Happy New Year, friends. I hope you had a restful two weeks away (away from me, at least) and got to catch up with friends and family (biological or borrowed).
If you’re new around here (Hi Eria, Maggie, and others), here’s what you need to know. Every January, I choose my “Lighthouse Word” (see also 2018, 2017), which is:
“a barometer. I can think of it before I pursue a new opportunity, start a project, or write a blog post. It also keeps me focused on a single goal. At the end of the year, I can evaluate success and failure on a single axis, ensuring I don’t get overwhelmed or distracted by the next shiny object.”
But before I reveal this year’s word, let’s look back on how I did last year.
Looking Back on 2018
How did I do? Very bad. F minus.
Last January, I chose the word “share,” and because I knew I would not follow through without some concrete goals, I outlined three things to focus on: sharing my writing more broadly, show more “behind the scenes” of creative projects, and releasing Hello My Name is Harold.
For the latter two objectives, I blame graduate school. I mean, I knew it would be challenging, but I didn’t think it would consume my life. How foolish of me. The book is nearly complete, but I haven’t prioritized the last 5% of work that needs doing before I can send it out into the world. And as for sharing “behind the scenes” stuff, I just haven’t had that many projects to share—I’ve been doing other things.
As for sharing my writing more broadly, that’s just not a goal I care about it anymore. Of course, I love meeting new people and expanding my audience, but that’s not why I do this.
“I don’t do it to make money, or get likes, or even grow my audience. It is not a side hustle. It’s a hobby. I do it to restore my energy…It’s a form of self-care. It’s for my own health. And just like I’d make time for exercise or sleep, I make time for blogging too.”
How You Fared in 2018
“As for 2018, “Prepare” was a very practical guiding word. I would write it on top of each new page in my journal so I wouldn’t forget it throughout the year. There were a few slips along the way, for sure. A few missed appointments and the occasional scrambling-at-the-last-minute, but I think prioritizing preparedness helped keep me calm and organized on the whole, and hopefully instilled some habits in me for years to come.”
“Well I have to say, my goal for strength this year did come to fruition, but it happened in different ways than I had in mind. This year has taught me the difference between being strong and being stubborn – attitudes that I sometimes (willfully?) confuse.”
“I remember that as my word—ambition. I actually look back now and think it wasn’t a good one. Not that I wasn’t ambitious but I think there’s something about it that wasn’t actionable as my previous words.”
“2018 was a bit of a wild ride. The first half was fun and adventurous and I greatly enjoyed my “fuck it” mantra, saying yes to things without overanalyzing. Yay! After taking 6 months off to enjoy life I dove into a new job in the cannabis industry, which is like the wild west. Fun, and crazy. Also did lots of improv, acting, piano playing and whatever else seemed fun.”
“Risk really was my key word for this year. It drove all my decisions and brought me my biggest wins and biggest lessons learned. Without risk, there’s no reward. I’m happy to say that because I had the courage to dream big and act big, I’ve made more connections and grown more in the past year than I have any other year prior. I’m really looking forward to keeping the risk-mentality strong for 2019 and seeing what comes of it.”
Ok, On to my 2019 Lighthouse Word
2019’s Lighthouse Word is: share
That’s right. The same word. I’m running it back. My blog, my rules.
I did such a bad job in 2018 that I probably shouldn’t choose a new word without passing this one. But more importantly, I am choosing share again because I want to take it on differently.
In the past, my words have been creativity/blog focused. But this blog is an extension of myself—how I learn, how I think. So to make this blog better, I could focus on the blog, or I could take one step back and focus on me.
Share, this year, is a challenge to open up, be more honest, communicate better, give more in a conversation, and push myself to go outside of my comfort zone.
If you’re choosing a Lighthouse Word for 2019, please let me know.
Each Monday, I share strategies to help you pursue your passions. Try it. You’ll like it.