After reading how Geneva Vanderzeil from A Pair & A Spare enjoys using just one word to define her approach for the year, thought I would talk a little bit more about my word for the year. Similar to Geneva, I have only recently practiced this approach for the last year and a half, but have found it to be helpful, especially during stressful times. If you are as ambitious and as much of a dreamer and a doer as I am, you may run into moments of feeling overwhelmed, questioning if whether there is true value to your work or if you are on the right path to get to where you would like to be. During times like those, I have found that stopping myself and remembering my chosen word has helped calm any anxieties. Last year, my word was DREAM and that is exactly what I did.
During the first half of 2016, I spent a lot of time outside of my day job doing very random things and letting my subconscious guide the way I live without judging or controlling it. Through this approach, I learned the benefits of allowing myself to live in my home without assuming how it should be arranged and what was needed inside of it. I also learned that I did not need to live in a space as big as my previous bungalow (though I miss that fireplace oh so much), which has resulted in my move to a studio that I love with all my heart. Now, with two months of living in the studio, I have an understanding of all the little habits I have when I wake up, when I walk around, when I get ready, when I leave to go out the door, and more, and this knowledge is helping me realize the things I need to make space more functional (the form and figure comes easily for me).
In addition to learning about living in my space, I also learned about how I wanted to contribute to the community in my own creative ways. You may have read about this in a previous editor’s letter. My passion for writing is barely beginning to unfold.
Approaching the year in a thematic approach through a word is doable for anybody because:
- You can create goals that will help your word shine through
- Utilizing a single word serves as the perfect reminder for what you truly want in the year alone and will help you adjust your goals as time passes
- Remembering your word will make achieving goals more rewarding, especially when at the end of the year, you will realize how in sync you were with sticking to a particular theme
- It is insanely easy to remember just one word compared to a thousand goals
For 2017, my word is SCALE and it is most fitting for what is about to come this year. I am an individual who cannot particularly go about without doing something beneficial for the community. I cannot imagine myself sitting idly while there are people making scientific breakthroughs, transforming socio-economic landscapes for women in third world countries and creating artistic masterpieces that shake lives to the core. I want to be a part of a community creating for the masses, and not just consuming. While I am already doing this during my daytime job at a nonprofit consulting firm, I also pursue other creative projects in my spare time. The issue, however, is that there are only so many hours in the day to make all of this happen.
According to my previous schedule prior to relocating offices, I would wake up at 4:30am, commute, workout from 5:20-6:40am, shower and get ready, then work on creative projects from 7:30-9:00am, work my daytime job until 5:30/6:00pm, immediately start working on creative projects until 8/9pm, head home, wind down and be sure I am in bed by 9:30/10pm to do it all over again for five days straight. Weekends were similar (although I did allow myself to slightly sleep in), where I spent about 70-80% of my day working on projects, with no room to actually live and digest.
Frankly I would love to stick to this schedule for as much as I can, but our office relocation has affected how I operate my free time before going in to work so I have had to rethink how I should spend my time. With that in mind, as well as with consideration that I can only do so much in one day before I experience a burnout, I feel that using the word SCALE will help me approach these changes and my projects in a more effective light this year.
In using the word SCALE to guide me this year, I am committing to asking myself the following questions whenever I think about executing ideas:
- In WEIGHING THE OPTIONS, am I willing to give up “spare time” to work on this? Is it worth spending time on this new idea compared to further developing an already existing idea?
- With consideration to all that I am working to accomplish right now, do I truly have the CAPACITY to invest in this new idea?
- In the event that I had an opportunity to REFINE my particular goals right now, does this new idea align with my larger lifelong dreams?
The same concept can be used when asking if I would like to develop a new relationship with another person or add another daily activity into my life, and I feel answering these questions will help better determine how to move forward without adding internal pressure to keep doing more and comparing my success and lifestyle to that of others.
I PROMISE YOU THIS: I only wish that I had more time to post at least daily here on my website, and to share more on social media. I only wish that I had more time to read and write more and do other related things that will fuel the exciting projects I am working on that I cannot wait to share with you.
Hope that the context of why I am choosing the word SCALE as my 2017 word of the year as well as the internal guiding questions help you decide on a term you will use to approach the new year. About the exciting projects I mentioned earlier, hope you are following along on Instagram this week…
Instagram Images: @journeyintolavillelumiere | @livpurvis |@michellewaughny | @wethepeoplestyle