We’ve hit the time in January when I usually get mad at myself for failing at my resolutions.

Last year I joined an amazing gym. The problem? It was so amazing I had trouble keeping up. I’m just not very… bootcampy. That not-so-insightful epiphany came to me while face down halfway through burpee that I couldn’t get up from.

I finally decided to take a break and try for a new goal, walking most days of the week, even if it was just for 5 or 10 minutes. The pace? Well, the turtle is my spirit animal. 🙂 Slowly but steadily, I managed that goal, I’m happy to say.

Words, Not Resolutions

This year, I’m borrowing a page from someone I admire, Jim Peacock of Peak Careers. Jim does online trainings for career coaches that help me tune up my skills and maintain continuing-ed requirements for my coaching certification. He chooses 3 words for the year to keep him inspired. This year I’m trying this approach. Thanks, Jim!

Why words? Because they guide and inspire, and they seem to grow more from me than the outside culture. I’m highly conscious these days of how the media seeps into how I think of myself, especially as a woman, a mom, and a business owner. It can be tempting to feel like I’m less than perfect in so many ways, to compare myself to all the perfection on Facebook and Instagram and find myself lacking. The process of choosing words feels more intuitive than setting a resolution, more about growth, less about fixing my faults.

So without further ado, my 3 words:

Gratitude

I’m outright stealing this one from Jim, because I was struggling with the same issue that he was. I wanted a word that inspired me to think positively even while being bombarded by tough issues in the news, but words like “laughter” didn’t feel right. I’m troubled by what’s going on in the world, but I don’t want to be troubled to the point that I feel helpless, or overwhelmed. Gratitude, that strikes a cord.

I’m thankful for the clients who find their way to me, many through referrals. I’m also thankful for the colleagues that inspire me, like Jim. These are people that are out there doing great work, trying new things, and also taking time to give back.

I’m also grateful for the little things. Time with my family, great writing, even television series that remind me of the beauty of our planet (I’m addicted to Blue Planet II on Netflix. Great rafts of otters? Octopuses on the hunt? Sign me up!)  Seriously, I think that one of the greatest ways to counter the news these days is to listen to Sir David Attenborough tell an anecdote about puffer fish. Just sayin.

Share

I’m an introvert, and a pretty strong one at that when I sit down to do the Myers-Briggs. There are literally times when I think I’ve said something out loud and my husband has to ask what’s going on because I’ve jumped ahead in the conversation and never verbalized what I was thinking. So I want to share what I’m thinking more often, with more people, when it seems appropriate.

I’ve also been struggling with social media this past year. I know I need to be “out there” as a business owner, but nothing feels right. Facebook has angered me for several reasons. YouTube? I love it as a tool, but make a video? I just… can’t. I know I should. I know. But I have stage-fright. The only videos my poor dad has of me in track in field are of me taking a dive over the hurdles. So I’d like to tackle that somehow.

But blogs and writing aren’t dead. I can share on this blog about myself, my musings, and what I struggle with. Because my philosophy as a coach isn’t to give advice, it’s to coach others through a process that helps them listen to themselves.

I’m especially enjoying incorporating my listening skills with writing resumes. I’ve been excited to talk with clients, elicit stories about their work, and share with them a new way of writing out those stories as accomplishments in their resumes.

I also want to continue sharing resources I collect with you. I love learning about new books, ideas, or approaches on pivoting in your career, and sometimes I feel like I have to have something impressive to say before I post about them. But really, I need to just pass along what I’m seeing so it can help you in your career, maybe not perfectly. Just get the word out.

Focus

I’m scattered, people! I feel like I need to cultivate the ability to focus again. I’ve been reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. Ironically, I put it down because I get distracted, but I always come back to it. In so many ways, this goes along with sharing more.

Some steps I’d like to take on this include rebooting a meditation practice that I’ve let slide. I’m mostly a 15-minutes a day kind of meditator, but that 15 minutes really matters. I’d also like to block out sometime to read nonfiction books, not just articles and blog posts, and to journal more about my work and life.

And maybe, someday, this could lead to my own longer piece of writing. I’d like to write my own book on career transitions. But first, some more blog posts. And who knows, maybe a video down the line.

What do you think about the idea of choosing 3 words? What would you choose?