So, how is it possible that it’s mid-February already! I really can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. And I think there are a few reasons for that, in my case.
The first is that I’ve been a busy, little bee. I had already started setting up for 2018 back in November, and then hard-core in December, so January rolled in like a freight train because it was heavily on my mind. The second is because I’ve been working a lot of hours. This is an intense season for a few reasons, but I also know I can’t keep it up forever, and am already starting to slow down due to the normal wear and tear of life.
But all of the above is due to my word for the year. While last year was momentous because it revolved all around building the foundation of my budding business, this year is the direct result. I mean, Signify wasn’t my word for the year for nothing! (That’s the name of my business, FYI.)
I usually start thinking about my word for the year in November. I think that’s a natural point when we start looking toward the future and how to finish our year well. At that point, I kinda knew the feelings I wanted my word to represent, but didn’t have a name for it yet. That came when I started to really pray about those feelings. And during a prayer, I used this one word, and I stopped in my tracks. THAT was my word! It was a beautiful, little revelation.
So, what was this word?
If you’ve read any of my previous posts about my word for the year, you know I like to use verbs. I like the action-oriented words because they symbolize intentionality for me. And so, while MOMENTUM is actually a noun, it implies action. And I kinda dig that.
February marks my 20th month in business. I consider those first six months, which were actually the last six months of 2016, to be my training wheels. Though I by no means have it all figured out (far from it!), that start gave me a chance to just get used to life as an entrepreneur. It was a good start, but difficult—ask any entrepreneur!
So, last year was all about trying to build a foundation. There was still plenty of “new” last year, but I was (slightly) more comfortable with it. The biggest challenge of last year was when I launched my digital presence, including my website, social media, and weekly blog. That took a lot of getting used to because, while important, none of that paid the bills. It was a lot of extra effort outside client work. But it slowly became a little more manageable.
For the first year of my business, I worked almost exclusively with friends. This was an absolute blessing, and the best way to start! I created Signify to support my friends professionally. After all, I was already supporting them personally, so this was a natural extension. But, of course, I needed to grow.
In the latter half of last year, I started getting more word-of-mouth attention, referrals, and more notice online. It started some new trends in my business, and it was exciting.
And now, I’m just a little further down the road, and I want to keep growing. I need to keep getting my name out there, so that more business keeps coming in. This is especially important because I differ from a lot of other people in my industry for two, main reasons: I like working with small businesses and I like working on projects. Most people are busy searching out big companies and getting retainer clients. Now, I’m not fundamentally opposed to either of those things, but it’s just not my absolute preference. But this means I have to do a lot of hustling to make sure work is coming in the door.
So, this year is all about MOMENTUM. I’ve put some good things in place, but need to extend my reach. And I think this word will help me do that.
However, though Signify is obviously a huge part of my life, it’s not the only reason I chose MOMENTUM. There are some personal habits I’d like to encourage as well.
One of those is my health. I’ve talked extensively on this blog about my chronic health issues, and I made a lot of progress last year. Even though being a solopreneur isn’t exactly stress-free, it’s allowed me to work from home full-time, get more rest, and allow my body to heal. So, I think 2018 will be another huge chapter for improving my health, and of course, that spills into all areas of my life.
Another personal reason that comes to mind is that I’ve been working on my morning routine since December. I have always been a night owl. It’s very hard for me to fall asleep before midnight most nights. But, of course, I also need to be productive in the day. And while it’s true that I can now set my own schedule, most of the world operates during certain hours, and it’s to my advantage to follow that. So, even though I don’t set an alarm now unless I have a morning meeting, I also don’t want to sleep too late. That means going to bed at a decent hour and waking up at a decent hour. In an ideal world, this would be 11:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. for me. (I require a lot of sleep, and always have.)
So, I’ve been building a more structured morning routine. Currently, it includes four things that take 20 minutes or so: The 5 Minute Journal, reading Jesus Calling, 10 minutes of meditation via my Calm App, and five minutes of yoga (I YouTube several.). I’ve also just started drinking hot, lemon water to start my day, and am enjoying that too. These are all habits I want to continue improving this year as they set the tone for my days.
There are some other personal and professional reasons as well, but in the interest of keeping this blog post a reasonable length, I’ll leave it at those since they are three, primary reasons.
And here’s my verse for the year:
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20
MOMENTUM. That’s my word for the year. And it’s got me pretty excited.
Have a word for the year? Tell me! I love hearing how people are being more intentional in their lives. 🙂
Interested in picking your own word for the year, but need some help? Here are some resources that might help:
My previous words for the year:
- Signify – 2017
- Renew – 2016
- Frame – 2015
- Clarify – 2014
- Simplify – 2013
- Prioritize – 2012
- Prioritize – 2011 (Used this word twice)
- Action – 2010
- Prepare – 2009 (No blog post)
- I can’t remember what my words were before this time since I didn’t have a blog, but my friends and I started doing this tradition in maybe 2006/7, I think.