For the past several years, I have followed the Chris Brogan method of new year vision-setting. Instead of resolutions, I choose three defining words for the coming year. I’ve found it really helps me to focus on what’s important. Three defining words can’t be “broken” like new year’s resolutions. They are more concrete.
In 2015 my three words were Moment, Movement and Mindful. How did I do? Well, some days were better than others. I’ve definitely gotten better at taking each moment, each experience as it comes. Am I perfect at it? No, but I don’t think anyone is. I did move my body more, working out at the gym on a semi-regular basis. I didn’t meet my weight loss goals but I certainly learned the value of exercise, and how much better being active is for my mental and physical state. And finally, I worked hard on mindfulness. Being prone to suffering from anxiety and depression, I’ve had to work hard at keeping tabs on my mental state from day to day. Developing a mindfulness practice has definitely helped with that. Sometimes it means meditation, sometimes it means just sitting back and taking a few deep breaths, and getting centred in the moment. Overall, I think 2015 was a success from a 3 words standpoint.
That brings us to 2016, and my three guiding words for this year.
Planning. No more flying willy-nilly into my life. I’m going to work harder to keep my schedule from getting out of control (read: say “no” more), and I’m going to make an effort to plan the things that are important to keeping life flowing smoothly – planning mine and my husband’s meals every week, doing the grocery shopping once a week based on a list – those are seemingly small things but they add up to something big when you consider the impact on our health, our busy lives and our pocketbooks. Work-wise I’ll be spending more time looking at the big picture of what needs to get done, keeping my task lists in check and looking forward.
Direct. This word means so many different things, and that’s precisely why I like it. This year I intend to be more direct about the things in my life. This means being more direct with friends and colleagues (i.e. don’t beat around the bush), but also it means directing my life more, instead of life directing me. That means making decisions about who and what I choose to spend my time on, eliminating distractions and dramatic things and people, and taking control of the things I can control.
Discipline. This is a big one, because it’s something I’ve always struggled with. I’m 45 years old and terribly out of shape. I need to develop the discipline to fix this. That means every day, waking up and making the decision to do something towards that. I also need to develop the discipline to stick to my budget, work within the hours I designate, and nurture the relationships that are most important. It’s not going to be easy, this discipline thing. But I’m ready.
There you have it – my guide to 2016. I’d love to hear your three words, or your one word, or your intention for the year.
Happy New Year.