I sat down yesterday to write this blog post and I went about it in my traditional blog writing way…I just started to write. What happened though was quite interesting: after a few paragraphs of me struggling to make sense of what was going on in my head I clicked “Save Draft” and promptly lost 80% of it to the internet. You’d think I would have been upset, but in reality, I was kind of relieved. I knew what I was writing was at best superficial and at worst made me think “How am I approaching 2105?” (obviously to the tone of “I’m Ron Burgundy?”). Taking a step back to reflect on how I want my year to go was actually, exactly what I needed.
You see I’m a sucker for resolutions. I make them every year, including the year I resolved not to make a resolution. I fall into the New Year, New You category and I now accept that. What I’m finding though, year after year, my resolutions don’t stick: I’m not going to watch T.V. during the work week, I’m going to lose 10 lbs., I’m cutting out sugar, I’m going to do something active every day this year. Well, guess what? Without fail, I fail. One of the reasons is because those resolutions are black and white and frankly, written (unintentionally) to fail.
The common talk of the first week of January is about resolutions, so as part of being around people, I’ve had this talk a few times. My first response was “I’m only going to get the small size when I go out to eat.” Read: There will be no more large ice creams in my future. That’s a good one, I thought. But, it didn’t really answer how my life would look at this time next year (perhaps sad at all the ice cream I missed out on #fomo). What I wanted was something more. So I proceeded to write down things I wanted to do:
- Start my day earlier, prepare for the entire day in the morning and have time before starting my work day to read books or work on continuing education.
- Read more at night.
- Practice mindfulness, meditate.
- Create a plan for my business and execute it.
- Simplify my life.
That sounds like a lot, and you’re right – it is a lot. And, that was the thing. This was becoming more of a to-do list vs. the-thing-that-was-going-to-make-2015-different (for lack of a better word). I wanted an energy, a thing of it’s own, a being…a word. You see, a few of the people I follow pick one word for the entire year (I wish I could remember who…I think I should be thanking Jill!). I knew about this concept before looking at everything I wanted 2015 to be and threw it away because how could one word really describe what I wanted to do this year? Well, turns out it was just what I needed.
Part of my brainstorm for this blog (…post the internet eating my draft) was breaking down areas of my life (note: you should try this…a friend mentioned this to me and almost immediately planning became easier) and writing down themes for each life category:
But, none of these words resonated with me. I needed a word that would encompass everything, a word I could look at and be reminded of how I want this year to feel, to look like, to be.
Runners up were Thrive, Blossom, and Evolve; but, flourish made it. This sounds so weird, but I saw the word and knew that was it. Just a feeling, you know?
Flourish (v): grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
To me, this word has meaning – yes, I want to grow and develop, and I definitely want to do those things in a vigorous way. What really got me was the addition of doing those in a favorable environment. In my case, simplifying supports the creation of this favorable environment in which I can attack! my career. Truthfully, if I’m going to succeed, I also need to stay present in my relationships.
I have a house plant that was in the process of dying. (Go with me here…) I water it appropriately, I put it near sunlight and I sometimes talk to it. I even moved it closer to the window so it would get more sun and then all of a sudden things started to go south. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until it came to me one morning as I was pouting over it’s slow death. In my efforts to give it more sun, I placed it close to the cold window. I immediately moved it farther away and now it’s on the mend. My point in telling this story is that the answer was so simple and a small change made a big difference.
Taking small changes will help me Flourish this year. All of those goals I have above (and more written in my journals!) can be accomplished with many small changes. I used to think that a resolution had to be big – it needed to be one life altering change that you did from January 1 and everyday thereafter. It doesn’t have to be that though, all I need to do is take an honest effort to Flourish.