Are you excited to begin a new decade?
While I often point out how completely arbitrary our calendar is, I must admit it serves its purpose. The new year is a great time to remember to check in with yourself and frame the coming revolution. Plus, it’s kind of cool to have lived in 5 different decades, I guess.
The No-Resolution Resolution
Time for my annual rant about how resolutions don’t work for most people.
I’ll sum it up: Think of Dave Chapel as Rick James, but instead of your couch, he’s on your resolutions…
More seriously, here is a behavioral science take on why resolutions don’t work, and what to do instead. Here’s another, more recent and more career focused take on why you should ditch new year’s resolutions.
But just because this one popular ritual isn’t worth participating in, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the changing of the calendar as a useful milestone. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take an intentional approach to improving your self and the world you live in.
My Three Words
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to motivation, organization, or anything nearly as personal as manifesting your ideal reality. My approach includes choosing three words to help guide me throughout the year. I stole this idea from Chris Brogan, who’s been doing it for over a decade, and continues to recommend it.
For 2020, my three words are:
So let’s dig in and find out why I chose these words, this year…
If you’ve been following along, you know that consistency was one of my three words for 2019. I’m carrying it over into 2020 because I didn’t get my daily routine fully locked in yet. I’m working on a practice I call “the five R’s.” Basically I want to run, rest (meditate), read, write, and relax (creatively) every day. I feel better when I do these things. I’m more productive when I do these things. So my plan is to make this daily routine a priority until it is an automatic habit. In 2020 I will ruthlessly protect the time I need to make this happen.
In one sense, communication is a bit of a carry on from last year as well. After all, isn’t communication essentially a combination of learning and teaching? Of listening and speaking? Of coming to an understanding through the mutual exchange of information?
Beyond its constituent parts, I’m perhaps even more interested in its results and outcomes. As I get older, and perhaps wiser, people continue to become more and more important to me. Gone are the days of hacking away at a keyboard alone in the dark. Now my relationships are as much of an asset, and source of joy, as my own knowledge and accomplishments. And so I want to really focus on building those relationships this year, through ever more effective communication.
Stay with me. I know that lifestyle may seem a bit different than the words above. It may even feel a little gauche to talk about in this post-Robin-Leach, Instagram-model-filled world we find ourselves in today. And yes, I’ve become accustomed to a pretty fantastic lifestyle. So then why is this one of my three words for 2020?
It’s all about intentionality.
My current lifestyle is a bit of an accident. When my oldest son was born, almost 18 years ago now, his mother and my combined income was below the poverty level. For the next decade I worked, night and day, to make a little bit more. I wanted to be able to afford diapers and gas and food. My mission was to make enough money that I could stop worrying about money. I succeeded. My family and I have everything we need. We’ve moved up Maslow’s hierarchy a bit. Now, instead of “can we eat,” we get to ask “what do we want to eat.”
These are new choices. Choices I didn’t have to make for the first three quarters of my life or more. And so, now, I want to take maximum advantage of the opportunities available to me. To make work part of my life, not all of it. To actively choose where and how I want to live. And who I want to spend my time with. This year I will intentionally and mindfully craft and curate the lifestyle I truly want to lead.
Annual Goals, 2020 Edition
This is the part of the post that gets a little personal, or perhaps pedantic. But, there’s nothing like publicly posting my goals to light a fire under my ass. It raises the bar on accountability, and keeps me from cheating.
While there is not really meant to be goals attached to my three words, I do what I want, and this year it made sense to group my goals loosely around my words. Let’s take a look:
- Run 1000+ km
- Read 50+ books
- Meditate 365+ times
- Publish 25+ works (blogs, talks, papers)
- Help make Myriad360 the best at what we do
- Read 10+ books on communication, coaching, or human nature
- Save X dollars
- Take a trip over 3 weeks long (nomad, not vacation)
2020: Bring It On!
Alright, that’s all I’ve got… Go choose your own words, and let me know what they are – maybe we can find a way to work together in 2020!