I love the reflection that naturally falls around the turn of a new calendar year. Fresh start, clean slate, endless possibilities. I’m not much of a past perspective person but the end of a year brings hindsight to the forefront for me. Maybe it’s the improver that is so deeply rooted in me but looking back on areas I excelled, fell short in and want to keep building on is so important to me. It gives me a sense of direction and focus for the new year.
There are two things I’ve started doing the past 10 years that help the reflection and goal setting process. First, I pick a few of the following areas of focus: personal growth, health, family, professional, spiritual, financial, community, relationships, etc.. Once I pick 3-4 areas I want to prioritize in the new year, I break down a few goals or ‘bucket list’ items in each category. For example, in personal growth this year I want to read a book a month, take a pottery class and establish a better morning routine. I want to focus on things that add energy into my daily life and that get me excited to incorporate. If energy doesn’t flow there for you, pick a different category to focus on. Once you’ve complied your list for 2020, be sure to attach timelines and then post it where you can see it each day.
The second thing I love to do is let a word be my lens for the new year. Many of my friends do this and we’ve found our process to be very similar. We all agree, we don’t choose the word, the word chooses you. It requires you to get quiet and take some time for you. Generally, it doesn’t take long and a word rises to the surface that you never would have landed on on your own. The word seems to move you in a way you might not have expected. I’ve had words I’ve wanted to choose for myself in years past but they never seem to feel right, they fell flat. Through prayer, quiet and reflection a word chooses me and aligns the year ahead.
In years past I’ve had words like intentional, expectant, discipline or delight set the tone for my year. Each year the reason I think the word chooses me is far from the actual way the word showed up for the year. The word takes you on a journey of self discovery that you could never have predicted. I thought ‘delight’ chose me in 2019 as a way to live out each moment big and small. A reminder that the big stuff is really the little stuff and to delight in each day as it unfolds. That while learning this new version of me I should delight in the process no matter how far out of my comfort zone I would find myself.
While that all remained true, I had a significant shift half way through 2019 of losing my job. ‘Delight’ was there to remind me that there is no circumstance or transition that delight still can’t be found. That the things that bring me true delight are not found in any worldly things or processions but in my people and experiences. ‘Delight’ led me to the discovery and launch of ‘Win the Day Productions’ which is a combination of all things that bring me ‘delight’: self discovery, improvement, speaking, writing, creating. Had my life not shifted so drastically 6 months ago I would have never found myself here writing this very post.
My word that chose me for 2020?
I laughed when the word showed up. Me? A single mom of two busy kids, running a house hold and starting a new business, rest?! Good one, God.
But upon further reflection, rest is exactly what this overcommitted, overtired, overrun, overthinking person needs. I need to allow myself space to slow down, time to think and moments to recharge. I need to let go of the to do list and be where my feet are. I need to not judge my days by the items crossed off my to do list but by the way my heart feels while my heads hits the pillow at night. I need to rest in who God created me to be and who I’m in the process of becoming. I need to rest in my path and the process even though it looks different that I thought it would and different that everyone else’s story.
What is your word for 2020? Do you already have one? I’d love to hear it! If you don’t have a word yet, take some time to get quiet before the new year and let the silence bring you exactly what you need.