For many, the end of a year means a break from the daily grind, and mental space for new ideas to emerge. We decompress, revel in excess, and make well-intended promises to ourselves. I will be more organized. Lose weight. Catch that dream I’ve been chasing. Rebuild a bridge compromised by time or incidence.
We often decide what we will put down in the new year – from cheesecake to procrastination – and what we will pick up, like exercise or fiscal discipline. This year, though, I’m personally reflecting on what I will keep. 2016’s relentless drama threatened to rob us of an awful lot, including our belief in each other. Instead of allowing the bumps and bruises inherent in every 12-month span to weaken my resolve, I commit to holding onto a few things. I hope you will join me.
Vision: Something to strive for.
I began 2016 determined to help people lead more courageously and collaboratively. Some of my methods were intentional, and others revealed themselves throughout the year. Having vision is not the same as having a plan. Plans change. Vision provides a clear, compelling, and consistent aspiration while allowing for change. Make time to envision your preferred future, and move toward it. It may not be a direct line, or a swift journey. But keep going, and pay attention to the signs. They’re everywhere.
Self love: I’m not perfect, but I’m valuable.
Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, but I can always find something to improve about myself. It’s my nature to continuously scan for opportunities to make things better, which can be tiring at times. In 2017, let’s celebrate our splendor more than we criticize our shortcomings. Honor what is unique within you, and look for ways to use your gifts for good. A wonderful benefit of being kind to yourself is the ease with which you become more kind to others. Practice being the type of leader you want to be. A good subject to practice on? The follower in you.
Generosity: Become what you give.
While I do think we get what we give, I also believe we become what we give. When I reflect on the people in my life who give love freely and often, I realize they actually personify love to me. Those who are generous with their guidance show up as the epitome of wisdom. If you knew you would become what you give, what would you give more of? Meditate on that. Then begin.
Creativity: Life is what you make it.
In all my years, few forces have impacted my career as meaningfully as creativity. Creativity supersedes practicality, statistics, norms, and perceptions. It can be more powerful than the truth…more potent than history. Pure creativity makes anything possible – even when the most it can do is reframe an existing problem to pave the way for a new solution. Personally, I vow to protect my creativity like the gem it is. That means carving out time to think, and changing the scenery now and then. It means being inspired by others’ art, and collaborating with brilliant people. When all doors appear closed, creativity opens a window…a way to climb through to the other side of whatever might be holding you back.
Faith: Remember to look up.
In the age of bite-sized news and fly-by connecting, it’s easy to lose hope in higher things. Everything is just so…in our faces. We’re too busy looking around for competition, or looking down on others, that we forget to look up. We fail to keep our eyes and hearts focused on what we hope for instead of what we fear. This is a constant battle for countless people. This year seemed especially trying, but thankfully, we get to choose how we spend our time and energy. How we use our words and talents. Whom we uplift, trust, love, and forgive. Every day is a chance to choose again. Choose faithfully.
There you have it. Five things to carry over into 2017. Thank you for sharing 2016’s purpose journey with me. I look forward to more of the same, only better.
Praying the best for you,