New Beginning

I love new beginnings. Everything seems possible.

I recently started a new journal. The pages are all crisp and unbent.

One of my favorite things when I was in school was how I had a fresh start with every class every quarter.

The most fun part of starting a new job is the possibilities.

I know we can choose to make a new start on any day, but I love dates that remind me.  My birthday, and the start of the year are my favorites. 

It’s exciting to consider this fresh new year starting this week.  

Happy New Year!

Word of the Year

Intention

I find it odd that I’m so easily able to pick a word for the year that resonates with me.

I first heard about a “word of the year” on the Happier podcast. While I liked the idea, my first thought was that I wouldn’t be able to come up with one that worked for me. But, then I just let it sit for a while and it would occasionally come to mind when I would hear someone say something interesting, or obvious. I’d think “that’s a good word for them for next year”. This morphed to thinking I wanted that word and finally to selecting a word.

This year it wasn’t quite as obvious. I started thinking about it in October. You are probably wondering why that early.

The answer to that requires me to digress.

The first year I came up with my word, I wondered how I could remember it and heard someone had put their word on a bracelet. Bracelets made me think about charms, and charms made me think a necklace would work better. I ordered my word from an Etsy vendor, and loved it. This year will be my third charm.

Back to October.

I dropped my necklace and the charm fell off. I was looking at it and thinking about whether it had been the right word.

My year was not what I had anticipated when i selected the word, but it worked.

So, I started thinking about 2020. I would think I maybe had something and then decide I didn’t like it. This thinking went on the back burner.

I did my 2019 reflection and started considering my goals, and realized there was a common theme of “focus”. Because 2020 makes me think about 20-20 vision, for a while I thought focus was the right word, but something didn’t feel exactly right.

A few days ago I wrote a quick aspirational affirmation in my journal. “I am intentional”. Bam!

It’s aspirational because I’m not. Yet.

But ever since I landed on this, I see how being intentional will help me reach all my disparate 2020 goals.

Perfectionist

I am not a perfectionist. This is what I tell myself now and it gives me gifts of perspective and of time.

There was a time when I told myself I wanted to do things “right”. I would spend hours and hours on a task to make sure that I had everything exactly correct.

I’m also a recovering procrastinator. These are related tendencies.

One of my teachers says we should do B minus work. That’s a passing grade and is acceptable for what most of us do every day. I love this phrase, but when I shared it with one of my co-workers, she interpreted it as being sloppy.

I’m not suggesting that it’s better to be sloppy, but only that perfection is not always required. I’d call sloppiness a D grade.

Just like me, many of my clients discover that by trying to complete tasks perfectly, they are limiting themselves in other ways. They are seen as experts at the details, but are not offered strategic opportunities. Running a big program or team would not come to mind because they haven’t demonstrated those skills.

We will keep ourselves in the weeds so much that we forget the larger objective.

Sometimes it’s because we want to avoid mistakes. More often than not, small mistakes don’t alter the overall accomplishment.

It also allows us to keep doing things that we are super good at and avoid challenging ourselves. If we did take the risk of a new challenge, we wouldn’t be as good at it, and that’s an uncomfortable thought.

Most of us don’t realize how we are limiting ourselves.

Over the years I’ve relaxed, learned how to be OK with good enough, found I can accomplish a lot more, and have more opportunities.

I’ve seen my clients figure this same thing out. You can too.