2024: Let’s Do This!
As we begin a new year, the time is ripe to start fresh and consider what you need and want to be happy, healthy, and gratified in your life and career. The pressure to pick a new year’s resolution can be stressful. Instead of a singular resolution that is likely to wane in a few months – here are some techniques to infuse into your life to create a meaningful practice that is ongoing and rewarding.
Words are your most powerful communication tool, and you must pay close attention about choosing what you say and how it reflects your lived life. Celebrated authors Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon, wrote the popular book, One Word That Will Change Your Life to show you how to cut through to the core of your intention for the next year by choosing a singular word as your annual theme.
While I honor the authors and their focus on the single word – don’t limit yourself to one. Take the time to reflect on what will impact positive change for you in the short and long term this new year. My 2024 words are: Curiosity, Savor, and Play. My phrase that will help me put these words into practice is, “Life a life of vitality!”
As you ponder what you want the new year to look like, consider the words you choose to live by. These words are a blueprint for you, and signals to others who can be supporters on your journey.
The start of a new year is a proverbial clean slate to set your intentions and give yourself permission to design your future. Own the power of your intentionality and create action steps that will become solid habits over time. A rookie runner would never set out to run a marathon as a first race. Start with small things that are repeatable, stackable, and give you satisfaction for completion.
James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits comes to mind as a framework to improve incrementally every day. Set aside time to focus on what you really want to change or enhance for the positive. Often the whirlwind of the day turns into the chaos of weeks, months, and before you know it, another year has gone by. Reset your daily speed to allow for creative think time to design your life.
Prioritize quiet time – even if only for a few minutes each day to silence the monkey chatter in your brain and consider what would make your life better.
Here are a few questions to seed your reflections:
• What will I do that I previously put off because I was afraid?
• What will I do differently to honor my health and wellbeing?
• How will I bring more fun and play into my life?
• What do I need in my career to thrive?
• Who can I seek out to help me on this journey?
Courage is Fear Walking
Our fear of failure can often be an obstacle to moving forward to make change. I embrace the concept of Brave, Not Perfect, as Reshma Saujani wrote about in her book of the same name and discussed in her TED talk.
“All this perfectionism isn’t making us any happier, and it’s not helping us get ahead. We’re tired, we’re stuck, and we’re so afraid of failure that we don’t take any risks. It’s time to change that. Brave, Not Perfect is about understanding how we got here so we can navigate our way out — identifying our toxic thought processes and then using tactical strategies to rewire ourselves for braver, bolder, better lives.” – Reshma Saujani
Give up trying to be -perfect – it’s stressful and unattainable. Shoot for “good enough to go” and implement Growth Mindset to look at failure, missteps, and mistakes as lessons to learn new things.
Suffering is Optional
In my TEDXWomen talk I spoke about how, “The suckiness is real, but the suffering is optional.” If you are unhappy with aspects of your life or career, you have the power to make changes now. If you are experiencing perpetual red lights on your journey, you may be on the wrong road.
You need not figure this all out alone. Reach out to trusted friends, mentors, or a professional coach to help you design your best life and career.
Brianne Wiest offered a great quote that is worth sharing, “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake. It is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.”
Be specific about designing the life you want to lead – all the time.
Celebrate What You Have
As a future-focused individual, I enjoy planning and considering the art-of-the possible. So much so, that I often miss celebrating what’s going well now. Thus, one of my words for 2024 is to savor things and enjoy the big and the small with all my senses.
Best-selling author, Arthur Miroslav Volf writes about discovering your life’s purpose and he helps us reframe the simplicity of enjoying what we already have.
“Because our entire lives are consumed by striving—striving to be better than somebody else, or, if we are wise, striving to be excellent in some area—we’re never really satisfied. Or we never really come to rest, where we feel that we are good enough and that we have enough. In all our successes, and not just in failures, we remain malcontented.”
Bias to Action
It’s time to give yourself permission to evolve. Stop caring what other people think and focus on what you need and want to live a life of vitality. Moving between who you were, to who you are, and to who you want to be is a journey that takes time and attention.
In the spirit of Design Thinking – do something to move yourself forward. Take that scary first step and then take another step tomorrow. You can change, iterate, and start over at any time. Consider what you want to experiment with and give it a try.
The highest form of self-confidence is believing in your ability to learn. May 2024 be a year that you try new things, learn, discover, and create a roadmap for what you really want out of your life and career. Your time is now!