You may have read about my love-hate relationship with New Year's resolutions here. If not, I may have mentioned I'm striving for healthy mind, body, soul. It's interesting how quickly I forgot I said that in that blog post. Maybe that's the reason why we all suck at sticking to our resolutions, we conveniently forget what we even said we were going to do. Or maybe that's just me. Seeing as I started the statement off with, "I guess if I have a resolution...." it wasn't exactly etched into stone anyway.
While my memory briefly left me I figured out what I want to do in 2018, well maybe not exactly what I want to do, but I figured out my approach to this whole journey/transition/thing I'm going through right now.
When I was thinking about what I wanted 2018 to be about I started thinking about implementing this word/theme of the year concept instead of a resolution. But then I felt like a whole year is way too long to be focused on a single word. I like and need novelty and felt I would get bored trying to design an entire year around one concept. Not to mention it seemed like a daunting task to choose a single word to represent 2018 when this year has the potential to be so many different things.
At some point while I was painting the pastel purple guest bedroom walls a clean, sleek seagull grey, I was listening to one of many podcast episodes and heard someone mention the book 12 week year. And there was my "aha" moment!
Forget trying to choose ONE word, I'm choosing FOUR! Instead of a "hard" resolution, I am taking this word of the year concept and putting it on a quarterly cycle. I'm going to tackle this year one quarter at a time with the ultimate goal of bringing a business idea to fruition.
So here are my 4 themes for 2018.
Quarter 1: Creative Exploration
January through March my focus is on learning how to harness my creativity by exploring who I am through activities I feel will get some creative juices flowing. I am someone who very frequently tells myself and others that I don't think I'm that creative. This is my attempt at doing that which will help me believe the opposite is true.
Some activities and interests that I want to dive a little deeper into are art (specifically painting, maybe photography too), cooking, writing, branding, spirituality, yoga, and social and economic justice as it applies to financial literacy and women's empowerment.
This first quarter is also about defining who I am and what I want, playing with my style, developing a personal mission statement and vision for my life, and figuring out the impact I want to have.
If we don't define who we are, the world does it for us. If we don't know what we want, we wander aimlessly hoping to live a decent life. I don't know if many people get this opportunity that I have right now, to just be and explore, so I'd like to take full advantage of it. This first quarter is the important foundational work that I so desperately need to do.
Quarter 2: Cultivate
This quarter is about going beyond the surface and taking it 3 steps further. It's no mistake that Cultivate is the word for the spring season months. The months you see people out tending to their gardens again, planting seeds, watering, fertilizing them, and watching the buds bloom into a colorful oasis where the bees and butterflies can't resist venturing off to. It's the season of scraggly branches becoming full with green leaves that shade us from the hot sun while we sit in the grass drinking a cold glass of lemonade.
Sounds beautiful right? I started to get lost in the imagery myself, but was interrupted when I turned to my right and saw a bare tree and snow covered rooftop. How's that for a reality check?
As I transition into quarter 2 I will reflect on the winter's attempts at exploring my creativity and decide on 2-3 things that I want to dive into full force and really grow and develop. This spring, I'm cultivating mastery if you will.
Quarter 3: Forward
My husband is SO looking forward to this quarter! I swear his 3 new favorite words are action, execute, and accelerate. These 3 words are creeping their way on to the list of words I can't stand, kind of like "moist" for many other people. If that made you cringe, then you know how I feel when my husband starts talking to me like he's a Nike rep...
If my quarter 2 buds bloomed that means I am hitting the gas pedal and moving forward on a business idea. My little seedling is coming to life this summer. I gotta speak it into existence cause right now I'm starting at ground freaking zero.
I want the summer to be about more than just execution though. There is a reason I chose forward and not execute. There are questions that need to be answered as I move into this season. What direction do I want to go? What am I choosing to leave behind and choosing to move toward? What are the things that make me turn around and start backtracking and what do I need to do to keep my eyes fixed on the future and not that which is in the past? Are there people that cannot come with me on this journey? Which habits have me going the wrong way on an escalator, moving but going nowhere?
I hear entrepreneurship is a long, hard, and lonely journey. What do I need and who do I need in my corner when the going gets tough so that I don't turn around, but instead keep moving forward?
Quarter 4: Momentum
Finally, my favorite season has arrived, autumn, and it's all about momentum - pushing forward with the business, getting some wind behind me, achieving small wins, maybe some big ones too, and going at it with everything I've got so 2019 can be a great year too!
Do you have a theme or 4 for 2018? I'd love to hear about it!