Like many people, I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. I find that they tend to result in false starts, and more importantly, if one wants to make a big change in their life, why wait for the first day of the year. I’d much rather find something to improve about myself and tackle it head on.
The following picture is of Quandry Peak in Colorado from our vacation this summer. I thought it was aptly named for what 2013 was to me.
After reading C.C. Chapman’s Amazing Things Will Happen last January and was struck by his three word exercise in finding three words to focus myself on for the new year. The concept has been pretty popular in the blogspace for the last few years as I’ve come to find out. If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a quick 2 minute video overview.
I’ve been mulling over my 3 words for the last few weeks on a couple sheets of paper and had things pretty well narrowed down. When my wife was talking with our kids the other night at dinner about New Year’s resolutions, I brought up the concept to all of them and shared two of my words and explained what the meaning was behind them (my third word wasn’t final yet at that time).
Needless to say, she liked the concept and her and the kids set out to form their own words for the new year. We’re also going a step further and will be decorating a hallway wall with our words – either by stencil in paint, or vinyl decals.
I’ll let them share their own words in their own ways, but I’m more than happy to share my 3 words for 2014.
I choose Health as my first word because it is something that I need to focus on in my life. Most recently, I’ve had a chronic cough and head cold, which my doc is convinced is due to a weakened immune system from stress, travel & burning the candle at both ends; resulting in back-to-back-to-back viral infections. But that is just the tip of ice berg. I had a heart scare in 2009, but have still managed to put on a few pounds since then. Couple those with mild asthma and GERD, I do need to focus on getting my physical health back in order.
But Health also includes my mental health. I need to do a better job at cleaning out mind. Outwardly, I usually appear cool as cucumber, even in my relatively stressful work position. But inwardly, I’m just very good at internalizing and compartmentalizing that stress. That can only go on for so long before I need to find an outlet to burn off some steam and usually those outlets aren’t that healthy – stress eating and/or tipping a few cocktails primarily. 2013 was also more stressful than usual due to a couple things at the office outside the bounds of my public discussion. But needless to say, a lot of things fell on my shoulders. I also need to work on my frustrations in response to expectations in others, especially when I could provide my leadership and knowledge to help others grow, rather than expect them to find their own way.
Adventure was actually my fourth word, but it replaced my second word after I had told my family about the words. Originally, it was going to be uncomfortable, as I have often had my best motivation and produced my best work in times where I was uncomfortable, like a forced job change, or getting in over my head on a project. But I changed it to Adventure because I didn’t want it to be tied too much to work. I used to be more adventurous in other areas of my life, but I’ve become a creature of habit and routines – something more than “just-at-work.” Adventures can be good, Adventures can be bad, but regardless of the outcome one learns from the journey. I’m going work on getting back to the adventurer I once was. The one who spent time in the great outdoors. The one who would think nothing of dropping everything for a road trip. The one who push his own desire to learn and explore. The one who crafted a career out of learning web development before it even became a “thing.”
Adventure also ties in well with Health because it will require changes. Conquering fears, getting back in shape, dealing with stress, motivation and procrastination. One of my favorite quotes is by the ski film guru, Warren Miller: “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll just be one year older when you do.”
My third word is Us. I have an awesome wife. We’ve been married for almost 12 years and I’m in love with her more today than I was when we were married. We’re raising two awesome kids and we have a rock solid marriage. While things are great with Us. We both tend to put the family first, so the kids are often our focus. The result is that we often lose track of “our time.” I chose Us because I want to focus on carving out some more time to spend with each other without the kids. Whether it be a regular date night (which we don’t regularly do) or weekend getaways I want to make sure that we continue to do the things with each other that keep our relationship strong.
There you go. My Three Words for 2014: Health. Adventure. Us. Today is only the first day of a new month, but I wish you nothing but the best in 2014. I also expect that you’ll be seeing me around my blog more often this year as well.