It’s January 1, 2021.
I’m at the beach, and though it’s an overcast, chilly day, I took a walk by the ocean. As I started on the walk, I wanted to think about a word for the year, a guiding mantra I can use to make decisions.
I let my mind wander as I walked. I wished a happy new year to a man near the water, and I noticed a couple of cute dogs. I observed how much I was enjoying the walk, all by myself on the first morning of the year.
When I turned to make my way back, I was suddenly walking into the wind. I hadn’t even noticed the wind when it was at my back, but now it made every step harder. I wasn’t cooing over cute dogs, and I certainly wasn’t thinking about how enjoyable the walk was.
Instead, I noticed my legs working to get through the sand, to make progress against the wind. And because everything is a metaphor for everything else, I started thinking about all the times when a project is just like this. The first part is great! So easy! I’m killing it!
Then an obstacle, a wrinkle, a set-back, and suddenly I’m noticing the soft sand and the wind in my face. It’s harder. There’s way more work than I thought.
This is the moment of decision, the time to dig in, to appreciate that I had the wind at my back before, and now to commit. And just like that, I had the word for the year.
Commitment. Commitment to doing fewer things, better. Commitment to staying the course. Commitment to my values and priorities.
All right, 2021. Let’s do this.
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