I've never succeeded with new year resolutions. Ever. I used to set major new year resolutions every year and every year, without fail, I'd have forgotten every resolution by spring. I still think giving some thought to the years behind and ahead is valuable but I do it differently now.
Starting in 2014, I chose just two words that I would concentrate on all year. Those two words were my yardstick for everything I did. Meaning, my actions were not only determined by the two words, but I was continuously making sure that my actions were aligned with them.
My two words for 2014 were focus and hustle. I knew that if I was going to get my business off the ground and make a living, I couldn't be idle. I needed to work my ass off to make it work. I couldn't be distracted with ideas of what I could do. I needed to focus on what I was doing.
2014 was a big year for me, both personally and in business. I started a web design/development business and have been fortunate that I've been booked in advance fairly consistently ever since. I transitioned from working with a team of people at a corporate job to working for and with myself as a solopreneur. My husband and I sold our house and moved to a new city for his job. - Pretty easy to do since I can work from anywhere now!
And every step of the way, I was concentrating on my two words - Focus & hustle. I think concentrating on just two words instead of verbose new year resolutions was a major influence on my actions throughout the entire year. I've reached goals that I wouldn't have if I weren't as focused.
Since two words worked so well in 2014, I've decided to do the same for 2015. I've given a lot of thought to what my 2015 words should be. I should take a step back and explain that my yearly words are based on goals. So when I'm thinking about what my words should be, I'm really thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2015.
My words for 2015 are focus and thrive.
Focus - Yep, I'm keeping this word top of mind for another year. I'll admit it, I have "Shiny Object Syndrome." I often get distracted by ideas. I could stay very busy jumping on my own idea bandwagons, because every idea seems brilliant at first. But in the end, I don't really accomplish anything when I'm so scattered.
By keeping "focus" as one of my words for 2015, I'm reminded that I already have a business, a vision and a plan. I need to stay the course and only develop ideas when they're perfectly aligned. "Focus" also helps me remember that everything I do within my business is either in support of my main business goals or it's not. If an action isn't in support of my main business goals, then I shouldn't be doing it. And sometimes, it's not that I shouldn't be doing it at all. I just shouldn't be doing it right now.
Thrive -I love the Kaiser Permanente thrive commercials. Kaiser writes, "to thrive is to achieve total health: mind, body and spirit." The dictionary mentions things like success and growth, to flourish. I'm including it all.
As we enter our second year in business, I'm ready to focus on growth rather than the start-up phase. I spent 2014 laying the foundation so now the building really begins. I have some pretty exciting plans to further help small business owners reach their audiences online. (Of course, "focus" is playing a big part in these plans too)
To thrive isn't only about my business. I spent a lot of time in 2014 slouched over a computer. When I actually stepped away to move, I felt so much better. I struggle with balance. I love what I do so I want to work but I need to remember to step away or thriving isn't possible for me. I'm fortunate to live in an area with a lot of natural beauty. My husband and I love to bike and hike so I plan to do more of that in 2015.
To me, "thrive" means more than moving my body though. It means being present and really taking it all in. To enjoy whatever it is I'm doing and to fully experience life.
Sounds good, right? I won't do it perfectly. That's not the point. When you have New Year resolutions, it's pretty easy to look at things as pass or fail, but with yearly words, it's all subjective. That works for me! How about you? Do you have focus words for 2015 or are you into new year resolutions?
Wishing you all the best in 2015!