What does a new year mean to you?
For me, and the obsession I have for words and their impact on our thoughts, it is choosing a new focus provided I am complete with the old. I haven’t had a year yet where the word hasn’t changed or morphed into something more meaningful.
One year, my word was humility. It was a year focused on being humble and grateful. It was a year of learning and opening my mind to things I may have judged harshly in the past. It was awesome.
Last year, my word was trust. I focused on big shifts in my life… and shift it did. I spent most of the year occupationally in flux, unsure, uncertain and very curious with the constant letting go of anxiety in order to fall into flow and trust. I learned that even if I do nothing, meaning not ‘doing’ or ‘being productive’ all the time, I will still be ok. My world will not crash if I am not in constant Warrior mode.
This year, my major word is Simplify. Just like past years, I intend to apply it to all areas of my life. With the help of additional words like Magic, Fluid, and Connection.
Because I love words, I also respect and admire their roots and true meanings. I find it important to find the right word.
Simplify: to make less complicated, clearer, or easier
Yes. I want to make like less complicated in areas I don’t wish to spend time on. I plan on using extraordinary influences (magic), by staying in the flow (fluid) and creating connections to myself that are clearer and easier.
How do I choose my words?
In the beginning it was just my wish from the universe. When I started with humility, I obviously wasn’t looking to be humiliated. I was looking for what I needed to grow. I knew I needed to stay open-minded and humble. So that’s what I focused on.
Then I learned about Danielle LaPorte and “The Desire Map”. This gave me a more solid approach to picking the right words and learning how to best use them in my life. I can figure out how I want to feel. By having the words to focus on all year long, i get to see how it affects each aspect of my life. I can see how humility helped me in personal growth which affected how I interacted with my family and friends. I listened more for bits of wisdom. It changed how I showed up at work and collaborated with others. So I began to think about how I wanted to feel and relate my words back.
Which brings me back to simplify. 2016 brought a lot of change in my life – like geez-might-as-well-start-from-scratch kind of change. So now I am looking at all I have let go of and it got me thinking… if I can manage to let go of major parts of my life, surely I could get rid of things I no longer wanted to carry with me on my journey as well.
So what does this mean?
For me, I try to address all the areas of my life I really want to apply this word, or really this new mission. I will try to find solutions that are simple in every area of my life and cut the excess. I know the following are things I need to focus on, and I also know so many more will occur to me over the next year. It’s so exciting.
Physical things: Something you probably don’t know about me is that I have never lived in a residence for more than 2 years of my life, until my current house. This made the things I owned important and minimal because if they weren’t important, they didn’t make the next move. I didn’t know the true benefit of that until I lived in my current house. We’ve lived here less than 7 years and I have dreams (nightmares) that our attic will one day implode on us. I’m not aiming for strict minimalism, and at the same time, I am considering living in an RV for a year or two, so I’m focusing on being pretty aggressive about it. I’ll be posting about getting rid of stuff along the way and even before and after photos (which I am a little scared to show).
Work: I have been what many have called a multipreneur or multi-passionate. I tried a lot of things trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go in and what types of things I really wanted to be doing. A year of trust and I am more focused now on making life as simple as possible which means for this year, I will focus on online content and writing. I am still the Director of Marketing for Woman Within International, which I love so I will learn to balance these two things rather than a hundred. I’m curious to see how simplifying my work focus impacts how I feel about myself and my work.
Relationships: I crave connection. Sometimes, I crave connection so much it will keep me in friendships and relationships that really don’t serve any of my needs and sometimes even offer mostly negative impacts. I’m looking forward to strengthening connection with those who I trust, and letting go of people who do not support my best interests. It’s difficult sometimes, and it is also freeing. Sometimes all you need is boundaries, sometimes it’s letting go. I’m sure there’s many more ways I will learn how simplifying works within relationships as well. I’m looking forward to learning more.
Media static: After this past year, I have realized the impact that constant 24/7 media can have on my energy, my perspective and my mood. Phew. It is exhausting just being inundated with all the headlines. This year, I am simplifying my social channels and all my apps and feeds to provide only what I need and I will be watching the time I spend on these and making some rules around it. It’s important to know what’s going on around us, and at the same time, we get way too much information thrown at us with dramatic headlines. I’m cutting it out as much as possible – we’ll see what that looks like in a year!
Environment: It’s becoming undeniable that how we use our resources will greatly impact the lives of our future generations. I want to make my routines and resource consumption as environmentally friendly and responsible as possible while still remaining on the simplify path. I’ll be trying out new things and testing what is really feasible for myself and my family. I believe sustainability can also be simple.
Everything else: From how I wake up until my bedroom routine, I will be looking at ways to simplify without taking joy, connection, magic or fluidity away from my life. In fact, my hope is that making life simpler will improve all of those.
Life can be simpler. It just has to be a focus. Here’s to what I will learn in 2017!