I work on a school calendar. My year goes from September to June (I think July and August are in there somewhere), therefore when I create goals for myself they are initialized in early September. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. We are halfway through my year by then.
In the past, this word irritated me. It is the number one word that people have used to describe my personality (or some version of it: tenacious, persistent…) and I always felt it carried a negative connotation. I’d connect it to other things people have said to me: “Why are you constantly thinking about that?” or “Why are you so obsessed with (insert anything here)?” or “Just give it up already!” because I didn’t know how to give up. Then I realized…I didn’t know how to give up! I could look at being relentless as negative, or I could turn it into a positive personality trait that would guide me in times where giving up is the easy thing to do. Times when other people might give up. Luckily for me, I don’t do easy. Why? Because I’m relentless.
Jennifer Hogan (a seriously intelligent and kind woman whom I hope to be like one day) posted this quote on Twitter to support her new three word blog post (that you can find here), and I felt it was fitting for the pivot I needed to do in order to rework the definition to be a positive trait:
It’s all about changing my mindset.
My one word this year will guide me in my new career…relentless in creating a new culture within my department which will be more effective in giving teachers and students the tools they need to learn and be innovative thinkers and problem finders. Relentlessness will allow me to come back from failure stronger and smarter than I was prior, and be proud of any gains that I make in the process versus disgusted at not being successful the first time. Hopefully, if I model this trait, others will see the value in it, too.
I will be relentless in my personal life…balancing all of the facets of my family, career, new endeavors, relationships while continuing to try my best to be kind, empathetic, caring and giving. When I’m down and feeling like I’m not good enough for what I am trying to accomplish, relentlessness will move me past that to see what I can do to be better.
I choose to view being relentless as having courage to go on when others won’t, to continue to try to create real change even when it is difficult, and to continue to love, encourage and support others when they don’t see the value in moving forward.