Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Three Guiding Words for 2018 - Love, Resilience and Action

Rather than New Year’s resolutions, I recommend this plan:  Choose three words that have personal meaning to you that you will use as guideposts for 2018.  No, I didn’t come up with that idea – Chris Brogan did.  Chris is a major social media guru and I first learned of this idea several years ago as it is a big thing among my nonprofit online community.  You can read his whole article on this subject here.

Chris further explains:  “Make the words such that they influence your choice of actions, encourage you to decide in favor of your goals, and guide you towards lasting results that you want to experience throughout the year.

That all sounds oriented to people in the prime of their careers but it works for us retired Grandmas too.  I like the idea of having a guiding focus for the year much better than making resolutions that are not going to happen.

Here are my three words for 2018.

Love, resilience, action. Let me explain what each means to me.

Still crazy in love after all these years

I am 69 years old and have been married to my husband for over 47 years. We raised two children who have blessed us with three grandchildren. I know what love means.  I am incredibly lucky to have my children live nearby and this means I get to see my grandchildren often and be part of their lives.  This year, I want to consciously make sure I always cherish this privilege, try to always be there when needed and be receptive to the love that is offered to me.  As a strong willed, independent spirited person these are not idle goals.

There is truth in the adage “It isn’t easy getting old.”  My mind still wants to multitask but my brain says forget it.  My mind wants to do the things I did 30 years ago, but my body does not cooperate.  Adapting to change – not only in the world but also in my own capabilities – is important.  That doesn’t mean giving up but it does mean being willing to make adjustments.  Webster’s definition of resilience is: “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”  Here is a small example of something we have done in the last several years.  We have hosted a New Year’s Eve party for close to 40 years.  A few years ago we changed the time of the party to 6 to 10 PM.  Turned out everyone liked that idea.  Since then, every year I have modified the food I prepare to be a little more simple and guess what -  that is just fine.  I am not giving up entertaining but I will definitely be open to help and modifying plans.  In 2018 I plan to apply this to other activities – rather than give up things, what adjustments can I make to still do the things I want to do.  For instance, I still plan to go into New York to toy shows for material for this blog but perhaps I don't have to be at the Javitz Center at 8 AM for the early morning special events by host companies at Toy Fair.  Well...maybe...if the weather cooperates....

At Turtle Back Zoo for Light Show in the frigid cold with my grandson
My grandson with his Mom doing more of the work baking Christmas cookies this year
Opening Parade for Toy Fair 2017 - 8:30 AM at Javitz Center

This builds on resilience.  As I get older I realize that the clock is ticking on my being able to do things that I want to do and/or haven’t done yet.  Don’t delay!  This doesn’t just mean taking those trips that I thought about but didn’t take or doing wild things on a bucket list.  It means doing things with my grandchildren that I can but may be a stretch.  It means being activist about issues that are important to me.  It means volunteering to do things that require physical energy.  I am determined to not tell myself to slow down too much while at the same time being cognizant of what makes sense.

On mentoring trip with my high school - at Lincoln Center, NYC on a very cold day
I hope to do all of these activities in 2018 and more.  But also I want to be smart enough to make adjustments if necessary.

So these are my three guiding words for 2018 - Love, Resilience and Action.  I recommend this activity. Chris Brogan says to  “Write these words down. Post them everywhere. Schedule them to pop up in your calendar. And use these words as part of your decision-making process every day.”  Well that may be more than I do, but I do plan to have them pop up once a month in my calendar.

What do you think of this idea?  What are your words for 2018?