Last year, I didn't make a new years resolution. Due to having years of failed resolutions behind me, I don't like making them because they are generally too specific, or too easy to throw out the window when something goes awry. The part that I do like about the new year is the renewed sense of energy and feeling of a clean slate that is inherent with the flip of the calendar year. That being said, I'm a firm believer that every day is a new day to make fresh changes. The anytime reset button is such a powerful, and underutilized tool.
That being said, I did want to make a conscious effort to think long and hard about what it is that I want – not just for this upcoming year, but for my life. Thinking beyond weight or size or athletic ability. Beyond career goals or accolades. Beyond wealth or material possessions.
The past year has been bumpy for me mentally, mostly because of the things happening to me physically. When looking back at it now (even though I'm still in the midst of it), I can see that there are a lot of lessons that are going to stick with me forever. I realized that I not only need to continue making changes physically so I can be healthier, I also need to change things mentally so the physical changes can occur. I can't continue to operate my mind and body on overdrive all the time and live a balanced, healthy, happy life. It's like I've been working to construct a concrete wall and then working like hell to bust it down.
Every year, blogger Chris Brogan challenges people to come up with their three words for the new year. These words should go beyond one-sided resolutions, and become the driver of actions over the entire year. I wanted to share with you my 3 words:
- Simplify. This was the first thing to come to mind when thinking about what I really need to do moving forward to help calm my Type A, overachieving personality. I overthink, and in the process, can make things 100 times harder on myself. In business school, I became a master of making grand plans with lots of detail and infinite ways to execute the plans to achieve the results I wanted. In some cases, that's great to do, but most of the time, it creates complexity when there simply isn't any to be had. With every project, goal, or interaction I have this year, I want to simplify. You don't always have to have a detailed roadmap to get you going in the general direction of your dreams.
- Produce. This word is general and can be applied in so many different ways (which is why I love this “three words” concept). Overall, I want to be productive. It's as simple as that! Some examples of this could be: I want to continue producing content people like to read. I want to produce good work. I want to produce successful projects. I want to produce results in my health efforts. I want to produce opportunities for others to succeed.
- Delight. I haven't ever felt like a child. Even when I was young, I had an overwhelming sense of responsibility and don't ever remember just being wild and free. I felt I had to act a certain way and couldn't say certain things. When I was 12, I had babysitting jobs because parents though I was so responsible and much older than I was. I watched some home movies recently where my sister and I were opening Christmas presents and she had such carefree joy in the experience, and I looked like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I didn't want her to cut herself using the scissors my mom handed over to cut the bow. I said the same cursory “thank you” to each gift, whereas her joy (or displeasure) was always transparent. Somewhere in time, being responsible turned in to meant not having fun. In the word “delight,” I want to spend more time with people who make me happy, and have experiences that are joyful. This doesn't mean I'm going to run out and start seeking adventure. For example, last night I posted this on Facebook: “For a split second I wondered if it was lame that I'm staying at home this New Years Eve writing and looking at pretty things on Pinterest. Then I realized that it didn't matter if it was lame – it makes me happy as a clam! Cheers!”
I got this pretty new 2012 planner and inside each week, I've got my 3 words written. They are also now on my phone and laptop wallpaper. With these 3 words in hand, I know 2012 is going to be great.
Think about your three words for 2012, and look for my next post which will give you a place to share them, and perhaps win something!