpose”. https://www.forbes.com/sites/markcperna/2023/03/28/why-more-young-people-are-exploring-jobs-that-connect-to-a-greater-purpose/?sh=24a5966c5266 . Published last March 28, 2023. Accessed last March 30, 2023.
2 Tiffany Sauber Millacci, Ph.D. “What is Gratitude and Why Is It So Important?”. https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-appreciation/#what-is-the-gratitude . Published last February 28, 2017. Accessed last March 30, 2023.
3 Heidi Grant. “The Key to Choosing the Right Career”. https://hbr.org/2013/04/the-key-to-choosing-the-right . Published last April 8, 2013. Accessed last March 30, 2023.
4 Mindful Staff. “What is Mindfulness?”. https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/ . Published last July 8, 2022. Accessed last March 31, 2023.
5 “What are the health benefits of being social?”. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321019 . Accessed last March 31, 2023.