Guaranteeing a Certain Kind of Year

Guaranteeing(ˌɡerənˈtē) a Certain Kind(kīnd) of Year

By Steve Pavlina

One thing I love about interesting commitments is that they can guarantee that I’ll have a certain kind of year.

This requires that I pick a commitment that’s close to 100% under my direct control, so there are no significant risky(ˈriskē) external points of failure.

This year I guaranteed that I’d do a lot of writing by committing to publishing something new on my blog every day of the year. I guaranteed that it would be a year of high internal reflection and high creative output. I guaranteed that I’d do the equivalent(əˈkwiv(ə)lənt) of writing several books through the medium(ˈmēdēəm) of blogging. These are just the surface aspects(ˈaspekt) of the commitment though.

It’s one thing to look ahead to another year with goals and intentions. But goals and intentions don’t guarantee that you’ll actually have a different kind of year. Truly committing yourself to the action side is very different than defining some results you’d like to see and hoping for the best. Goals are great, but setting a goal guarantees nothing.

I’ve noticed that something shifts within me when I make a commitment that I take seriously. There’s a moment where the weight of what I’m going to do sinks in because I actually believe and expect that I’m really going to do it. I don’t have to hope for a certain kind of year. It feels like it’s a done deal before it starts. Instead of optimism(ˈäptəˌmizəm), I feel certainty.