I went out for dinner recently with a friend, who talked about a concept she was implementing for 2012- "naming" the year. The objective is to take your most important goal and then to make that year about fitting your life into that concept. In a year of challenge, to look for challenges. In a year of learning, to seek out opportunities for learning. I’ve thought a lot about what I want out of 2012 since then, and what to name my year.
As a single mom with 4 kids, I’m never bored for long. With a teen, two tweens, and my sweet 2nd grader, life for most of the year is a whirlwind of activity. Between homework, soccer, girl scouts, baseball, softball, and just plain life, figuring out when I can make it to the grocery store can be a real challenge.
But 2011 was also a year of big changes for our family, and some other big ones were discussed and contemplated. I seriously considered a move that would have resulted in all of the kids changing schools, and we may still move within the town that we live. There have been changes in relationships, and changes in how our house is managed day to day. A lot for the kids, and a lot for me.
As a result, my professional life became more comfortable than it should have been. I can’t remember the last time I walked into a room for a networking event and didn’t already know most of the people there. Although I took on challenges, they were in areas I already had a track record of success with, and a template to follow. I didn’t do anything truly “new”, something that challenged me and made me grow significantly. Looking back, I took the safest route in many of the decisions I made in 2011. But that’s not how I can develop my professional skill set, and it’s not how I can keep my business the best it can be year after year.
So I hereby declare 2012 the “Year of Comfort”. More comfort in my personal life, developing a routine to thrive in during my quest for sanity as a single mom. And I need to make changes in my home to give the kids more structure too. They need stability and a firm base for 2012, so they can feel safe to explore who they want to be and how they want to grow. After years living with someone who didn’t like to throw anything away, it’s time to finish decluttering my house so that all of us know where each item belongs. It’s time to give my one child (aka “The Tornado”) a place for the things that are important to her, and help her learn to give away those things that she doesn’t use but someone else needs. She enjoys the peace of having her room clean- I need to give her the tools to get there. Each child needs the comfort of having the techniques and strategies they need in place to succeed, and this is my year to help them develop those skills and make them part of the routine.
For my business however, it's time to get out of my “comfort zone”. I need to meet new people, have new experiences, learn new things. To not only read the books, but implement the lessons learned. I need to be intentional about cultivating a professional network and enlarging it with business people I know and trust. To make it a point to walk into a room where I don’t know anyone, take a deep breath, and start to introduce myself. My goals are going to require some sort of system to check my progress, to make sure I’m not getting lulled back into the security of the familiar, and giving up my most exciting and bold dreams. I recognize that it is essential to feel truly uncomfortable on a regular basis, and that this is the best way to confirm I'm growing in my professional life.
So feel free to check in with me on the Yorkville Patch. Once or twice a week, I will be giving you a glimpse into what is happening in my world, what I find interesting, unique, or helpful. I hope you will come along for the ride!
In 2012 I wish you the best of 2011, but with many new friends and new experiences to make your 2012 absolutely incredible!