Building upon my blog from two weeks ago, I want to speak about resolutions. But not in the way you think. As I talked about last week, Be x Do = Have. We need to be certain ways, in order to do the things that we must to have what we want in life. So I want to speak more to self-reflection and resolving to be different.
I enjoy my seasonal issues of Magnolia Journal from Joanna and Chip Gaines. To be frank they are my idols. They are creative and humble and family oriented and funny and stylish and basically everything I want to be as a home and business organizer, but also as a person. Their magazine, Magnolia Journal “inspiration for life and home” is my favorite thing to read because it is not just about how to decorate your mantel or which shade of paint to choose. It is also not a self-help journal, it is a beautiful mix of articles, stories, how-to, recipes, and ideas. Enough with the advertising. This winter issue’s theme is Resolve. We often speak of resolutions this time of year but not the root of the word, RESOLVE, which is a synonym of determination. Determination is what we need to be and accomplish the things we want.
The issue speaks of resolving to be a better person, more positive, more festive, seeing the beauty in the rough, appreciating moment, etc.
One thing that most caught my eye and mind was Jo’s note it’s about time in which she says she challenged herself to live 2019 in the moment and developed the mantra “look up” to say to herself when she felt herself passing it by.
I believe that I am a person that has wonder and awe. I like to travel, see and experience things, and appreciate other people, cultures, architecture and lives.
Yet conversly, I also find that I do not live in the moment. I have a lot of worry and concern about what if. I have been told I am cautious and hesitant is all facets of my life. And only after having been injured and taken out of marathon running, have I realized that I did not fully appreciate the events and experiences I had. I barely remember what I saw while running through New York City with 40,000 other people, across the bridges and streets closed to traffic. I can tell you how I felt at certain junctures, that they played New York New York at the start, that I ran with an NYP squad who kept me on pace, and the feeling in my legs as I entered Central Park. But I don’t remember how the sun rose over the Verrazano bridge as we started, or seeing the skyline undisturbed from that bridge, or the character of each burrow we passed through. I remember even less about the Boston Marathon. I remember the start, Heartbreak Hill, and that beacon of light called the Citgo sign that meant I was almost done. I remember shaking and shivering at the end because it was freezing rain and having to hold a cup of coffee from a food truck while waiting for my sister to cross the finish. But I don’t remember the people braving the cold outside their homes to cheer us on or the fact that I ran downhill most of the way. I don’t remember who I ran next to or even if I met anyone new other than the people I traveled to the race with.
What I am saying is, sometimes I go through life looking forward to the end goal and worrying about the obstacles along with way, so much so that I don’t see what is in front of me. I have done that with my personal and professional life. If I self-reflect for a minute, I formally established my business a year ago, I really went out on a limb and left my place of employment 9 months ago, and I started getting business 4 months ago. The average new small business takes 2 years to become established. And my personal life is in a very different place, arguably more positive place, because of some of the professional and independent decisions I made this year. So I would say I am doing pretty darn good. My goals for 2020 will be higher and more defined than they were at the end of 2018 when I first started on this journey. And most importantly I have appreciation for the path I have taken and the obstacles and achievements that have come my way this year.
Therefore while I continue to consider my goals and resolutions in my personal and professional life, the one thing I want to be is someone who looks up. In the words of Joanna Gaines, “These are the days. These are the moments. This season, let’s look up and behold the beauty of the here and now.”
This time of year is often a time of preparation. Whether you are a homemaker, business owner, employee, or combination of both you are probably beginning your preparation for the holidays, family visiting, winterizing, end of the year finances, last minute projects, deadlines, etc. With preparation, also comes reflection. Reflection of your accomplishments for the year, the goals you had, those that you achieved, those you surpassed, those your missed and then considering why.
In my monthly Business Owners Mastermind meeting this week, we started the conversation on end of the year preparations and reflection and came upon what I thought to be a very interesting topic that can be applied to personal or professional life. Jeff Miller, our faithful leader, business coach and owner of Jeff Miller Consulting, posed to us an exercise to consider this equation:
In order to solve this equation, we have to consider it from the answer backwards, just like Jeopardy. First we considered what we want to have, i.e. what are goals are as business owners. We mentioned things like:
Then we had to determine what we need to do in order to get there, most of which are obvious:
Lastly, we were asked to think about what type of person we need to be in order to accomplish these tasks? This was the hardest part of the exercise because you can reflect on your goals all you want, but without seeing the true nature of how to achieve them, you will not get very far. So in order to do those things listed, to achieve the goals, we need to be:
Because if you want to make time to exercise for example, you may need to get up earlier, before work, before the kids get on the bus, or after they go to sleep. If you want to take a two week vacation as a business owner, you need to train your employees to the best of your abilities, give them responsibility and confidence that they can take care of the company and your clients while you are gone, and trust them to do so. If you don’t think that is possible, then unfortunately you either 1) haven’t provided them with the tools or training to succeed 2) need to started delegating and trusting more or 3) you don’t have the right employees.
In the end however, it is about how you are a person and what you do that will bring you the things you want to have.