Happy new year! I’m excited to have so many great readers navigating 2021 with me. I hope you will indulge me and allow a look back at 2020. Some of you may know that one month ago I lost my father to complications from pneumonia. It was a heart wrenching loss for me and my family. At the funeral service, one message really inspired me: even though we were feeling grief and sadness, we were also left with memories of my father’s influence for good upon those whose lives he touched. People who also loved my dad shared stories of how he positively affected their lives. In a very real way he would live on through them. They would pass on his wisdom, his counsel and his memories. His influence for good was greater than he ever thought himself to be. I aspire to leave such a legacy – that my influence on those I meet, work with and have relationships with will leave each person better than I ever was myself.
And that has launched me into 2021 with a challenge for you and me. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?) I’m not inspired by goals. If I have to sit through one more workshop on setting SMART goals I’ll scream. However, something I have found helpful is one word. What is one word that is an over-arching theme for you this year? What is a word that holds true for you? What will guide your behavior and hold you steady? This might be your year of living curiously. Or maybe it’s your year of being creative or of only taking on projects that align with your values. Putting one word out there might help serve as a compass if you get distracted or a bit off course. Having that one word may also cause some self-awareness of those things that draw you away from fulfillment and contribution, preventing you from doing what you want to do.
My one word for 2021 is intentional-inspiration. I kind of cheated because one word wasn’t descriptive enough, so I hyphenated my word. Intentional inspiration means I have to know who I’m working with. I have to know what their successes are and what their challenges are so I come prepared with something that is relevant and can add value. What’s your word? What do you want this year to represent for you?
To keep me focused on my “year of intentional-inspiration” I joined The Happiness Project Experience 2021. It’s a 12-month project that focuses on happiness, health and well-being. Each month has a theme and the focus for January is self-reflection. I will leave you today with a powerful question for reflection. If you met someone exactly like yourself (same experiences, same resources, same problems), what advice would you give them as they launch into this new year?
I’d love to hear from you! Let’s make 2021 the best it can be.