I am a goals girl. I believe in the importance of goals to guide me. Without writing anything I lose my way. Things pull me into so many directions between work, home, businesses, and family that it is easy for me to go into scatterbrain mode. I miss deadlines. I forget to respond to emails. Folks take it real personal if they text me and I do not answer. It costs me money if I miss deadlines for my day job or one of my businesses. This is why I do a my three words or some other activity at the top of the year.
I have to be uber organized to keep everything afloat. I have a spreadsheet for bills that include our house, current debt including my student loans and expenses related to our college student. I also keep a to-do list of activities I am responsible for my new business. My paper tracking mostly is a bullet journal-esque type format that allows me to check off tasks once completed. My electronic tracking is my iPhone calendar that syncs to my Google Calendar and my work Office365 calendar.
Without my tools, my life is OUT OF CONTROL. I cannot meet any goals when my life is out of control. Simply put: I fail to make progress in any area of my life when I wing it.
That is why each year I spend time during the first week trying to prioritize my commitments for the year. This includes looking at our family debt-free goals and expanding streams of income to make said goals happen faster. Another key thing for my yearly planning is making sure I have released any activities that are weighing me down. You know what I’m talking about. Those ‘yeses’ you said out of guilt or obligation. Given my life, I do not have the luxury of giving shallow yeses or what I call ‘life clutter.’ My yes must be in alignment with my soul…and my goals. Anything that deviates from those two things has to come off my to-do list.
Last year I did a remarkable job of getting rid of my life clutter. My paper clutter was the smallest it has been in…EVER. I spent Summer 2015 getting control of my inbox. I have a system that works so every day I end with zero unread messages. Waking up on January 1, 2016, was amazing simply because I didn’t have 5,000 unread emails staring me down. So, instead of spending hours filing, shredding and sorting emails on January 1st, this year I was able to actually sit down, pray, reflect and come up with my guiding words for 2016.
Thanks to Chris Brogan I had a guide to help me with my words. Each word means something special to how I want to live out my life in 2016.
Intention – I want everything I do this year to be with clear intentions. I don’t want to be in reactive mode all year. I want to be thoughtful and for my actions to have a purpose. Every relationship I pursue for work, business and with my family will be on purpose. Any effort I put in will be genuine.
Press – As a church girl, I use the word ‘press’ as a synonym for ‘persist.’ This year I want to press through things I do not like. I will press through things that are difficult. I want to press through emotions that make me want to shut down.
Connect – In 2016 I want to connect with the people in my life in very intentional ways. I do not want to be distracted in my relationships. I want to be fully present. I want to press through difficult times in very meaningful — intentional — ways.
My three words are connected and yet stand on their own. They will be good guideposts for the journeys this year will bring.
I am excited about 2016. The older I get the more ‘ready’ I am to face my life. Honestly, each year of my life gets better and better. That does not mean my life is free of challenges but that I am better prepared to face every situation that comes my way. Each year is better because I am better. The maturity that comes with aging has helped me see all the possibilities of life. I am grateful to still be in the game of life so I show up ready to win.
This weekend I will be working on my vision board and actionable goals that will be rooted in these three words. Stay tuned…
Cheers to an amazing 2016!
My theme song for 2016 is Intentional by Travis Greene.