Each January for the last few years, I’ve taken on Chris Brogan‘s invitation to set three words as a focus for the year.
Chris says this about his process:
“Every year, at the beginning of the year, choose 3 words that have personal meaning to you that you will use as guideposts for your chosen path forward in the coming year. Make the words such that they influence your choice of actions, encourage you to decide in favour of your goals, and guide you towards lasting results that you want to experience throughout the year.”
So, after a few days of tossing around words that might be a good fit for me, over the weekend I determined my three words.
I didn’t mean for all three words to start (as you’ll see below) with the letter H, but hey, that’s fine with me.
I’m really comfortable and excited to have these words be what guides my actions and results this year.
Conscious, deliberately chosen habits are an amazing secret weapon to living a life you love.
In this great book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg argues that the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success are understanding how habits work.
Gretchen Rubin’s book Better than Before – Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives is another great book that I highly recommend.
I already have a few habits that really support me.
Except for that period between Christmas and the second week of January and when I’m on vacation, my food and exercise habits support me in having the energy and the vitality that I want and need to live my life and to feel good.
Having just come off two weeks of breaking my good food/exercise habits, I realise how quickly I can start to feel yuck again and so I’ve now returned to what I know works best for me. For me, it’s a paleo diet and regular weight/functional movement training.
Over many years, I have also developed some good study/learning habits. I’m reading/listening/attending on a very regular basis. Knowledge is one of my highest values and I’m happiest when learning or teaching.
The habits that I’m looking to develop in 2018 are better sleeping and relaxation habits because when I have big work projects on, or I’ve stuffed my weekend full of social commitments, I can fall into cycles of not sleeping enough.
What happens inevitably is that I lose my mojo for what I’m working on, I’m not as nice to be around ;-), and I start to resent commitments that I’ve made.
The other habit that I got into in 2017 that I’ll continue is running at least once a week. This is not only good for me physically, but it is GREAT for me mentally to get out on the road on my own.
As an advocate for, and recipient of, abundance in my life (good health, great friends and family, travel, a lovely home, beautiful customers, a business and life that I love), it surprised me when this word came to mind as a focus for this year.
Havingness is our ability to have what we ask for and say that we want in our lives.
To explain, as I was pondering why havingness was popping into my head, a good friend, Jayne Johnson, sent me an article about just this topic.
Here’s what she said:
“What you achieve is determined by your Acceptance Levels.
What are Acceptance Levels? Simply whatever you are WILLING to RECEIVE, to ACCEPT, to HAVE, in any particular area of your Life.
It is easy to talk about what you want, but you must be wholeheartedly WILLING TO RECEIVE… otherwise the tendency is to PUSH IT AWAY.
WHY? Because sometimes it’s only part of us that’s willing to receive, and another part doesn’t believe we deserve it. That INTERNAL BATTLE BLOCKS US from having what we truly want.”
Boom! I got it.
As we raise and expand the game we want to play on the planet, the impact we want to have, so too do we need to raise our havingness level to be able to really move into that new way of being.
Here at HerBusiness and in my personal life, I DO have plans of expanding my game this year, so it made sense why this word popped up.
I’m kind of excited about really embodying this principle more this year.
I’m usually happy. I have people around me who make me laugh.
I can laugh at myself (most of the time ;-)), I do what I love every day… so why choose happiness as a focus?
I find that sometimes when I have my eye on a really important goal, I can be so laser-focused that I forget to enjoy the journey on the way to the goal.
So, this word as one of my three words is simply a reminder to ‘smell the roses’ a little more.
And to choose happiness, deliberately. That is, to check be present to how I’m feeling and to take the actions that move me to feeling happy — doing more of what I love with those I love, when I want to.
When I reflected on the three words I’d chosen I realised that Happiness is also the result of the other two words, Habits and Havingness.
When I’m living habits that support me, I feel happy.
When I connect with the gratitude I feel for what I have (the havingness level I’m at at any time), I feel happy.
So where to from here?
I’ll create a graphic of the three words and stick it upon my pinboard at the office and at home. It’ll stay there for the year, a gentle reminder of three things that I want more of in 2018.
If you’d like to do the process and get some ideas for words, be sure to read Chris Brogan’s article.
And, here’s to a fantastic 2018.