Instead of goals, right now I'm setting intentions for how I want to feel and how I want to spend my time in 2020.
In spring last year I wrote myself a letter and put it into a sealed envelope for future me to open in a year. I can’t remember exactly what was included, but I know it was specific. I wanted to be interviewed on x number of podcasts, to be earning x amount of money, to have x number of paying clients etc. This year, though, I’m definitely not feeling the need for that level of specificity (though things may change). Instead, I know how I want to feel, and how I want to spend my time (and I also know that being intentional about this plays out in everything I achieve).
With that in mind, here's my list of what I want more or less of in 2020.
I considered “connect” as my word for the year because I properly connected – in person – with so many people in 2019 via my business, and it was glorious – more of that is definitely welcome in 2020. Believe me when I say I never thought I’d be saying that. I’ve always been shy, often socially anxious, I've felt like a weird outsider and very awkward around new people. But (a) so what if I’m awkward? Lots of people are a bit awkward when you first meet, and that’s ok! And (b) I hadn’t largely been going to the right events, or finding the right people online. I still get sweaty before every new meeting, but at least I know now that it’s worth it!
Since starting my podcast, writing has taken a massive backseat. My podcast is certainly my most widely consumed content stream, and I love that format, but writing was my first love. Now that I’ve figured out a better system for batching the podcast (watch this space for more on that) I want to take up blogging again. And perhaps get started on writing that book I've mentioned a few times in passing throughout 2019. On the flip side, I want to continue the reading streak I started in 2019. I read 30 books last year – a huge feat given that I was still incredibly sleep deprived for a lot of it – and it's my aim to read 30 again this year. I've rekindled my love for fiction: it's the perfect escape from work and is great for my mental health.
More Play & Rest
As I write this off the back of a 2 week Christmas break, I am reminded just how important it is to have meaningful hobbies and “play” time outside of work. I love my business and do genuinely feel like a lot of the work is a kind of creative “play”, but I need more. I recently set my keyboard back up in my office and aim to learn Elton John's Tiny Dancer properly in 2020. A small goal, I know, but that's what feels good. I'm also going to start running again and aim to reach 10K distance this year. I also feel like I got really good at resting and listening to my body in 2019, and I want more of that in 2020.
Less Social Media
In 2020 I am over the idea that authentic content needs to be ‘in the moment’. My plan is to treat social media like a job, because it is. I’m wary to phrase it that way, because I know it may sound cold or like I only care about the money – which isn’t true. I am there to connect, I am there to serve, AND I am there to sell (which is ok). But I’m not there to distract myself from uncomfortable emotions, I’m not there to waste my work time, and I’m not there to anxiously compare myself to other people. I am there for my community and for my business. I already started treating social media more like a job in the final few months of 2019 (planning posts, repurposing, posting at specific scheduled times, limiting how long I spent on the app) and it did wonders for my headspace. Any other way and it just adds to that the lingering feeling that I have ‘more to do’. And at its worst, it directly leads to anxiety.
Less Making Things Up
If someone doesn’t email you back, it doesn’t mean you said something stupid. If someone seemed interested and ultimately didn’t work with you, it doesn’t mean you’re rubbish at what you do. If a client didn't take your advice, it doesn't mean it wasn't good advice or wasn't appreciated. If you failed at one project, it doesn't mean your entire business is a failure. If you have an engaged audience who isn’t buying, it doesn’t mean they never will. I'm calling myself out on inventing these stories, and I'm leaving them behind as we enter the new decade. They're a waste of time and take away from the real work. My work includes serving, being true to myself, learning from mistakes when I can, and not getting caught up in stories that probably aren't true.
& My Word for 2020
After feeling like nothing was right, the word “power” finally came to me this week, and I knew instantly that it was the one. It has a very masculine energy, which surprised me given that I've been focusing on the feminine energies of rest and flow in 2019, but it actually complements that perfectly. To me, power means:
- Tuning out the external noise & expectations of others
- Being in my power and trusting myself
- Improving my business processes & systems to work smarter (not harder)
- Showing up as the leader I am meant to be to others
- Encouraging my clients to step into their own power
- Physical/ mental wellness, and firm boundaries around work, family & rest
- Stepping out of overwhelm and into inspired action
- Being mindful of my privilege and doing my part to make the world a better place
Power is ultimately about intention, direction and control, but in a very healthy way.
I can't wait to see what's in store for 2020!