Every year, I pick out a focus word. A word that governs various aspects of my life that year in lieu of resolutions. My previous words have been focus (2009), discipline (2010), growth (2011), nurture (2012), surrender (2013), challenge (2014), connect (2015), strength (2016), self-care (2017), and evolve (2018).
On choosing my focus word for 2019….
Last year left no time to fully breathe and was pretty much a day-to-day affair of trying to keep my head above very good waters. Especially as a business owner and independent consultant/freelancer, 2018 was a remarkable year.
But something went off-kilter very quickly. I had no time to re-calibrate each time my internal scale banked largely to one side or the other.
If you’ve read my book, LAGOM (now up to 18 different language editions!), you’ll know what I mean. In a nutshell, it’s a way of reducing stress within your individual control so you live in a more balanced, more effortless way.
So by November, stress had slowly crept back in over the months and my body doesn’t handle stress well, no matter how dedicated I am.
So my focus word for 2019 is to…SIMPLIFY.
It’s really that simple (pun intended!).
Now, don’t let this word fool you… It doesn’t mean I’m scaling back from my career. On the contrary, it means I will be delegating even more and doubling my virtual team from four people (myself included) to about eight or so.
By simplifying, it means I will be focusing on the creative things I love to do which are:
- writing (currently working on two book projects)
- expanding my photography
- practicing my guitar
- reading my never-ending stack of physical books
- taking more fun courses and creative workshops (I’m taking Karen Walrond’s create.2019!)
- nudging my Swedish further along to complete fluency (currently plateaued at advanced)
- developing solid routines (on my travels and at home too)
- mentoring others along their own paths too.
This means focusing on the core creative strengths which helped open up this world to me. With more freed up time, I might be able to dust off my easel, and pull out those oils and brushes again… who knows.
By simplifying, I will farm out even more of those administrative and daily management tasks to a few select people I fully trust to join my team.
I refuse to hustle for the sake of hustling just to appear relevant.
This will also mean more “no“s to projects and collaborations that on the surface might seem amazing, but quickly turn into quicksand and have absolutely nothing to do with my personal brand or values. I refuse to hustle for the sake of hustling just to appear relevant. There has to be a solid and meaningful purpose to every collaboration or project I take on.
By simplifying what I need to be focusing on, I will free up more time so I can continue to grow in strength – both personally and professionally.