I somehow managed to find myself entering 2014 with a completely clean slate. Aside from my apartment lease, I have literally no obligations at the moment. To be fair, I don’t have a steady income either, but that’s a risk/variable I’ve grown strangely comfortable with in the last few years.

The biggest frustration I’ve been battling lately is my lack of personal and professional growth. I feel like I’ve plateaued in some ways. So my mission for 2014 is to address that: to challenge the way I currently solve problems, communicate, think, react, and exist both in my life and in my career.

When I think about the year to come, I have pretty high expectations. I want to look back at myself a year from now any not even recognize the shy, introverted person staring back at me.

Because I’m a list-y person, I’ve come up with a set of guidelines to help push myself outside of my comfort zone:

  1. Do you feel like the dumbest person in the room? No? Find another room.
  2. Does it scare you? Do it anyway.
  3. Are you worried what other people will think? Stop that. Now.
  4. Are past experiences affecting your decisions? Let go.
  5. Are you doing something just because you've always done it? Challenge it before deciding to do it again.
  6. Are you letting your head overpower your heart? Try following your heart this time.

Combined with my goals for 2014, I think the foundation is set for a great year ahead. Now it’s all about execution.

Are there any rules you try to live by? I’d love to hear them!

This post also appears on Medium.