Hey loves. Happy New Year. It's New Years Day as I write this. I have just come home from a few hours at the beach, walking, swimming, releasing, setting intentions. I stayed home last night. Dropped my 16 year old at his friends for a party (a 'gatho' in teenage…
New Year Love Note #2: Declare
Welcome to the second week of January. Yes it’s about that time. Time to get real, in a not too scary way, about what you truly want to focus on this year.
If you saw my New Year Love Note #1, you will have read all about surrendering into the flow of life, and giving up the driving and striving that can send you just a little bit mad (not to mention stressed, anxious and over it).
I had lots of emails and comments on social media reporting how much that article resonated, and I’m so pleased that it did. When we surrender, we feel a great sense of relief. A feeling of release. Of letting go of the burden of having to figure it all out and know how it all ends. Thank goodness right?
So stay with that, and re-read that love note as many times as you need to. Perhaps just post the word Surrender on your vision board or in your note pad.
I write this Love Note #2 while on vacay with my family in Byron, and I want to share some thoughts about the second step in setting your year up for success: How you declare what is most meaningful to you this year. Just like surrendering is important for your peace of mind, declaration is one of the most critical paths to intent, clarity and focus.
I want to keep this super simple, and also let you know that this is how I think about and plan my own year.
Here is the golden rule:
Pick three things.
Yes, you heard that right: Pick three things.
Now before you break out in a cold sweat and start screaming expletives at the screen, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean that you will only get three things done all year. It doesn’t mean that you have to let go of all those dreams and visions you have for yourself. And it absolutely does not mean that you can’t stay with this theme of surrender.
What it does mean though is this: You have set an intention. You have gotten clarity on what the most important themes are for your year. You have declared what is important. And you have made a declaration on what you will focus on first and foremost.
If you’re wondering what on earth declaring your top three things would look like, here are some examples from friends and clients:
#1 Enhance my relationships
#2 More vacation time
#3 Start my Masters degree
#1 Write my book
#2 Fall in love
#3 Get fit and healthy
#1 Move house
#2 Get a promotion
#3 Try to get pregnant
You get the picture. They are big themes, but they are also pretty specific.
How does this impact your year? Well, if you have ‘Enhance my relationships” as #1, then the decisions you make, the way you plan your schedule, the amount of time you spend at work versus with friends/family etc will all be impacted by declaring this priority.
If you declare that ‘Fall in love” is a priority, then you will make time to go to places where you could meet a potential partner. You will say yes to invitations that perhaps open up a new social crowd. You will go out instead of staying home on Saturday night. You will say yes to dinner parties and gatherings. You will engage!
And if you declare “get fit and healthy” as a core theme, well, this one is pretty obvious. You will schedule in exercise. You will make buying healthy food and time to cook it and prepare in advance a priority. You will do whatever it takes, over and above other things you say yes to, to do these things first.
My personal declarations for 2017
Keeping it real and open as always, here are what mine currently look like. As I wrote above, I am still on holidays so these may morph a little, but from where I sit now, my top there are (drum roll please….)!
#1 Love and relationships
#2 Financial abundance
#3 Fun, fun, fun
Now I know it can be hard to get it down to three, and you may find it the same. There are plenty of other things I can have on this list. Creativity could be number one for sure. But I feel like I have that in flow, as it was such a focus for me last year. I have just released book number two, Lead Like A Woman; I am working on book three which will come out this year, and already planning book four; I am writing regularly for my blog and other publications and painting more, taking photographs and other creative pursuits. So it is absolutely a focus for me, but it is part of my daily rituals and life, so doesn’t need to be called out as such.
Whereas Love and Relationships needs some focus in my life. I have an amazing circle of friends, and the best family a girl could hope for, not to mention the best kid in the world. Whilst the kid gets the best of my attention always, and is my first and last priority every day, my family and friends can get pushed behind my love for work and writing, which I can easily get lost in for 12+ hours a day, because, you know, I love it! So making a date for family dinners once a fortnight with my folks, girls nights once a month, and saying YES to invites with other friends instead of making excuses, is all at the top of my list this year. Oh, and a little thing like starting to date again (that’s a whole other story……), but it’s up there.
Financial abundance will guide my decisions on how much of my business time I spend on billable work, as they say in consulting terms – client work, speaking gigs, coaching clients, program delivery, consulting – as apposed to business and creative development – writing, program development, brand extensions etc. I will still do those things. But whereas in 2016 I was heavily invested in building a new business and writing a new book to support it (Lead Like A Woman), this year I will absolutely write and develop and create, but I will spend much more time ‘out there’ doing the client work I love. Last year I developed. This year I will deliver. And I will save, not spend, so that I can make some heavy inroads into financial security (and those pesky mortgage payments!).
And then there is fun. It wasn’t enough to put it once on my list. I have to have it three times for me to really GET IT. Now don’t get me wrong, I have fun. I live a joyous life filled with light and love. It’s just that this year I want FUN to be the guiding principle and decision making criteria for most of what I do. When I was doing my business planning with Sam (my Operations Manager) in December, we went through the long list of commitments I already had made for this year (speaking gigs, programs we will roll out, content development, coaching programs etc) and did a check point on how many of those made the FUN list. We were pleasantly surprised that the majority of them did. But there were some that got the ‘hell yeah’ fun check. We have created space for more of those opportunities to come in. And lots of space for personal fun – in fact, I am going to be writing the ’25 fun things I want to do this year’ list whilst I am on holidays, and I will add to it throughout the year as things come up. Fun. Priority. Awesome.
Is this starting to make sense?
So there you have it. Declare. Your top 3. And then surrender to the journey of how they will unfold.
Your turn! Time to take action.
And if you need more help in working out what they are, then there is still time to join my intimate See What’s Possible full day retreat in Sydney on January 21st. You will also receive the first two modules from my signature program The Career Toolkit, on life vision and purpose, which are invaluable for ensuring you are creating the life you really want to live this year. Speaking of fun, this is one of those ‘Hell Yeah’ events. I’d love for you to join me.
Next week I will share New Year Love Note #3 – you will have to wait for what it is, so stay tuned!
Good luck with your declarations, and as always, thanks for being here.