I have joined Chris Brogan for several years in pronouncing three theme words for the year as it begins. I have had some random success with this method, but sometimes I completely forget the words. I could look them up, but I don’t know what the words I chose were last year, so it did little good to decide on them. Ironically, I usually have a word on my inspiration list that reminds me to practice regularly, or stay consistent. I believe I have not been specific enough about exactly what I would consistently do or practice. My approach to this year’s words, which I almost did not even do, relate to my wellness and creativity goals. Both wellness and creativity are the summation of small but consistent practices. This year I want to put in minimal effort for maximal results. I want to waste no time, money or effort on anything that does not serve me. If what I find myself doing does not pass the three word test in 2016 I will change my actions. I want to do exclusively three things:
- Float- An efficient swimmer uses glide to stay on top of the water. Getting the most out of each stroke is an art and a strategy for endurance. If I want to live a better life I need to make use of my leisure time to truly fully relax and glide. Meditation, time in nature, yoga, joyous communion with friends, and similar practices feed the soul and allow the mind to center and restore. The float can be active or passive, but in order to qualify as a float it cannot be distracted. We all need the restorative antidote to active lives. This includes sleep and dreams.
- Sting-In an obvious tribute to Mohamed Ali, I plan to sting like a bee in 2017. This represents clean, clear planning and targeted actions. If I am not floating like a butterfly I need to direct my full attention to the task at hand to make it work. I am forever flying by the seat of my pants. This has worked well (??) for me, so I am lazy as hell when it comes to planning. I have so much faith in my own ability to wing it that I do so. Planning and executing a bullet journal to foster ideas for fiction writing I plan to do is an example. I have thought about trying fiction for years, but have taken no action to begin. A sting can be active or passive, but to qualify it must have a target. Stinging involves hitting a predetermined bullseye. It can be a health or a creativity goal, but it is specifically planned to create a desired outcome.
- Sizzle- In order to make any project worth the time it will consume in my schedule it needs to shine. I have plenty of mundane tasks I need to accomplish without adding to the list. This is related to stinging, but is about how the outside world receives my work. If I am to write poetry or fiction worth reading I need to be much more discriminating. In planning what and how to sting I will look beyond my ego and ask the question, “How does this serve the world?” Maybe this will be the year I start to do comedy, which I think I am so good at doing all the time. If I really did comedy on purpose, and actually wrote some material, I could find out if the world would be amused. To sizzle means to score somehow with others to enrich their lives. It can be strangers or people I know, but it has to benefit somebody somewhere.
I think this year I will print the list of words and keep it in my office where I will see it. That is probably the easiest and best way to stick to it. I wish all my gentle readers a healthy and fortunate year.