I’ve spoken about this before: every year I select three words to guide my actions for the new year. Last year’s set (hustle, ownership, introspection) largely drove my decision to go full-time with my business. Putting together my words for 2020 was more challenging than previous years. At one point I had a list of almost 15 words. But I had a hard time finding a combination that felt right and encompassed everything I wanted. It took a while, but I finally decided upon the three words for this year. Scroll down to see my three focus words for new year 2020, and how they’ve shaped this first month.
Focus Words for New Year 2020:
VISION: the act or power of imagination
Hopefully you’re not yet sick of the “20/20 vision” puns, because I couldn’t help myself on this one!
If I’m being honest, I know where I want to take my business this year and beyond, but sometimes it feels terrifying to dream big. It feels so much easier and safer to think about what’s realistic. But where’s the fun in that?
The problem with having a realist’s mindset (versus a dreamer’s mentality) is that you’re limiting yourself in what you can achieve. If success is a self-fulfilling prophecy, by limiting the beliefs of what you’re capable of you’re creating a ceiling for your achievements. In December I finished reading You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, which pushed me to embrace the power of manifestation.
In 2020 I’m committing to dreaming big and identifying the smaller steps I can take to implement those ideas.
INTENTION: an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result
Building off of VISION, I’m committed to improving the ways I approach my day-to-day to work and live more efficiently and purposefully. The first few months of my self-employed journey I found myself often sitting at my computer ready to work, only to ask myself, “okay now what?” I’d trudge through a few tasks each day without a clear direction. As a result I never felt like I was getting enough done.
During a breakout session at Showit United 2019, I learned about Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for completion.” So over the last month, I’ve built the habit of waking up at 5:30 am to start my day, and have built out a daily schedule broken into 30-minute increments to ensure I set limits on tasks to be completed and know what’s coming up next any point in the day. Going through the workday with this intentionality has ramped up my productivity like nothing else.
This sense of focused attention is also something I am continuously working on in my personal life as well. Working from home lends itself to allowing work to creep into “non-work” hours. This year I’m making more of an effort to set boundaries and create office hours. This will ensure that I can enjoy meaningful interactions with the people around me without the pull of work.
COMMUNITY: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals
One of the best hacks for cultivating success is surrounding yourself with other like-minded individuals. This is something I am really committing to this year. As a solo-preneur who works from home, it’s really easy to stay burrowed in my little studio and feel alone. I’m making it a point to reach out and build up my network of vendors and creative friends.
One of the most exciting things that has happened in these first few weeks of the new year is being selected the new leader of my local Tuesdays Together chapter of The Rising Tide Society. If you’re not familiar with Rising Tide Society, it is a community built to empower creatives and small business owners to do what they love. I’m excited to use this new role to promote “community over competition” in Ventura and build meaningful connections.