We are at the point of the year where new year resolutions have been long forgotten. The issue could lie in the fact that the goal was never clarified and thus we never give ourselves the permission to pivot and modify our goals.
It’s A Process
As a researcher, this is seen evidently when navigating the research process. It is a process filled with so many frustrations, deliberations and doubts, that if one isn’t careful, it’ll have you questioning your intellect and ability!
Scientific research is all about objectively observing a phenomenon to measure the impact or interactions between various parts (also known as variables). But, at the same time a key part of some research is that we are guided by an assumption known as a hypothesis. This is a point we are hoping to prove and the ‘process’ is the means to an end of gathering the required evidence or data.
What do you do when your hypothesis is contrary to what you are observing? Is your whole research null and void? Depending on your field, it may be easier to change some things and simply report your observation and give possible explanations for it.
So, how do we apply this principle to our lives?
There are several times in life when we must give ourselves the opportunity to pivot and re-think some steps.
Things will not always go our way or how we envision things would initially be. It could be that we are working on assumptions that haven’t been verified by reputable sources or even tested before. No one has ever encountered the year 2023 before. We are all new at this game. Therefore, we must learn to offer ourselves grace and navigate the year and our goals accordingly.
This is no excuse to slack off and throw our goals out of the window. Rather, it is a charge that if the past 59 days in the year has not reaped the fruits of your labor or you might be getting tired of trying the same method without seeing any results.
Take heart, this could be your sign to pivot.
Do not be held captive by the end goal, but rather understand that the journey and the process is what refines your character and your research project. The lessons learnt along the way as well as the knowledge and wisdom gleaned through trial and error systems will help strengthen you in the end.
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If we stick to the analogy of a research project, it can be very daunting at first to approach the whole process. But when we break it down into sections it becomes easier to manage.
That might be the ideal way to approach your goals this year also. Breaking things down into manageable sections and sectioning of the year into quarters. Assigning different goals to different parts of the year means that we effectively stream our energy and effort. We avoid burnout and tiredness. Rather we can approach things with a new burst of energy and with fresh eyes.
In conclusion, be okay with pivoting. We must learn to feed what serves us best and sometimes be willing to let go of the goals that may no longer serve the complete image of who we are trying to be.
In research, we focus on gathering data that will help answer the specific research question. We don’t bother ourselves with what other projects might be doing or what is currently trending. As long as it doesn’t serve the question we have in mind, then we let go. This is the same with us. We must learn to let go of those goals and habits that no longer serve us. We focus our attention on becoming the best version of ourselves.
We keep on keeping on.
If that requires pivoting, we need to give ourselves the permission and authority to do just that.
Have a great month of March.
I hope everyone marches forth into greatness!
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This post was previously published on medium.com.
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