I can’t help but get a little nostalgic, sentimental, philosophical – whatever you want to call it – this time of year. I think that’s normal, right? Don’t you find yourself in serious reflection mode, thinking back to all the things you got right – and maybe even some of those things you got not-so-right – over this past year?
I totally do. And, without fail, I also find myself promising the coming year will be the best one yet, resolving to fill 2017 with bigger goals, greater aspirations, and stronger intentions. So far, I’ve been right on. Each year gets better and better (knock on ALL of the wood).
I think about what I want this next year to look like, and I have to believe I’m not the only one painting a picture that looks something like mine. For solidarity’s sake, let’s paint this picture together. Whaddya say? Are you up for committing to these three intentions with me?
Intention #1 for 2017: Making (and being happy with) steady progress.
When I reflect on my mindset throughout 2016, one feeling that rises to the surface is disappointment. Not serious disappointment, but twinges of disappointment nonetheless. I think I’ve maybe been listening to one too many podcasts about self-made millionaires and ignoring the parts where they talk about real life and how hard they actually struggled to get to where they are.
I’ve heard every successful entrepreneur say over and over again that the notion of an overnight success is completely ridiculous. Even so, I somehow still expected (ok fine, expect) it to be easy. I am a smart, capable woman. Build it and they shall come – that’s a thing, right? (Wrong.)
What I learned this year is that having the qualities it takes to be successful is just one (itty bitty) part of the formula. The other, bigger, more important part of that formula is leveraging those qualities to create success. If you want to be successful, you have to use your best qualities and grow your worst. You have to use those qualities and push yourself harder than you have ever before.
Intention #2 for 2017: Living in and for the Present.
This is a big year. Not only does 2017 have some serious potential professionally speaking, it’s also the year I get to make the biggest promise of my whole entire life and marry my favorite human.
Fiancé Ben proposed last September, and I remember thinking then that two years was AN ETERNITY in engagement years. But here we are, over a year later, and I can’t believe how close September 9th feels.
I’m guilty of falling into a silly little trap. Instead of focusing on the purpose, the point, and the present, I’ve allowed wedding planning to morph into another monstrous to-do list. I’m going to fight that urge these next 9 months, though. Focused on the here and now, I’m going to do my best to soak up every second of planning this day, good, bad, ugly, for better and for worse.
I like to think I’ll be successful in applying this practice to other aspects of my life too. Personally, professionally, and everywhere in between, let’s try not to take any of the moments 2017 throws our way for granted, shall we?
Intention #3 for 2017: Creating room for ‘Yes’.
I think this one’s most important. If you decide to jump on just one of these intention bandwagons, please oh please pick this one.
When I reflect on 2016 – or even 2015, 2010, or any year before, in between, or after – the very best moments have stemmed from a simple ‘Yes’. My biggest growth spurts have happened in that awkward space that sits just outside my comfort zone. My very favorite moments and the successes I’m most proud of have happened when I’ve pushed myself to the edge of where I thought my ability to say ‘Yes’ ended. Here’s to doing more of that.
This year, I resolve to make room for more yesses. I’ll be quicker to see possibilities and slower to jump to nay-saying conclusions. Open to new experiences, and closed to judging people, places, or situations at face value.
What do you think? What do you think could happen if you join me in making 2017 the year of ‘Yes’?