For the past few years, I've chosen a word to be my mascot for the year. Sort of a theme song and coach, all rolled into one word with a motivational definition that will inspire me all year (fingers crossed!)
Last year it was "Believe". The year before it was "Love", and the year before that, "Embrace". This year my word is "Intentional"... but I imagine my title already gave that away, didn't it?
It's a word that I've heard a lot the past few years, but for some reason it has really been calling out to me the last few weeks, which made it an easy choice. In fact, it was already in place on New Year's Day, but I've struggled with this blog post, so haven't published it until now.
Obviously, deciding to be intentional and actually being intentional are two different things, which is why it's a great word for me this year. I need some clarity, focus, and (gentle) shoving in just about all the areas of my life.
A few weeks ago I attended a day-long retreat with some other agents on our office leadership council. The focus was primarily on creating our business plans for 2018. Part of that included looking back at the previous year's business plan and reflecting on how close we came to our goals, and what we need to change or do differently in the coming year to have a successful business.
I saw a lot of room for improvement. And the word "Intentional" kept jumping out at me, intent on getting my attention.
“If you’re going to grow, you have to be intentional.”
To do something intentionally means to do it with purpose. It requires focus, specific goals, and systems to help meet those goals. There needs to be accountability, and time for review and reflection.
It's great to dream big, but what good is a dream if you don't have a path to reach it? How do you know you're making progress toward that dream? How do you know when you've arrived?
Last year I spelled out my daily, weekly, and monthly tasks... but I didn't prioritize or time block adequately. Consequently, I didn't meet all of my goals. This year I'm going to simplify those tasks, figuring out which ones will have the biggest impact, and then I'll block time for them on my calendar - and protect those time blocks. I'll review them each week and make adjustments, as needed.
But I plan to be intentional in more than just my business...
Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.
~ L.R. Knost
"Intentional" first jumped out at me from that quote, which goes way beyond work and career. I want to be more intentional, more extravagant, more unconditional in all areas of my life... my relationships, my health, my spirituality... even my blogging, writing, and photography, because all of those are a part of me, too. I feel God put them into my path for a reason.
The fact is, whether I like it or not, I only have 24 hours in a day. I realize I'm not going to be able to do everything I want to do every day. But by being intentional, and with God's help figuring out my true priorities, figuring out what I should say 'no' to (something that is really tough for me!), I plan to at least do everything I need to do in 24 hours to reach my goals, whether it's in business or love or friendship.
Do you have a word for the year? If you do, let me know what it is and why you chose it.