In true New Years fashion, my inbox, Facebook page, and twitter feed suddenly became inundated with the particulars on how to set and keep a resolution. Most of it melded into the din of data I’m flooded with. A LOT of it ended up in my advice-happy spam folder, or in the trash- all but the exception of one. Chris Brogan, a media marketing and PR guru, has an interesting take on making good intentions stick. I was lead to his article and philosophy, My 3 Words for 2011, purely by proximity.
Chris shelves the tradition of making resolutions and instead swaps it for 3 valid words to use as a touchstone to get him where he wants to go. The belief behind focusing on words initially instead of goals, is to allow you to have something to mull over, get you thinking, and make objectives. He uses the SMART (Specific, Measureable, Acheiveable, Realistic, and Timely) to define the actual goals, sound familiar?
Here’s my 3 words that are the backbone of my goals:
In my therapy sessions (yes I go to therapy thank you very much), I have been exploring my yearning to feel safe and stable. My life often feels like it’s water running through a sieve and I can’t hold onto anything solid for any length of time. In trying to get to the bottom of my plight, I discovered actual evidence that I had the ability to nourish and support myself- plug up the holes, so to speak, and it was right in front of my eyes. I’d catch a glimpse of it, which would be eclipsed as quickly as it arrived by my nay-saying gray matter. Betsy, (my AWESOME therapist), suggested that every time I identified an instance where me, myself, and I did the “care taking” effectively, I should write it down and put it in a vase or bowl. This way I could have a tactile method of calculating my abilities. The word Consolidate means- to make something physically stronger and more solid. My first goal in my journey to become more solid, is to make my strengths materialize in a vessel on my desk. Finding a vase or bowl-no problem, I love to shop. Write down my good deeds, cake. I’m a writer.
Ok- who doesn’t need more balance in their life? For me, my need for Equilibrium is specific to my career. I own my own business, which means I’m the head honcho, the big cheese, the boss lady. It also means that if something needs to get done, I’m the one who has to do it. I’m a one woman show, so I am responsible for answering the emails, phone calls, balancing the books, and scheduling the clients. It’s a full time job, and I find myself having difficulty turning off, tuning out, stopping the hamster wheel. Some days I book myself so tightly that I scarcely have a moment to pee, let alone stuff a hurried meal in my pie hole. The madness has to end. My journey to Equilibrium is initiated with two goals. First- I’m setting designated times of the day to check and answer my emails and calls. Otherwise it’s ignore, ignore, ignore, and make room for something else. Secondly, I’ve made up my mind to become a 9-5er. I will designate a quitting time for my day, after which I will be DONE with anything that resembles my “day” job, making room for other things like seeing friends and maybe even my a date night with my lovely boyfriend.
This new year has big changes pending. Although I welcome them, they are still piggy backed by doubtful thinking and restless nights. The definition of being courageous is to not be deterred by danger or pain. Not knowing what’s in store for me makes it so hard for me to move boldly forward, (see my need for Equilibrium above), but, that’s what we ALL must do. No one can see what life has in store for them- we can only pay attention to what’s in the moment. This year I will move ahead with my plan to open my own Pilates studio without being dissuaded by my insecurities. I will write down the steps, and put one foot in front of the other without trepidation (or at least less of it). If my path seems to be going left instead of right I will follow it courageously, with confidence that it’s exactly where I need to go. Physically, I will dare to try new activities like rock climbing, boxing, and tennis. Emotionally I will continue to set free the remaining butterflies in my gut and courageously grow in my relationships with everyone I hold dear, despite my timid tendencies.
Even in re-reading this piece, I am flooded with inspiration instead of desperation. In the old days of resolution setting- I would unknowingly set myself up for failure and disappointment by creating unrealistic page-long expectations for myself. Having three key words to focus on creates hope and possibility. I’m thrilled to see where I’ll go.
Make sure to post your 3 words in the comments below! We want to hear from you!