It’s That Time of Year Again….

BY Larissa Vasquez (@lariluv)

This is my favorite time of year and not for the reason many love it. To be honest, trying to find the perfect gift for coworkers I hardly know in a Secret Santa, sisters who say things like “ I’ll take a cheap purse, but make sure it looks expensive,” and those who say “ oh just get me anything!” gives me anxiety. No, this is my favorite time of the year because I get to set new goals or ‘resolutions’ and look back at what I accomplished in the last year. I’ve gotten better at making these goals since I figured out the trick to completing them.

It wasn’t easy. Growing up I thought my family tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight and making a wish on each one was setting a resolution. Needless to say, not many of my “resolutions” came to fruition. I should have known something was not right when my favorite aunt would eat her grapes while carrying an empty suitcase around the block to ensure she’d travel often in the upcoming year. Every year she would do the same thing and every year she never made it further than Brooklyn.

As I got older I created goals that were impossible for me to keep. Such as, swimming across a lake (I can’t swim), driving cross country (I can’t drive), training a puppy to fetch (I’m scared of dogs). I learned to create goals that were more attainable but if I couldn’t succeed then I would give up and forget the resolution all together. That’s when I learned how to make sure I would keep every resolution I set each year.

To make sure I succeeded I had to be able to fail.

The point is not to have the mindset that you will not accomplish what you want. On the contrary, set out to complete every goal on your list with the understanding that it’s alright to stumble. Not completing the goal by a certain date or not seeing the results you want doesn’t mean give up. It means it’s time to reevaluate, think of a different way to get what you want and start over.

I read once that Rose Mcgee, a professional storyteller, started a talk with the following statistic: White male entrepreneurs endure failure at least 11 times in their career. At the writers took the statistic a step further and deduced: But are women and minorities given equal opportunity? Unlikely. Perhaps, being an overachieving Latina and growing up in a Latino neighborhood has something to do with my all or nothing attitude. To be honest, my goals should lead down the path to prosperity but unlike the previously mentioned white male entrepreneurs, I couldn’t see failing over and over as a sign to try again. If I fail, then, not only have I let myself down but also all those who believe in me, my goals and my vision and given naysayers more ammunition.

We are taught that in order to be successful, in order to reach our goals, we have to not only work harder but be as close to perfection as possible. That leaves little room to make mistakes and, to fail? Well, that’s just not an option. I’m convinced we would accomplish more than we imagined if we embraced failure.

Embracing failure means being open to taking risks. This upcoming year, don’t be afraid of coming outside your comfort zone and setting a resolution you may not succeed at the first time. The fact is, that we will hear a sea of a thousand no’s before we hear one yes. But when it comes to next year’s resolutions, I’m here to tell you one is all you need.

Check out: Larissa Vasquez – Females the Crazier Sex?

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  • Sujeiry
    December 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Ah, those grapes at midnight! How about wearing yellow panties because Walter Mercado said so.

    I completely agree with you. Failing repeatedly isn’t something I’m comfortable with. It may be the ‘que diran’ or the pressure to do and be better than past generations. But what I do know is that I’m all about going big or going home. That’s why I was able to finish my book this year. Not publishing Love Trips is not an option.