Two words. Easy to remember. Easy to live by.
This might be the word nerd in me — after all, as a PR person by trade, I’m a writer at heart! — but each year, I select two words to be my guiding theme for the year. Not so much a resolution, but a focus. To underscore the #WordNerd element, the two words can stand alone, but also have a deeper meaning together.
In 2015, “Priorities. Matter.” were my two words. Without getting into too many details, I’d spent far too long letting other people control too much of my time and making me feel like my feelings — and myself as a whole if I’m being brutally honest — didn’t matter. Enough was enough. As 2014 came to a close, I knew needed to refocus on my priorities while surrounding myself with people who support my priorities and think I (and my feelings!) matter. Looking back on 2015, there were enough ups and downs, but if I assess the year on my ability to live by those two words, I’d call it a success. My child is happy, healthy, smart and loving. My company grew from 9 employees to 19 and the momentum heading into 2016 is inspiring. I also made sure to reconnect and nurture friendships with people who are there to cheer me on, but also there to help hold everything together when it felt like my world was falling apart. I made a concerted effort to spend quality time with my parents, who are the most remarkable support system a person could ask for.
Over the holidays, I read Everything that Remains, by the guys behind TheMinimalists.com. When I finished the book, I hopped on Twitter to recommend it — I loved it that much. As I was scrolling through their tweets, I stopped on this one:
An extraordinary life—a life to be proud of—is a decision.
— The Minimalists (@TheMinimalists) December 25, 2015
For the past six months or so, my Instagram and Twitter bios have included the line “Goal: Live a life you can be proud of.” Hence this tweet really resonated. Living a life you can be proud of is an active decision. It requires intention.
And, that’s how I landed on my two words for 2016:
These two words will serve as a call-to-action and a reminder to be mindful and thoughtful. For me, that manifests in five key ways:
- Be clear and direct.
- Take calculated risks.
- Cultivate health.
- Give and receive love.
- Be intentional with time, money and other resources.
Each month, I want to work on building/strengthening a habit to support one of those five pillars. For example, take a weekly yoga class to complement my at-home practice. I’m intrigued by the idea of eliminating Facebook on my phone — maybe even just on the weekends — so I avoid the temptation to waste time mindlessly scrolling through the feed. We’ll see about that one! 🙂 Additionally, I’ll continue writing nightly in my gratitude journal, plus I’m going to start meditating for 15 minutes, four times a week, and I’d like to read 24 books in 2016.
I want to be proud of my life — like really proud of it. I want my son to be proud to have me as his mom. I want my team to be proud of what we’re building together at Geben and proud of their choice to work for me. I don’t ever want to give my friends or family a reason to be anything but proud of me. But, living a life you can be proud of is only possible if you’re very intentional about how you live your life. When I’m unsure of the next step or find myself at a crossroads, the words “live. intentionally.” will be my guide. So, here’s to a year filled with truly living and living with intention.
Happy New Year to you. May 2016 be your best year yet!