A few years ago, I made a new year’s resolution. Probably the only resolution I actually remember (the others, like most other new year’s resolutions faded almost as soon as the holiday season was over). I resolved to stop making new year’s resolutions. It just felt pointless and inane to have to wait for the beginning of a new year to make a change or to set out to do something–and what for? Dramatic effect? If there was a bad behaviour or habit that I figured I should change, should I really be waiting for that arbitrary date to make it climactic? That being said, I am someone who maps out future plans, lists goals and keeps a never-ending bucket list.
Toward the end of 2013, I found myself struggling to make a personal mantra (inspired by a really good book I picked up over the holidays, Making Good). A battle cry of sorts, if you will, for when we’re faced with a difficult situation and we need to find strength from within ourselves. The first draft of my mantra went something like: “Be honest, be brave, be kind.” I wasn’t convinced. It didn’t feel powerful enough. It didn’t feel enough. So i continued to work on it: writing down short phrases and keywords. The list of words grew from a sticky note to two sticky notes to a page on my planner to a few scattered pages. I edited, tinkered, and re-edited. Then, I decided to put it aside until I get another “Eureka!” moment.
That Eureka! moment came through reading wanderrgirl’s Go-Getter’s Guide to Effective Goal-Setting–which I strongly urge you to check out. The idea is to choose a word or theme to guide your whole year; similar to choosing power words or this Happiness Resolution by Gretchen Rubin. So I gave my mantra notes another look and it finally came to me. There was one central theme from which everything else branches out of: BRAVE. The adjective, the noun and the verb.
I want to brave the future. I wish to be brave enough to be kind, be honest, be patient, be intentional, be humble. I hope to be brave enough to try, to start and to potentially fail. I want to be brave enough to listen. I want to be brave enough to sometimes be wrong. I want to bravely take strides away from my comfort zone and give myself the opportunity to do different things. I want to be brave enough to be. I want to be brave.
By now you might be wondering what this has to do with having an awesome year. Well, more than a century and a half ago, Louis Pasteur said that “[…] chance favours only the prepared mind.” Discoveries, new opportunities, moments of insightfulness, great ideas and epiphanies may present itself at any moment and to just about anyone, but it takes preparation to recognize the opportunity and know what to do with that moment when it does strike. Preparation through a word, a theme, a mantra or a some sort of rough plan to guide you with what you want to accomplish and where you hope to be. That, I think is one of the keys to having an awesome year.
however, if you find that this isn’t enough to keep your year awesome, try watching this video from the Kid President. It might inspire you with a few ideas.
What are you focusing on this year? Has it been going great so far?