As January flies past like a sports car in the passing lane, how have you laid the groundwork for the year ahead?
I gave up setting traditional goals years ago (here’s why), but I religiously choose a word to represent a theme for the year and set some intentions of how I wish to navigate and experience the year ahead.
This year my word is unfold(ing).
When you compare it to some previous year’s words like invigorate or simplify, it might seem a bit passive or esoteric.
Alas it is not.
As I have tumbled it about in my consciousness, to me it means allowing all the transformation and change that has been marinating for the past year or so to reveal itself. I’m quite fond of the dictionary definitions:
- to bring out of a folded state; spread or open out: Unfold your arms.
- to spread out or lay open to view.
- to reveal or display.
- to reveal or disclose in words, especially by careful or systematic exposition; set forth; explain.
So while I won’t be sitting back twiddling my thumbs waiting for a miracle to reveal itself, what I do know is that I don’t plan on putting up roadblocks (if it doesn’t “look a certain way”) or trying to push the boulder uphill anymore.
It’s time to be a little bolder, take some new risks, and stop farting around (on a few fronts).
Most importantly I must stay firm in my values but flexible in my methods and how things unfold.
If there is one thing I’ve learned with setting intentions for any given year is that sometimes we are “all in” on a particular path only to have life upend all of it. Don’t let any hyped up adrenaline fueled goal-setting guru or methods tell you otherwise. Sometimes the attitude of “make it happen” just simply won’t work. Sometimes despite your best efforts – mentally, physically, and otherwise – sh*t happens.
Last year (2018) was one of those years. Coming off of two very challenging years of health issues and health scares for Kim, we were stoked to have a fresh year. Mother nature had other ideas. Between our house flooding four times (no basement – so the office, main living space, etc.) and being upended for six months by this coupled with injuries (herniated discs, pelvic injuries, overuse injuries) and countless business speed bumps, that fresh upbeat attitude we had in January went into the crapper.
Yes we still had many great adventures and good times, but I wouldn’t choose to repeat the circumstances.
This is where a theme, clear intentions, and unshakable values win every time. Life and chew up and spit out your best laid plans and goals, but it cannot undo you unless you let it.
I’ve been studying the Stoics daily and while there is way too much testosterone in there (it was Roman times for goodness sake) there is a lot of wisdom and mind-training to be gleaned from it. We can control what we can control which amounts mostly to our mindset and that is all.
I invite you to take a moment now that the flurry of the holidays and turn of the calendar is over and ask yourself:
- What is your theme for the year?
- Who do you want to be this year? How do you want to grow?
- How do you plan to live these intentions in your daily life – in your business and personal life?
Without intentional action, not much will change.
In celebration of the New Year, I have a mini coaching/consulting offering that will hit the spot for the right people. If you’re curious, contact me and we can chat more about it, no strings attached.
As my favorite poet Mary Oliver who died this week wrote:
“Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?
What are you going to do with your wild and precious life?”
We’re not getting any younger you or I…so let’s make the most of it!