Each turn of the calendar to January has always brought to me a renewed energy, excitement and focus. Unlike my daughter who laments taking down the Christmas decorations and while I love having them fill our home with warmth, joy and tradition, I look forward to the tree going to the curb as it signifies the beginning of a New Year! Each January represents a new slate. An opportunity to learn from our less than stellar decisions and to be intentional about our focus for what lies ahead.
In my 50 plus years of life, I can only recall thinking boldly when I allow myself the quiet space for reflection—to actually “think!” After recently reading an article on Inc. entitled, “How One Word Can Change Your Life in 2016,” I asked myself: “What do I need (vs what do I want)? What’s in my way? And what needs to go?” This article explains how a single word creates more lasting change than a dozen New Year’s resolutions.
Ask Yourself, What Do I Need Vs. What Do I Want?
To find your powerful word of focus for 2016, ask yourself “what do you need?” Be careful not to confuse it with “what do you want?” As I reflected on what I need to really thrive, the answer became apparent almost immediately. To thrive, I need to feel a connection. A connection to people, my family, my team, my fellow board members and to my community. Everywhere I go, places where I choose to invest my time, will only be personally fulfilling and successful if I feel a connection. A connection is enhanced or maybe even defined, by being engaged. It’s not about just “showing up,” for me it’s about full-on participation! Life is too precious NOT to participate.
To get more of what we need, the article challenges us to identify “what gets in our way?” and “what needs to go?” The “busy-ness” that I have for too long accepted as a requirement (and maybe also a badge of honor) becomes an excuse as to why I can’t spend quality time—the time to deepen a relationship—with those I respect, admire and love.
Over the next few days, I will be creating the white space to give myself permission and encouragement to let go of what is getting in my way of the one thing that makes me feel authentic and really thrive.
In 2016, I encourage you to also focus on what is getting in your way of thriving and to commit to letting it go!