I never thought I’d be the one saying this – I’m not setting any goals this year. I know. I’m just as shocked as you are. I usually do quite the opposite. I unintentionally set way too many goals to accomplish in one year. I simply can’t prioritize and save some things for later. Instead, I feel like I need to do all the things by yesterday. Not setting any firm goals for 2017 feels pretty foreign.
I’ve thought a lot about what my word for 2017 should be. Choosing one little word for the year can be an impactful exercise. I agree that it can also feel a little silly. Nonetheless, having a specific concept to meditate on for the year can certainly help to steer your mindset.
The concept of setting a guiding word for the year isn’t new. Several inspirational and successful people that I follow use this technique every year. I thought long and hard about it last year and really wanted to commit. It just seemed nearly impossible for me. I really work best on more of a short term schedule. I talked a bit about struggling with the idea and attempted to set monthly words instead of yearly in 2014.
As 2016 rolled in, I thought about it again. I saw everyone else choosing words and having custom jewelry made and I wanted to do that too. Honestly, I just couldn’t quite understand why a goal-setting fanatic like myself couldn’t pick a silly word. Again, I do better with just a few options…not the entire English language. Then it dawned on me, I have sort of chosen a word without realizing it. If you read my ramble about looking ahead to 2016, you may have picked up on one line that really stood out to me.
I’m going to be courageous.
I touched on the topic of courage earlier in 2015, and as 2016 approached, I began preparing myself to exhibit the most courage yet. I knew that the new year was going to bring with it a lot of big changes, big decisions, and hopefully, big rewards. I knew that to be successful in any of the endeavors I was approaching, I’d have to have courage. In addition to needing the courage to make big, bold moves in business, I also began really wanting to be more courageous within my personal life. On New Years Day, I starting thinking about the desire I’ve had recently to be unapologetic about showing my true self. I started to regret not having factored that into my goals for the year. (Leave it to me to have some regret over yearly goals on the first day of the year!) Then it hit me….I just needed to focus on having courage. I already have the doodle from this post as my screensaver on my phone. I’ve already been wanting to be more courageous. I need to really focus on that this year.
Here are a few of the ways in which I’ll be practicing having courage in 2016:
- I’m going to be doing big things with my business. At the start of 2016, I will have two full time, health-insured individuals on my team…plus myself. I am committing to bringing in enough money to support myself and two additional people. That’s so frightening. I’ve weighed the pros and the cons, the risks and the rewards, until there can’t be anything else to consider. The next step is having the courage to jump.
- I want to be more vulnerable. One of my most well-developed skills is the ability to protect myself. I’m almost like a ninja of my own defenses. I can throw a guard up like a professional and I do so often. This usually means that I give off a different perception of myself than what’s really real. I’ve used this tactic as a defense mechanism for many, many years and I feel that it’s going to be a tough habit to break. Rather than putting up such a tough and unwavering front, I’d like to show my sensitive and vulnerable side a bit more. I’ve realized that this protection mechanism is there. The next step is having the courage to let my guard down.
- I want to worry less about what other people think. I do and say things often keep other people happy or to not offend anyone. I heavily monitor my public image. I act and behave a certain way in mixed company and it’s usually only my closest friends that get to see me in my true form. I am very careful of what’s posted on social media. You won’t see rants about politics (and probably still won’t) or a photo of me having a glass of wine. I’ve always monitored these things very closely for the fear of what other people would say or think. At 30, I’m really ready to move past that. I will undoubtedly always care what people think. However, I want to feel more comfortable with who I’ve decided to be and more importantly, with the fact that some people may just not like it or agree. I’ve decided that I want this freedom. The next step is having the courage to actually let loose.
In thinking through these things, it seems as if I have unintentionally set a “one little word” for the year – courageous. Without realizing it, I identified an area or concept that I really felt I needed to work on. I can’t promise that I’ll stick with it, or even that courage will prevail when the opportunity arises. However, I am willing to admit that I need to work on it. And for now, I’m committing to focusing on this powerful word for the year. Hopefully, by the time we wrap up 2016, I’ll have realized the magnitude of my own courage, much like the lion in the Wizard of Oz. I suppose I’m starting down my own yellow brick road this year. The journey will likely be as important as the arrival, and I hope to become a better, more courageous lion by year end.
I simply cannot believe January is over already. January is my birthday month, so I’m always a little sad to see it go. They say that time passes more quickly as you get older. If that’s the case, I dread to see how fast it goes later in life! Nonetheless, I’ll stop complaining and welcome February with open arms. As a matter of fact, I’m planning to make the most of this month!
When 2014 rolled around, I tried really hard to pick “one little word” to live by this year. One of my favorite bloggers has been choosing a word for a couple of years now, and I thought it would be a fun exercise. I made a list of options but I just couldn’t commit to one. I’ve learned over the years that asking me to commit to something firmly for a long period of time is just not good idea. I can’t do it. My husband is probably quite nervous about that, but he hides it well. Actually, when we were shopping for wedding rings, I asked him if we could buy another one later if I decided I didn’t like the one we bought anymore. I had such anxiety about committing to one ring that I’d wear every day for the rest of my life. For the record, I absolutely love the ring he bought me and I can’t imagine ever wearing a different one. Funny how that happens, huh?
As I was reading this post the other day, I had the idea to have “one little word” each month. This way, I wouldn’t have to commit to one word for the whole year, and I could tailor each month’s word to fit my goals or needs for that month. With February upon us, I thought this would be the perfect time to start.
For February, my one little word will be DETERMINED.
I am determined to be productive this month. I plan to push ferociously harder towards my goals this month. I plan to use these 28 short days to make serious headway in my plans, so as to set myself up for success this year.
I am determined to let myself breathe this month. I plan to end each day feeling accomplished and proud of my work. I plan to remind myself to relax every evening and to only say nice things to myself. It’s time to cut myself a little slack.
I am determined to block out the negative this month. All too often, I let the negative actions and attitudes of others bring me down. This month, I plan to tune out any and all things that threaten my positivity. There’s no room for negativity in this beautiful life, and I’m putting my foot down this month.
As I prepare for the month of February, I’m excited about being serious about this journey. I’m excited about setting goals for myself both personally and professionally. I’m excited about taking control of my life and steering it in the direction I want it to go. I am also excited that you’ll want to follow along with my journey.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Petrus.