My newsfeed has been full of people picking their power word for 2017. The bloggers and entrepreneurs have been talking about their goals for business in the new year. Instead of choosing your power word, it’s time to kill old habits and bring about radical change. Stop talking, and start doing.
I chose a different path. One of radical change and action, starting in December so I would come into the new year – yes, today – ready for action.
In years past, I’ve set myself goals. Our family has set ones together too. The typical ones sometimes – weight loss, be healthier – and the not-so typical – move to a farm, and grow our own food. The SMART goals I made that I truly threw myself into, I accomplished them with flair that is all my own. It’s not without hard work, perseverance, support of my whole family, and yes, a lot of late nights.
Taking Care of Yourself is STILL Not Optional
This single-mindedness though has costs – real costs. In 2016, I lost two months of work to health challenges that I would gladly leave in my rearview mirror. I struggled to balance a growing family, relationship with my husband, being a farmer, full-time work and 2 growing online businesses. My mantra probably was, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” I had late nights until 11pm or sometimes 1 am and then I would hit the keyboard at 5am the next day.
Although after the same health challenges earlier, I still didn’t get it. Honestly, I’m still learning. But I know I need more sleep, more water, and more outdoor adventures in 2017. I feel better when I move. I am a better parent, and my writing is creative and clear.
There are still cracks even with self care – my kids needed me. I felt like I was always putting them off, as they stood around my keyboard while I reached for deadlines. “Mommy, will you play with me?” they asked. I’m ashamed at how many times I said “in a minute”. Or the times that I did play, but with my phone in tow while I just replied to an email in the middle of their game. My husband needed more time too, and he wasn’t afraid to make his opinion known.
Killing Old Habits – The Next Step
In December, I took a huge step that honestly scares the snot out of me. I said goodbye to my cubicle. The one I’ve been sitting in every day for 40 hours (and sometimes more) each week for the past almost two years.
I yearn for more flexibility, the ability to take my kids to their activities, and to change the way I work. I want the natural light that I love to be taking photographs in available to me every day – just not on the weekends. To be able to switch off at night, sit down and watch a show with my husband without worrying what else I need to do. But with this also comes meal planning, a tighter budget and almost too many choices on what work to tackle.
I finally stepped off the curb. My side projects are now just my projects, and my time is my own. Damn, it feels good. Now to plan out the next steps, but even more than that – just take action. See what happens, and trust the path we’re on.
What radical change are you going to effect in 2017?