A new year means different things to different people. Some make resolutions, some set goals, some create vision boards, and some choose a single word to inspire them throughout the year. Getting a glimpse into others’ aspirations for the new year through social media and blogs can be quite interesting, and even inspire us as we contemplate our own.
My accountability partner through the Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Group has been tremendously helpful in terms of keeping me on track since we began working together in 2012. Between that and the fantastic task management system I adopted last year, I didn’t feel a need to set formal goals for 2014. I was, however, intrigued by the “one word” strategy mentioned by Nicky Kriel, Lisa Montanaro, and Elaine Shannon, among others.
Linda Samuels recently asked me, With the arrival of the New Year, what do you want more of and less of to create your desired balance? Here’s what I said:
I believe that more planning will be the key to balance for me in the new year. Deciding in advance how I’ll spend a particular block of work time will make me more productive and profitable, and I’ll experience less guilt from not focusing on my priorities. Similarly, by planning my leisure time, I’ll face less frustration because instead of simply frittering those hours away, I’ll be filling them with pleasurable activities, which will bring me more enjoyment and fulfillment.
My answer basically summed up my overall vision for the year, and helped me to choose my one word: MAXIMIZE.
I’m excited, because it applies to so many things in my personal life as well as my business. Maximizing my time and energy, and by that I mean focusing them on what’s most important on any given day, can’t help but lead to increased health and happiness.
Now, when faced with a decision of what to do next, or whether to do something at all, I can just ask myself whether or not it will maximize some aspect of my life. If that sounds selfish, keep in mind that being able to help others by giving of my time or donating money to causes I believe in can be just as satisfying as reading a good book or doing something else that I personally enjoy.
If you’re interested in learning more about the “one word” approach, you may wish to check out the My One Word website, which was created to help people shift from New Year’s Resolutions to a simpler and more effective process. The writings of Michael Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen (the authors of the website and book of the same title) are based on their Christian beliefs, but I don’t believe you need to be a practicing Christian, or follow any religion at all for that matter, to adopt this system.
I would love to know how you approach a new year, especially with regards to your business. Feel free to share your resolutions, goals, vision, or your “one word” in the comments.