Updated: Mar 11, 2020
Another year, another chance to be something better than before. A chance to strive for even more. To focus on continuous improvement in meaningful and specific ways. And maybe, just maybe, connect with a few of you trying to do the same.
Last year, my New Year's Resolution was to blog weekly - one word per week. I was actually quite surprised that I never missed a Monday posting (my own self-imposed deadline). All 52 words that I chose to write about can be found here if you have any interest in reading last year's work. Some are business-related, some specific to those of us focused on sales as a profession, and a lot of them are just about life and our character, our tenacity, and our ability to keep moving forward in a positive direction.
New Year, New You
About a month ago, I started making notes on what I wanted this year to bring. Did I want to focus on personal development? Professional development? What about my journey with my faith? And what about my family and friends? How would I decide how to spend my efforts in 2020?
2020 New Year's Resolutions (a partial list)
I have eight resolutions written down in my notebook. Four more in my head that I'm thinking about often. Maybe one or two more to contemplate. I will share six of my New Year's Resolutions with you here today.
Trust my instincts
Well over a decade ago, a career coach cautioned me against openly talking about my faith in God at work. I am beyond frustrated with myself for heeding her advice for so many years.
I finally started shaking that horrible guidance after a tragic situation that I quickly determined required immediate prayer - right there in the workplace in the middle of the day with a group of colleagues already gathered. I think about that day a lot. It brought my faith forward. I slowly began to realize that it's okay to show others my faith. It's okay to tell others I intend to pray, and invite them to join me.
I'm not sure if sharing my faith with my colleagues makes me a stronger leader. What I do know is that it brings me a peace and a calm. It helps me bring vulnerability, transparency and realness to work with me each day. It helps me remember we are all just human.
Thankfully, last year's writing project lent itself to me exploring a variety of topics, including openly talking about my faith during an extremely difficult time in our lives.
I have countless examples over the years where I yielded my own instincts over someone else's advice. This might just be my year for course-correcting on this one.
Write 12 posts
On the 20th of every month. At a minimum. Maybe more.
Ideally, I would like to be working on content that is meaningful and timely. Inspiring and motivating. Thought-provoking and contemplative.
Ideas and inspiration have been slow to come. Nothing like the flurry of creativity I experienced when the #52words52weeks idea came to me for last year's writing project.
I've received some constructive coaching over the years with regard to how to better lead teams.
This year I am going to challenge myself to really focus on empowering others - those directly on my team and within a wider reach. From meeting agendas to workload to approval processes. And creating new programming and evaluating new curriculum and experimenting with new ideas. I'm ready to push myself in this arena.
No Social Media for 20 Days
Maybe this one is crazy...or just what I need. After writing about a Think Week last year, I have wondered what it would look like if I took a break from all social medial for 20 days in a row.
The platforms I currently use include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I am on some of them frequently. What would I do with all the time I'd get back? Would I use the spare time to just think, reflect, contemplate, and give myself some downtime? Or would I fill the minutes with something else (meaningful or otherwise)?
Over the years I've turned off my phone for a day, a weekend, even an entire week...but this is something different altogether. And might need some more thought and planning before execution.
If anyone reading this would want to commit to this same resolution - we could pick the same 20-day period.
Try 20 New Recipes
Food is love. And my apron and my kitchen get a lot of use these days.
We used to eat at restaurants frequently as a family. With business travel, business meetings, sports schedules, school events, and the other hundred things that seem to impact our family schedule, it felt like we were frequently in reactive mode with mealtimes. Even on nights we wanted to cook at home, having all the ingredients on hand took planning, time, and a (dreaded) grocery run.
Now, intentionally, we eat at home a lot as a family. This has been a purposeful and intentional change in our schedule and routine. With many changes in logistics to be able to accommodate the shift. Even special occasions like birthdays are now at home - with the person celebrating the birthday requesting a favorite meal to be made.
I find that when I cook for my family, we all spend more time together in the kitchen. Our relationships seem stronger, our playlists longer. And whether it's perception or reality, I feel I am more accessible to our children. Everyone knows where to look for me.
I want my family to feel that I love them through the meals I prepare. The time I've chosen to dedicate to meeting their needs. That they can always bring friends home knowing food will be offered. Maybe even one of the favorites in rotation. Thankfully my husband has several of his own signature dishes, so we are both focused on feeding our family in our journey to create the home life we want.
Trying 20 new recipes in a year might appear to just be a numbers game - but I'm not just trying to complete the task. I'm out to find tried and true recipes from friends, family, colleagues, and the Internet that will elicit responses like, "this is better than any restaurant" and "will you make this for me on my Birthday."
The stakes are high with this one!
Well, I guess you could take this one two different ways. Should I learn to knit or learn to tell a good story? Maybe both?
In all seriousness, two people in as many weeks have suggested I work on my story-telling skills. A book was recommended. A conversation had. And now I'm curious. Telling a good yarn could prove helpful in many situations.
What will it take to improve my ability to tell a good story? How will I practice?
Just like that 2020 is well underway. If you are also working on personal and professional development, I wish you nothing but the best with your own endeavors. To our new and improve selves. And, to all that's ahead of us!