My Direction in 2017
If you are a YFFL newsletter subscriber, you know that my December newsletter described how and why I came up with my word for 2017: clarity.
Clarity by definition means clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.
My need for clarity in 2017 stems from my lack thereof in 2016…. And if you read the newsletter this month (sign up here if you’d like to start receiving these) you have all of the hairy details of how and why I lost my direction in 2016.
This year my resolution process started with defining my desire for an overall direction for the upcoming year and it’s narrowed down into one word.
But in order to make resolutions that I feel are effective, I need to reign myself in from the far sweeping; life altering; I should be doing this, this and this; 2017 is the year I WILL do it all; kind of promises.
Just as I was sitting down to journal about what clarity would look like for me in 2017 and how I was going to get there – I came across this quote:
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
Okay, so I don’t want to change my life per say, but I can buy into the idea that I will see the most impact if I focus on daily habits that will point me in the direction of clarity. With that in mind, I broke my resolutions into 2 focus areas which include 6 daily habits where I can place my focus.
CLARITY OF MIND
In the physical realm, I want to feel clarity of mind – i.e. I want to ensure my body is getting what it needs so that I can physically feel clearness.
Water, water, water! I’ve written about hydration habits. I’ve got the plan. Now I just need to ensure I put it into action daily so that the act of drinking sufficient water for my body becomes a mindless activity.
Movement (and no, this is not a typical “get my ass to the gym” resolution). My main problem is that I use the excuse of having an office job to virtually sit on my ass all day. I have a complete lack of effort to move away from my desk and take sufficient breaks so my body can switch positions for a while. So, the daily habit here is to set a timer on my phone to remind myself to get up and MOVE every 50 minutes. I’m not sure practically how this is going to work when my days are littered with meetings, but you know what, maybe standing up and pacing around in a meeting room is not such a bad thing. This daily habit is intended to get me off my ass at least 10 minutes every hour.
Sleep: I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that I already regularly go to bed before my kids these days, so this next resolution should be manageable – aim for 7.5hours of sleep each night (my sweet spot when I can typically wake up without an alarm and feel rested).
CLARITY OF DIRECTION
These resolutions relate specifically to the part of the definition of clarity where it refers to indistinctness and ambiguity. I hate feeling ambiguous! I want to know where I’m going (and usually how to get there!)
Change up my morning routine: I know it sounds crazy that I still get up at 5am, even when this is not a requirement because I no longer need to be home from walking the dog before my husband leaves for work just for the kids who are old enough to be home alone. I will continue to walk my dog each morning because that is his joy and I love the time outside, listening to podcasts and being in the quiet before the town wakes up. But I’ve made the difficult decision to forgo my morning yoga or fitness video in lieu of spending that second hour on things I want to do for YFFL. This change in routine is to address that lately I’ve been feeling like I’m trying to cram too much into my 2 hours in the morning before needing to jump in the shower and start the less joyous parts of my morning ritual (making lunches and getting me and the kids ready to leave the house). Recently I’ve been doing some administrative tasks for YFFL and then guiltily looking at the clock and doing a quick 15-minute yoga routine or meditation so I can feel that I got my “workout” in for the day. This is really just a lie I’ve been telling myself – so if I’m going to commit this hour each morning to YFFL, why don’t I just do it and let go of the guilt? It truly is the best time of the day to get focused on this passion project. My energy is high and everyone else is still asleep so interruptions are non-existent. Here’s the key…. I NEED to make sure I get off my ass and move more at work if I’m moving a little less in the morning at home. We are about to find out if simple practical movement at the office during the day can replace some light concentrated workout time at home.
Minimize mindless internet surfing. I use my phone A LOT. My ever-important to-do list is on my phone which I reference multiple times a day, my grocery list is on my phone which I add to as soon as I think of something we need, all of my email accounts are linked to my phone which I check regularly when away from my computer. But somewhere along the road of utilizing these practical, technological tools, I also began using the time to get sucked into social media traps…… Facebook, Instagram and even the odd time Twitter. I literally pick up and put down my phone multiple times every hour and this year I want to ensure I use this piece of technology in a more mindful way. So, practically, how do I plan to go about this resolution? For starters, when I’m home with my family on weeknights or weekends, I want to develop the habit of leaving my phone in my purse if possible and aiming for a concentrated period of time to take a look at it and check out the new notifications and see if there’s anything that needs dealt with immediately. Picking up my phone and checking it every time I walk by it on the kitchen counter is a nasty habit that needs to go but is going to be a tough habit to develop parameters for because there’s so much judgement involved. How available do I need to be outside of office hours for work? How often do I need to be available to my kids who may text me when we aren’t together? Ultimately, I need to figure out how to manage all of the useful purposes for my phone without getting sucked down the Facebook vortex.
Get SUPER clear about my mission for YFFL. In 2017 I want to clearly define who YFFL is serving, what exactly the core message I want to share is and how I best show readers the real me via my communications with them so they can see I’m being authentic? All of these basic business brand questions have been thoughts in my head since the get-go of YFFL back in 2015…. but I’m finding if I want to continue to move forward, I need to cement those concepts so my messages can be clear and directed towards a specific individual looking to solve a specific problem. I have lined up some business development tools and coaching that is going to help me with this resolution and it’s going to feel so good to have that roadmap for this “passion project” laid out.
Phew! So, that seems like a lot, right? But I believe I achieved resolutions that are super small, basic habit changes that I can focus on each and every day. The key is to remember that I’ve set these intentions in the first place! So, that means sticky notes on my computer screen, journaling about the resolutions and how they are going, and frequent check ins with my sister who has agreed to be my accountability partner in this mission. The key to success might be the development of these daily habits – but first I have to make sure I’m consciously thinking of them each and every day or there’s little hope the new habit can be developed.
So, what about you? Did you make resolutions for this upcoming year? If you have, what’s your formula for sticking to them until the habit has been developed? How are you going to hold yourself accountable and when are you going to reassess if they were reasonable resolution choices?
There’s plenty of time for a fresh start – it doesn’t just have to happen at the start of a new year! Daily habit changes are easy to recommit to each and every day!