The D Word

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No this is not a blog post using curse words. Let’s talk about discipline. This is rarely the headline of development articles…. words like freedom, passion, entrepreneurship, boss babe, etc. lead the way. Sometimes people will reference someone with great discipline in an area of their life and comment

I just wasn’t made that way. She/he was born with discipline to __________________ fill in the blank.

Truth is discipline is not something you are born with. It is developed over time. Maybe better said, discipline is grit… the willingness to keep doing something even with it’s uncomfortable or difficult.

Discipline is not glamorous or sexy when it comes to our daily habits and lives. Exercise every day for 30 minutes might sound great but the actual doing it is usually not glam. Read 3 books a month sounds super smart but actually doing it doesn’t usually feel better than Netflix. Show genuine and specific appreciation for my spouse or parent or friend is waaaaayyyy awesome but the actual time to do it can be easily replaced with youtube or instagram.

But the beautiful thing about discipline is that it creates beautiful things in life. The actual doing, saying, writing, serving is what leads us to grow and foster new relationships and achieve new business results and sleep more hours and not be bombarded with our phones and…..

The D word is one to embrace and be ok with sometimes not being super showy. Be gritty, my friends. Embrace discipline.

On texting...

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Listening to a podcast this week, it was relief to hear the host say— text messages stress me out. Because I’m there too. It seems as if all communication has migrated to the format. Texting is a great, great tool for quick, non-friction communication. But it feels as if the expectations with follow up are unrealistic and potentially we’ve grown to expect to be able to use this format for more than it was designed to do.

I’ve started to challenge myself to think through sending a text before I do send each one with the following questions:

  1. Is this worth interrupting this person’s day with this information? Few folks have their phones in some sort of silent mode so odds are for most, it’s going to buzz or ding or ping their watch so is this worth that?

  2. Should this be an email instead? Is this non-time sensitive and something that would best serve him/her having it as an archive? Email/facebook message/etc. And I often hear some folks say they don’t check their email any more because it’s #toomuch so another blog post dedicated to that….????….

  3. Can I just not communicate this at all? If it’s not valuable/encouraging/fill in the blank then it’s probably best left to dissipate.

  4. Should I add in a “no need to respond just wanted you to know that” to take the pressure off someone from feeling as if a response was needed?

  5. Can I use a platform like Group Me for ongoing communication that’s like texting but without the instant send and folks can check it on their watch?

  6. If it’s a word of gratitude or appreciation, can I make a call or write a note? Would that enhance my words of gratitude with those formats?

As young professionals, thinking through the kinds and manner in which we communicate can create a competitive edge, a considerate culture, and an overall better way to be in relationship with others. Would love to learn from others who have found ways to do communication, especially texting, better!

Be a good customer

Recently, my family and I took a day trip to Holiday World, a theme park nearby our town. While in their water park, our two year old wanted to carry her own drink and on the way out of the drink station, spilled it all over the ground. She was devestated— she understood the mess part but more so, her independence was at risk. Without skipping a beat, a nearby staff member named William came over and told us that he’d clean up the spill and started refilling her cup, asking what she was drinking. For the rest of the day, my toddler talked about the “nice boy William” who did a very kind thing for her.

I couldn’t wait to send Holiday World customer service a note on this small but big deal moment for us. It reminded me of how I want to be a good customer of places I do business with which then lead me to make a few mental notes of practical ways I want to do this, especially when people like William are on the scene to serve and go above and beyond. Hey young professionals: let’s start now in becoming good customers; what a shift in thinking to become a good customer rather than mindless consumer.

  1. Take note of names: The name of our barista, waiter, check-out guy or gal, sales person, etc. Look at their name tag, say it, and then when William-moments happen, spend the one minute to send a note to their customer service (along with telling William and others in the moment how awesome they are).

  2. Give feedback: As shared above, take the time to share those positive stories of the people and companies who are making our lives better. And if there is feedback for improvement, also share that too— but as a customer who wants to see them improve and become better (not as the ranting, entitled customer…. #theworst). I have never found it impossible to find a customer service contact for any company in the matter of 30 seconds. Best practice: Use the customer service link rather than social media because sometimes feedback gets lost in the mix of the marketing initiatives.

  3. Share their great work or products: Use social media or another form of communication to brag on companies and brands we love as consumers.

Faces and Legacy

This week, the Face App came out and it’s been all the talk in the world of social media. Everywhere you look on IG, there is a post of what we’ll all be looking like in our older years. I totally jumped on board and I will say, my future face isn’t look bright but at least I’ll be married to a handsome, old man.

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Timely in this popularity of an app, my Mamaw (grandmother) passed away this week at the age of 85, almost 86. She had been living in her own house independently, the one she and Papaw built together. She did her own grocery shopping, drove herself to hair appointments, went out on the lake with us, and lived an active and healthy lifestyle in her 80’s. I posted on Facebook thanking our local community in KY for their prayers and acts of kindness while also asking folks to share any sewing stories with us. My Mamaw is a seamstress and has sewn more things for the people in our community than anyone ever before her or anyone to come, I believe. The stories— she has been a part of weddings, proms, beginnings of putting together homes, quilts and pillows made of loved ones clothing that had passed away, graduation gowns, wool and lamb on parades (you needed to have shown livestock to get this). I can’t go to any room in my house without finding something she has made for us. That is hard and beautiful in this season of grief.

We suddenly lost her to a stroke. During our time in UL Hospital with her on that Neuro floor, we saw many people come and go. Some rooms had many family members, others had none. Old and young and mid-aged. Her room barely had standing room and had so many generations present.

In a week obsessed with aging and what we’ll look like, Mamaw’s life showed us what our faces look like mean nothing. I wish we could see our hands because that is what she used the most to leave an influential legacy in our family and in our community. I hope my hands are aged by service to my people and my community likes her are.

Add Value

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If you’re like me, you graduate college hearing frequently that it’s all about the people that you meet and how those relationships can change the trajectory of your life.

Which is so true.

But when this is the sole message, you can often find yourself trapped in the thought of thinking I just need to keep meeting people so they’ll keep changing the trajectory of my life. When I wish the point of emphasis was this— you’re going to meet a whole heck of a lot of people. How are you going to add value in their lives? That should be the thing.

If you’re a recent graduate wanting a job, find a way to add value in the lives of those you want to meet. Get into their worlds, maybe literally but also figuratively, and find a way to make their day, business, life better. And that is exactly how you’ll get a job. That’s exactly how you’ll change the trajectory of your life— by having more focus on adding value than meeting people and reaping some reward.

Look to add value first.

Look up, Chevy

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Every three years, my company sends those of us in the field who drive a lot to a defensive driving course. I can hear some of you saying this in your head— oh boy, aren’t you lucky, with a sarcastic tone. The thing is….I really enjoy this class! We spend a bit of time in classroom but turn right around and go to our vehicles to practice everything we’re taught. And every year I go, I’m reminded of how a course like this is an excellent refresher of a training to experience. (I also like slamming my ABS brakes on after accelerating to 45 mph so there’s that, too.)

Each time, I hear the instructors repeat several things they did three years ago, but that I still need repeated probably more often than every three years. One of which— eyes up, look ahead, don’t stare at the problem, look for the solution. In reference to driving down the road, we often look at the 40 feet of what’s going on directly in front of us and miss what’s up ahead, potentially trouble in our driving path. If we keep our eyes up, we can manage the 40 feet in front of us while also preparing for the 120-200 feet ahead. Good or bad.

I can still hear the instructor from my first class, as I took off in my Chevy truck— “Look up Chevy.”

(I also can hear the instructor from three years ago tell my team mate “coming in hot” in reference to his exceeding the speed limit of the obstacle… but that’s neither here nor there…..)

Eyes up, look ahead, don’t stare at the problem, look for the solution. That’s good driving advice and that’s also good work advice. So you might be Subaru, Ford, Hyundai, or Toyota… but look up, whoever you are.

((Also plug for driving dynamics— if you are a young professional that spends a lot of time behind the wheel, it is worth your time in attending a course like this.))



You're never too young or old to mentor

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I had the great pleasure of meeting a friend and mentee this week for coffee while she was in town with her internship. Although we had just an hour, that hour of conversation was full of goodness— discussion around how to think of seasons of life, how to also plan for the future, getting the most out of the college years, etc. And as much as I’d like to think that I’m mentoring in this conversation, so much of what she said was coaching and encouragement and mentoring to me.

Isn’t that the beauty of these mentorship relationships?

You really are never too old or young to mentor— This young leader showed me with an attitude of humility, curiosity, and willingness to ask good questions, you are ready to mentor. We need mentors of all ages with these characteristics.

So if you are a young professional and questioning your ability to mentor based on experience, step up and into a role of mentorship. A new employee on the job site? Reach out in a specific area you might be able to assist. An organization in your community seeking mentors for children? Reach out to find out how you might be able to lead and support. A college student studying your same major and hoping to have a role like yours ones day? Reach out and offer a day of job shadowing or a lunch visit.

The Balance of Doing and Waiting

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This time of year, I spend several days in fields with farmers planting their crops. If you follow the weather closely, you’ll know that this spring hasn’t come with ease for farmers working to get the crop in the ground.

Upon arrival to a tractor cab or a farmer’s shop, we quickly start talking about the weather and progress made in planting. The conversation tends to have two themes: you need to wait until the ground is right and you also need to go when you can and get the work done. It’s a tough call when you are waiting on and trying to work with the weather.

I always leave those conversations 1) so thankful for our farmers 2) reminded of the balance of waiting and doing. Farmers model this well— that it’s a constant pendulum swing of when to do and when to wait.

When it comes to the many aspects of being a young professional— career changes, financial investments, geographical moves— we can learn from this model of balancing the when to do and when to wait, when it might be better soil for the doing to come. There also has to be a reminder to ourselves that we aren’t going to do this perfectly or master it— you can’t. Just like farmers know their decisions aren’t perfect, we can possibly experience some freedom of the doing and waiting when we know this.

Real relationships win

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Just getting home from Q 2019 and again, another agenda that is so relevant, compassionate, and inclusive of the conversations that not only need to be taking place in churches—also businesses, communities, etc.

One key take a way was the focus on community…. real life real world real people relationships. The data on loneliness, distractions, and health is too much to capture here— go watch a few Q talks. :-)

But the big thing as we begin this new week— meet/talk to/invest in a real human relationship…. take the steps to do so this week and the next week and the next. Look into the face of a real human and notice what delights him/her, worries, and anything in between.

Goal of the week? Be a real human that talks with real humans in real time because real relationships win.

Also if you’re looking for a conference unlike any other conference, check out Q.

Feedback and Counsel

I heard a great podcast episode this week where the guest shared the difference between feedback and counsel. Smart people get feedback; wise people get counsel. What he meant by that was feedback is something you ask for during and/or after the event/project….. “How is this going?” kind of questions. Counsel is what you seek before any of it and from select people in your life who are wise….“What would you do all over again and what would you change” kind of questions.

I think you could even say wise people seek counsel and feedback. So going into this week as young professionals, how can we seek counsel and feedback…. get out ahead and learn from those with more experience and take a pulse on what’s already in the works. This same podcast guest would also remind you to take in all the feedback and be able to filter it down; when it comes to counsel, don’t seek this broadly, only from those who are consistently wise.

This is one of the reasons I loved a past episode on Sharpen, Intergenerational Friendships. What a great privilege to have friends of different generations to seek wisdom. I think our ability to seek counsel and thus seek wisdom is limited by our ability as young professionals to seek intentional mentoring, friendships, etc. with those of other generations.

One liner to eliminate

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“Call me if you need anything.”

We often hear this, don’t we? I use this one liner often— wrapping up a phone call, emailing someone for work, or even if a friend is going through a hard time.

In an attempt to express “I’m here to help”, this one liner goes against our actual intention. What it does is take the intentionality out of the equation. Often when people do need the most help, they don’t want to have to take that extra step to call… sometimes for something that they don’t even need they help with.

Ever been in a hard season of work or life and someone said, “Just call me if you need anything.” Did you? I’m guessing there were several no responses there.

Now this is not to say that in our work lives we don’t own the development piece— if someone has offered to help you, call them. Please reach out and seek input and advice.

But a more helpful and thoughtful approach to work and life would eliminate “just call me if you need anything” to a phone call that expressed “I’m calling to see what I can help with.” Or even specifically to reach out with a “I remember going through this specific season of work and how I wish someone would have told me these three things or offered to help in this way.”


Encoding: Write It Down

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Every day, I pull my digital calendar up and begin writing early in the morning- time blocking the day, a few points of gratitude from the day before, dinner plan for the evening, and the big 3 objectives for the day.

I used to not do this. I would keep everything— calendars, to do lists, journals, etc. digitally and would just type away. But I began noticing a disconnect between my brain, that digital space, my fingers typing the words faster than my brain could communicate into the heart space.

And then I realized this is a thing. It’s neuroscience.

“Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. In other words, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.”

You can read more of this article by Forbes here.

I would say we need to take it a step farther— WHAT are we writing down? Writing out fears, mistakes, gratitude, and opportunities can be very helpful. Sometimes I might do that only to rip up the paper and throw it away. But it makes my brain give words to the thoughts in a concise manner.

So write it down…. encode it. Whatever the gap is in your actionables for the day— write it down. There really is something powerful about this process that as young professionals can be day altering.

There's nothing magical about January or Febuary

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I was driving past the Planet Fitness in town the other day and noticed that the parking lot traffic had disappeared overnight, it seemed. Now please don’t hear yet another cynical remark about this from me…. social media is full of them! Many gym goers praise the month of March for finally getting the gym all to themselves and boasting something about the tough and focused surviving. (included with a selfie of a flex…ha!)

The narrative of the magical nature of the beginning of the year is not fully a lie— there really is something about starting a new year that can bring out that sigh of relief and a bolt of energy and motivation. But just because progress on a goal isn’t going exactly as planned and now March is approaching doesn’t represent failure. Failure is not a person, it’s an event. Haven’t lost that 5 lbs? Start back up with exercise and nutrition. Didn’t read a book per month? Sit one out on your night stand today.

So start now. Make the move. There is nothing magical about January or February…. or any month for that matter. Young professionals- we have an opportunity to start into March just like January, with energy and expectations for progress to be made.

168 Hours

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I stepped out of a banquet just this past week to a phone call from home. When I answered, a 4 year old on the line was crying and in tears said, “Mommy, I want you home. I miss you. Come home now.”

I felt it— heart crushing, my breathe got heavier, and standing in front of a crowd onward looking, I shoved back the tears to comfort my little girl missing Mommy at night time.

We talked about how I would be home the next day, would pick her up early from school, and all the fun things we would do together during that time, including making a heart cake for Daddy for Valentines Day. It seemed to help; she shortly went to sleep and I went back to the banquet.

The next day, I picked her up from school earlier than usual; we got ice cream and chatted all about how music came from the ceiling in Culvers, how we could be welcoming to a new friend at school, and why the words “farting” and “tooting” aren’t the best to use with strangers (LOL… this is a daily conversation so…..)

AND WHY ARE YOU SHARING THIS WITH US? This seems kinda sad, then kinda happy, and not really sure the point.

168 hours, that’s why.

As moms but also as employees, spouses, dads, sisters, volunteers, brothers, daughters, boyfriends, girlfriends, sons, friends…. the list goes on…… we go through those moments. Of a searing guilt or maybe shame of what we are doing vs. not doing. Some due to good decisions and some due to poor decisions. Either way, it’s hard. We all know we get 24 hours in a day and that’s it— to make good choices, use time and other resources in the best way, likely make mistakes, and then use the next day to grow. I am learning that while the 24 hour rule is true, it has been more helpful to think in terms of 168 hours. If you looked at Day 1 of the story above, I was rocking my work responsibilities and failing as a parent. If you looked as Day 2, I was rocking mothering and failing to create a new idea or project at work…. or going on a date with my hubby……or volunteering at church…. or……

But by viewing the week with a 168 hours approach, the pendulum does swing more in some directions. Some days are fuller with one particular role in my life or a couple. Or maybe DAYS are full of just one. Then there is a shift to another, then another, then another. 168 hours allows for more creativity, less guilt, and a broader view on life and roles and actions and takes a bit of the sting of a 4 year old calling with sniffles away because you know that those other hours are coming for quality time in that area.

I hope this framework can help encourage you in your roles as a young professional.

For more information on thinking strategically with your 168 hours/week, check out this resource.

Hospitality in the Workplace

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This is one of those topics that I’ve mulled on quite a bit lately. Related to the work place? Yes. And not in the sense of the hospitality business.

But that question of, How do I/we practice hospitality in the workplace? Individually? On a team?

Let’s first start with a definition:

the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers

I think for the workplace conversation, the word ‘stranger’ is the best one to focus in on, however if you have customers, the practice of hospitality among guests/visitors is extremely important… or various stakeholders who might be guests in some way.

When I started in my first role with the company I currently work, I remember moving to a new place with new jargon to learn, new roads to master (still didn’t get that one accomplished), and a new group to not only work with but hopefully enjoy working with. To this day, I can vividly recall many memories of those who practiced hospitality in the workplace.

  • Those who called and said, “Hey, I know you’re new to the team and I just wanted to reach out and see how I can be of help.”

  • Those who offered their time and days up for a peer ride along to learn not only about what they do but also general helpful tips (aka how the Boilermaker cheer goes, how the Indiana roads work)

  • Those who called when heading to my area of the state to see if we could get a few minutes to gather and de-brief

When you’re the new kid on the block, like many of us that classify as ‘young professionals’, we can often find ourselves in these new places— transitions to new teams, new towns. We can also find ourselves waiting on the other side of the equation for some good old hospitality. And while it is fully our responsibility to embrace this newness of our lives and initiate, the lesson to seasoned individiuals in an area/function/geography is to practice the art of hospitality. Welcome in a stranger to the workplace. And young professionals— this is not just the ‘role’ of the manager, HR, or anyone else…. it is a part of our role, as well. It can sometimes be intimidating to reach out in this way to someone senior than yourself— do it.

Hospitality in the workplace (and out of the work place) is always appreciated and rarely forgotten.

Recognition vs. Appreciation

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A quick note to start your week….

I’ve been reading The 5 Love Languages of Appreciation by Chapman and White. Highly recommended to all but especially young professionals in that first 10 years of a career. I’m not finished with it yet but in the opening, the authors discuss the difference between appreciation and recognition.

Recognition- what’s good for the company or organization

Appreciation- what’s good for the company or organization AND the individual

Meaning….

Authentic appreciation goes beyond just the external performance of an individual to include who they are and their gifts. And it’s offered in a way that really fits that person. (i.e. the love languages discussion)

Authentic appreciation is the goal and requires no status of being a manager or the ‘person in charge’ to carry this out. In fact, the authors have shared that peer to peer appreciation is one of the most valued forms of appreciation.

(Also did you know among our peers as young professionals, “not feeling appreciated” is so stinking common of a reason that someone leaves the company or organization? Not sure of the data on this one but I’m almost betting top 2-3.)

As we make out way into this week, let us seek out opportunities to authentically show appreciation to those in our sphere of influence. Let us be culture creators vs. culture consumers or even worse, deterants.

What fills the space

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Email and household tasks. Two things that I’ve found in my life that just always seem to fill the space. And this is what I mean by that— that no matter what you do, they are always there. Catch up on one thing, it just all refills. Create a system for managing it and you can certainly manage it…. but with investing gobs and gobs of time. Imagine a fungus (ew?) that you have growing outside on the drive way, you remove it, and then it’s literally right back there the instant you removed the first round. That’s a space-filler-up’r. (I know you come to to this blog for the vocabulary and level of intellect that goes into this writing.)

Ok, ok we don’t get to dismiss email and household chores (and text messages, for the love of Pete). But we don’t have to let them fill up all the space in our schedules. Because they will. Always. Fill er up.

This time that can be better spent— networking, playing with my kids, reading, working on a special project for work, practicing hospitality in our house, exercising, and other valuable ways to spend time.

So this week, I’m jotting down all the things that seem to fill space like email and household chores. And with that list, I’m going to scrub it to see 1) where I need to create a better system 2) where I need to practice a “good enough” philosophy.

As young professionals, let’s evaluate the space fillers in our schedules.

Also— It’s National Mentoring Month. Wow! I can’t express how thankful I am for the many, many people who have invested their time in me as a professional and on a personal level as a mentor. If you only take away one thing from this blog post, it would be this: find a way to be mentoring the next generation in your sphere of influence. Right here, right now.

I had the chance to recently share with EDGE Mentoring about my experience transitioning from a mentee to mentor in that particular organization. Here is the link to that post if you’d like to check it out!





Measuring Cups and Tablespoons

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I’m not really a cook but I do enjoy cooking. I like the whole add-a-little-this and a-little-bit-of-that in the process. With that said, I’m not the best with measurements. Meaning that I know HOW to do that but don’t always do it. And then I wind up with a curry dish that carries so much curry that it’s over powering… or not enough, and its flavor isn’t fully present. I recently made a beef vegetable soup that had so much black pepper in it that we were doing this wiggle of a dance while eating it. Needless to say, it had more than a kick to it. Because flash back in time, I just poured in some black pepper, thinking I was looking like Chef Ina in my kitchen.

So I’m learning about how important measurements are in my cooking. Profound knowledge here today for you.

Oh and timers….. Setting a timer for the first time to check in on the cooking project. IT WILL BURN if I don’t set a timer. I will move on to something else and forget every single darn time. (Mind blown, I know, at this tip in the cooking process.)

Measurements and timers— the same is true of our goals and action steps around those goals. Put the measurements in— 3 workouts per week; read once every single day; write 5 thank you cards per month. Put a timer on its completion or a date to review progress. At the end of the month, this will be complete or I will evaluate the progress.

This all sounds overly simple and really, really basic…. but it works. And the constant, ongoing process of having measuring cups and tablespoons and timers in our lives will create some good stuff. Like a beef vegetable soup with the perfect amount of black pepper.

P.S.

Had a great time with Ag Grad founder Tim H. during a recent Live event on Facebook. We chatted about the start of the Sharpen podcast, transitions as a young professional (including why to consider re-locating and how to grow where you’re planted). Tim also shares a recap of an episode I had him on for to discuss when to (and not to) get a Masters degree as a young professional.

Ditch the Dish; Read More 📡➡️📚

Last year, my family and I made the decision to ditch the Dish. As in a cable provider. And not so that we could spend more time on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Trust me, a round of The Office or Parenthood sounds fantastic. But to spend less time (and money) on yet another screen and more time with real faces and real things.

One primary reason for my interest in ditching the Dish was to read more. I knew that my mind could veg out on some television series OR I could develop a reading plan and stick to it throughout the year. It’s amazing how much time frees up when the tv goes off. For me, the ease of flipping a switch on rather than digging into a book was easier.

But prior to this golden realization is an odd silence. No tv background noise, no dramatic news station trying to get us all worked up to try to do the same thing in approx. 2 minutes, no family buying a home for 3.8 million dollars on HGTV.

But a year later nearly cable sober, I have read more books than I imagined. I have tuned in vs. tuning out. Do you have a “Dish” in your life that might be worth ditching? (Can I also throw others into this pile for myself? Social Media and Salty snacking (my best friends are lol’ing and agreeing).

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I place great emphasis on reading more than anything else. As young professionals, having an active reading lifestyle is significant to our growth and development— not just in our careers but in all other areas of our lives, as well. A few reasons to incorporate more time for reading in your schedule:

  1. Reading saves you time: What? That doesn’t sound correct whatsoever. Imagine that someone was sitting in front of you after living out things like starting or running a business, becoming a better communicator, or any other key topic to your profession. And imagine they were giving you some helpful practical steps to save you time in your own life— to make the same decisions based on principles or to NOT make that same decision. Potentially by-passing YEARS of a certain effort or habit…. what a good deal, right? Bam, that’s a well-written book by a wise author. (And yes, I know there are some terrible, self-help books out there that are worthless. But there are too many good ones to let that hold you back.)

  2. Reading impacts your brain: I won’t try to summarize the many studies that exist on this subject. Go read about it. 😉 The white matter in your brain increases for an active reader. Check out images of a brain while reading and exercising vs. watching tv or using social media. Incorporate fiction as well as non-fiction, too, for added benefits.

  3. Habit Formation: Start the habit now as a young professional and see the fruit of your efforts over the long haul. Don’t let others discourage you, either. Start young, stay consistent, and see the growth.

Word of the Year

I know what you’re thinking. Well, maybe I do.

This sounds like another New Year hokey pokey thing to do… designate a word of the year.

But hear me out.

….. Cause there tends to be a few groups here on the subject of goal setting: The All In’rs (you’ve had yours done since October 2018); the I-don’t-really-care’rs (word of the year?); and the I Don’t Need One’rs (word of the year? Just do it and don’t make a fuss about it all….. hello my hubby….. ha!)

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This photo makes it hard to see what is written on this bracelet— steadfast, my 2019 word of the year. This arrived from a dear friend after our 2019 Goal Setting Retreat. Here, we each identified our word of the year and this arrived shortly after with my individual word of the year.

Beauty and a reminder and thoughtfulness— all in one.

But the process of getting to that word was not so easy and pretty and a finished package. And this would be my first reason why a word of the year is very powerful.

1) The Process of Getting There:

For months, we had brainstormed what was being laid on our hearts and minds. We then fine-tooth combed through a year review to get there. The process of getting to a word of the year includes reflection, a deep reflection. That process alone is worth it. It makes you look back on all the goodness, the challenges, and the gaps to see the direction to take in the future, aka the new year.

2) Focus

Having just one word to focus on— visually have out on your desk or bathroom mirror or vehicle windshield— is very key. Each and every day, you can identify your daily top 2-3 priorities and list this as an overarching theme of focus.

3) Accountability

Having a word of the year makes it easier for your people to hold you accountable because they can also remember that one word and ask how you are making progress and what challenges you face.