My typical New Year’s Day tool for many years has been selecting a Word of the Year, most often using Christine Kane’s process. This year, I already knew that my word would be Bold, as that is my current coach Mary Schiller’s word for the year. Bold is not how I think of myself; so it expresses a quality I want to call forth from myself this year.
But since I trust other peoples’ processes more than my own, I also pluck fruit from others’ gardens, give them a sniff, and see if they’re worth a taste.
One idea I liked came from a Michael Neill post on how he went about defining his most enjoyable year yet. The questions that prompted his imagination were:
Imagine it’s one year from today and you’ve had your most enjoyable year yet…
What’s happened? What have you done? What’s different in your life now?
I started daydreaming about those questions and hit a wall pretty quickly. It’s similar to what happens when I’m asked what I want for my birthday or Christmas — I go blank. I have such a (it seems to me) dreamy temperament that I can’t think of wanting anything more than going with, or at least keeping up with, the flow. Which is kind of counter to the idea of Bold.
Then I remembered a Mark Forster technique for shaping vague goals into more actionable ideas. Namely: start with something you don’t want, then transform it into a positive. The essentials of a clearer goal or plan may emerge from this more productive line of questioning. So: “I don’t want a long commute” could be positively stated as “I want to live closer to my workplace” or “I want to work remotely from my home.”
From all this mental churn came the idea of asking myself what do I want more of in 2019 and what do I want less of. I had a clearer idea of ways I did not want to behave, or activities I did not want to fill my time with. That made it easier to define what I would prefer to do with the year ahead.
I filled about a page and a half in my journal on this so I’ll put only a few here. We’ll see if this is a list that lasts longer than the typical New Year’s resolution.
|More of||Less of|
|In over my head||Playing it safe|
|Space in my schedule||Web page reading and email gardening|
|Unfamiliar and new||Familiar and comfy|
|Writing||Reading (on the Web, anyway)|
|Fun and play||Discipline and duty|
|Sitting with a Teeccino||YouTube|
Update: You should see a table of about 20 rows above this paragraph. On my iMac and iPhone, I see them all; on my iPad, the table does not appear in Safari but it does appear in Chrome.