For about ten years now, I would select a personal word to guide my experience for the upcoming year. Before I started selecting a personal word, I would choose a New Year’s goal, which I lost sight of after 30 days or less. I lost sight because I felt I could not make a mistake towards my goal or the goal had to be achieved according to my plans and expectations. The journey had to be perfect or linear; however, that is not life. Thus, I would spend time thinking about why I could not move forward. What was wrong with me? I should know better. I lost track of love, compassion, and kindness towards self. I looked for things outside of me to control or achieve. This fulfilled the void; however, I could not accept that life has a process that I needed to experience beyond the product or achieving external aspects. Thus, I was not holistically evolving and learning with process and product. At times, I was not fully present with my experiences.
I made the shift from a goal to a word because the goal became a distraction to my growth and development. If I desired sustainable change, I had to build the framework that would increase my incremental progress. I realized I had to grapple with uncertainty within my life while constructing a loose framework to establish my intentions. My intentions will be manifested according to a time frame that is not identified solely by me setting a timeline. It is based on the process and product of experiences in my life and how I use them to learn and evolve. There is beauty in the imperfection of my plans. In the imperfection I learned from each peak and valley. Each experience gave me what I needed for the next experience and opportunity. I needed to reflect on the various experiences and opportunities. What did I think? What did I feel? What is the lesson? How can I grow from this experience? What is the next opportunity? How do I make adjustments? What practice do I need to develop? This framework allowed my intensity to build my momentum to achieve my intentions. My framework focuses on one intention that is built over three months. Sustained attention over time can increase productivity. Sometimes, I have tried to do too many things and accomplished nothing.
My personal word for this year is transformation. For example, my first intention is a healthy intention for transformation. If I want to transform, I must make purposeful progress towards my healthy intention. For the month of January, I am focused on consuming more protein on a daily basis. Every day, I research, plan, and enjoy more protein on a daily basis. During the month of February, I will add one day a week of movement to the protein consumption. Hopefully, I will have developed an expectation and a habit to consume more protein based on my current health metrics. Then I can add movement. I am not going to restrict myself; however, I will exercise discipline and portion control. For the month of March, I plan to add two days a week of movement with the protein consumption. The hope is to maintain my healthy intention and add my financial intention to my daily and weekly structure. I still have other responsibilities and roles, but I do not have too many goals, which I call intentions. The reason I choose to use intentions instead of goals is because I want to make progress every day towards my set intentions. In life there is no clear linear path towards your intentions. There are peaks and valleys! Sometimes there are multiple valleys before you see some peaks. Even with some peaks there are times my intentions remain far away but if I can see and feel that I am moving towards my intentions despite possible barriers and obstacles that gives me hope to keep moving towards my intentions. In the past, too many goals caused me to feel overwhelmed. When I recognized that I was overwhelmed it was because I was doing too much. There is power in incremental progress.
Here is my personal word framework for 2023:
As I developed this 2023 framework, I would like to share some lessons with the readers:
My self-worth is not attached to the intentions that I have established for myself this year.
There will be ebbs and flows, any movement towards the intention is significant to my personal learning and growth. I have to understand by focusing on fewer intentions, I can make incremental progress overall to accomplish my personal word for 2023 personal transformation. By recognizing there will be ebbs and flows, I can experience and recognize how to navigate towards my intentions and desired outcomes.
Be aware of what I say to myself and feed (physically, mentally, and spiritually) myself as I go on this intentional journey.
Remain curious about my thoughts, circumstances, and experiences. We have to notice and note the thoughts, circumstances, and experiences we come in contact with on a daily basis.
Shift my desire to create goals to establishing intentions because sometimes the mindset towards goals are seen as products. Sometimes working towards products distract us from developing and appreciating the process. There is beauty in growing and evolving.
Decide and work towards how I want to show up in different environments.
Remember it is about the evolution of me. I must commit to myself that I will remain steadfast and aware of my process.
Call to Action: Please take some time to personally reflect on the big ideas in this blog. Then consider leaving a comment in the text box below or speaking with someone else about some aspect of this blog post. Additionally, you may contact me for a coaching session to explore productivity, learning, and strategy for you to move toward incremental achievement.