And so ready or not, a brand spanking new year has begun! Are you still thinking about what 2018 will hold?
For nearly 10 years, Hoots and I begin the new year thinking about what happened last year.
You probably do the same. What worked in 2017? What was wonderful? What was, ahem, less than wonderful?
At some point near the end of the year, we begin the first of many “word-of-the-year” conversations. We’ve chosen a “word of the year” each year since 2010. It’s a word that represents what our focus will be. (I love the constraint of choosing just one word to represent a year’s worth of focus).
This year’s discussions were no different than other years. The talk begins casual and light. Maybe you’ve had the same kinds of thoughts: what could 2018 be? What should we pursue? Where do we focus?
At some point in the word-of-the-year conversation, Hoots will whip out her phone and review the list of all the words of the year so far, plus all the words that have been serious contenders but were not chosen. We review and ruminate.
2017’s Word of the Year was “rise.” Boy did we get that word right. The Oneicity team each practiced rising in their way. We saw them rise professionally and personally. The company worked hard to rise. And it did.
Hoots and I each had moments we practiced rising.
I don’t always set specific written goals, but in 2017 I had 3 big long-arc professional “rise” goals.
I managed to rise in 2017. In hindsight, it felt good to get those done. They were big “rise” moments for me. But that was 2017, what about 2018?
2018’s word came slowly. We didn’t rush it or force it. We had one word that we were leaning toward that fell out just as I was deciding it could be the winner. Then we had a lovely word that would have worked for us personally but wouldn’t have fit so well for our team or company. That’s the tough part. We’re trying to find a word that can fit us both personally and for our company. It’s not an easy trick.
And as often happens, Hoots tossed this year’s word out, and it just felt right. I played with it for a day or so and was sure it was our word.
Our 2018 word of the year is “Today.”
We’re declaring “Today” as our word for 2018 because we want to remember that today is most important. We all live so much of our lives in the future—planning and dreaming that we can completely skip over the moment that is “today.”
Plus, maybe you’re like me and can fall into living in the past. Or living in your phone.
Today reminds me to live in the now and be present.
Today isn’t about worry or regrets. Worry projects us into a tomorrow that hasn’t arrived. Regrets anchor us in yesterday.
Today is making every moment count.
Today is staying present in the moment.
Today is engaging with the people around you.
Today is acting in the now.
Today is grabbing the opportunity.
Acting in “today” requires a certain skill. It’s not easy. You and I have to recognize what’s most important in this day. It can be tricky to sort out.
Think about it in your life. Today is the building block of your life. The poet and essayist Annie Dillard says it this way: “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” Your life is the sum of your todays. Don’t know about you, but I find it nearly impossible to keep that in mind day after day without a system to help me stay in today. (My TEDx talk deals with my struggle.)
In 2017, I added a few Stoic philosophers to my daily reading.
The Stoics have had quite a resurgence. Much of Silicon Valley and the Venture Capital world is reading the Stoics. The Stoic philosophers aren’t at all what I thought. Much more practical and mostly inline with my beliefs. I came across this from Marcus Aurelius, “This is the mark of perfection of character — to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, laziness, or any pretending.” That my friend is some serious “today” thinking.
And finally, I can’t end without the reminder from Psalms (which I enjoy reading with the Stoics—they compliment each other nicely). “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps 118:24)
Every “today” is a gift.
At Oneicity we will use every day to serve our clients.
Every day to grow personally.
We will work hard to be in the moment.
We’re not worrying about the future.
We will stay focused in this day we’ve been given.
I believe thinking now about the year and committing to a direction or focus will change your year for the better.
What about you? What’s your focus for 2018? I’d love to hear what you are thinking about.
(photo credits: sackerman519)