Every year, I choose a word for the year. After a bit of prayer and simple prompting, Growth is my word for 2019. (You can find last year’s here.) While every year provides implicit growth, it’s over the past few months where I’ve realized stagnation within. It’s the very moments where lessons have become so basic that I choose to move on, bypass discipline, or get distracted by something else. This was recently highlighted to me during a discussion on social media and habits. I quickly discovered the priority that a simple phone and apps had taken. I had gotten caught up. Caught up in the vanity metrics, the engagement and conversion rates, overly obsessed with every number that had been thrown my way. This is why I’m choosing to grow this year. I’m showing up, stepping out, and living open this year. It’s easy for me to grow in business and scale year to year. (I thrive on it.) However, choosing to grow relationally and holistically has proven to be far more challenging. Now that I am six months out of school, it’s clear to me the areas where I need to rediscover and reassess personal growth.
What does my growth look like this year? I’m all about specifics. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Welcome to the broadest category. However, I’ve quickly discovered where some discipline has been lacking, particularly in prayer and reading Scripture. This year, I’m hoping to complete reading the New Testament and return to journaling. There’s a beauty in writing things down, choosing to remember, and retain previous thought. I’ve picked up a few tools to jump back in, inviting His voice to refresh my soul, and bring me to a place of relentless and extravagant hunger.
After a few large tax write offs at the end of the year (for my business), there’s nothing like reining spending in a bit. I’m returning to the chalkboard method system and living off of half my salary for the month. There’s amazing contentment that can come from living on a budget, working hard, and simplicity. Budgeting is key and I’ll be using my Mint app to keep track of spending throughout the month (I live on around $450 a month outside of consistent expenses like rent, cell, insurance, etc.) At the beginning of 2018, I made a goal to increase the previous year’s revenue by $20,000. Unfortunately, with a natural disaster it made reaching these goals in Redding incredibly hard. While I did increase revenue by $8,000, my living expenses also increased. Through keeping a budget, meal prep, and removing the fluff from my expenses, I hope to invest in property within the year.
Community and Relationships
My greatest fear in life is relational failure. Needless to say, if I call you friend, I think you’re pretty stinking amazing. I have many lifelong friendships and they are some of the greatest prizes in my life. However, there’s something that’s shifting in the way I carry myself. Over the past year, I’ve noticed I give far more to an online presence and social interactions in this space and channels than I do when meeting a new person. This year, I long to grow in relationships, through intention, creating margin for new relationships, and cultivating community like never before in Redding. (Around here, people change from year to year. It’s pretty amazing if you have friends at a birthday for multiple years.) Here it’s been easy to float, having coffee dates, meeting in smaller groups, and simply having relationships of circumstance. However, I can’t wait to see what this year holds as I invest more intentionally into others. (Gatherings will definitely be happening, but not for content rather for the purpose of cultivating relationships.)
Every year my industry changes at a rapid rate. This year I’m focused on growing in my craft without the pressure of production, client brief, or deadlines. I have a few passion projects in the works, but more than anything I long to rediscover joy of creating. I remember as a girl spending hours at my art desk, creating projects day after day. I loved it. For one night a week, I’m choosing to return to these roots. I want to grow in my skill set. For Christmas, I gifted myself a few textbooks from college. Choosing to study type, design history, and photography at a further level during the winter months is something I’m looking forward to.
Self Care and Rest
It’s ironic that we talk about this one last, isn’t it? I’m someone who can quickly prioritize task over rest and relationships. This year, I hope to take one adventure a month and have a day off a week. Life is intended to have a rhythm to it and somehow in the midst of a few crazy quarters, I have found self care gets put last. Don’t get me wrong? I’m not talking bubble baths and massages at the spa. (However, a few of those might happen as well.)
Then what does self care look like?
I’m happy you asked I’m no longer signing up for 18 hours of productivity to make things happen. I’m okay with establishing clear boundaries with clients and am protecting office hours. I need to create margin for new things to flow and have been in California working long and hard this past year. In 2019, I’m planning for the seasons of business, travel, and taking things at a steady pace rather than attempting to tackle it all at once.
Practically on the daily, it means:
- Getting 8 hours of sleep
- Buying an alarm clock and keeping the first 15 minutes of my day sacred (no devices)
- Doing one active thing, 30 minutes a day
- Taking breaks for lunch and dinner
- One cup of coffee a day
- 8 glasses of water
- Eating clean and whole foods
- Working from a standing desk
- Journal and bible reading (3 chapters per day)
Growth happens in rhythm. It’s choosing to take small changes and steps forward. It isn’t all going to change in one day or even one month. However, I’m committed. I’m committed to pursuing growth and a plan for the next 6 months. There will be days where things won’t be as perfect as I would like. I’ll probably press snooze a few too many times, find myself binge watching Netflix, and longing for another glass of wine. In each season, there’s an appropriate time to reassess. What worked last year probably won’t work this year. It’s okay to move forward and choose a different way. There’s fluidity and beauty to it all. Let’s see what growth and flourishing happens this year.
Tell me, what is your word of the year for 2019?
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