Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


Leave a comment

My Word for 2018


jungwoo-hong-100345So, 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?

MOMENTUM.

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:

Advertisements


Leave a comment

MLK Day

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 6.37.24 PM

I posted this quote to my business’ Facebook Page today. It’s a quote I don’t think I’ve heard before, but I loved it the moment I heard it on my Calm meditation app this morning.

It may seem weird, but I always look forward to reading the MLK quotes on this anniversary. I am continually overwhelmed by how much wisdom, determination, and courage was wrapped up in one person. It’s almost unfathomable.

Hearing his words, no matter where they’re posted, humbles me and brings me to tears every year, and I am a better person for it.

I even wrote about it on this previous post, “Why I Fight,” which explains my admiration for him, Moses, and Abraham Lincoln, and how I am part of their legacy in the search for social justice. So are you, should you choose to be. There is a place for each of us.

I pray we do not post a quote on days like today and leave it at that, though. I pray we remember his legacy and sacrifice, and strive to be better people, and better citizens of this planet. Everything we do affects everyone else, to sum up another one of his quotes.

May we be people of peace and love, not of fear and division.

Happy MLK Day.


Leave a comment

Merry Christmas!

My Apartment Complex

From our snow day on December 8th!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I wanted to share these scriptures with you on this day of celebration. They’re a little atypical for Christmas, but my friend shared them with recently, and I thought you might find hope and comfort in them too. What could be better during the holidays, right?

Proverbs 3: 6 from The Living Bible: “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
Matthew 11: 28-30 from The Message:  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


Leave a comment

My 2017 Reading List

While there are many 2017-reading-listbenefits to working at home, the downside is that I don’t get to listen to near as many audiobooks as I used to. I really miss that, and my Wish List is piling up as we speak (or as I type).

However, I did manage to sneak a few in this year, and wanted to share them with you in case you’re looking for a good read.

And if you read something wonderful, please let me know about it!

2016 Reading List

2015 Reading List

2014 Reading List

2013 Reading List

2012 Reading List

2011 Reading List

By the way, if you haven’t yet discovered the magic of Audible, you can snag two, free audiobooks here. They’re yours to keep, even if you decide not to get a membership.

And if you don’t have much time to read, try Blinkist, where they summarize books into just 10 minutes of content.

I spend most of my car time listening to podcasts these days. Here are a few of my favorites. What would you add?

Happy learning!

 

PS: Some links are affiliate links, which means I get a small kick back for introducing awesome people to awesome things. I only promote what I love. 

 


Leave a comment

The Hope Deck

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 9.10.34 AM

Photo via The Hope Deck

Hey, everyone –

Just wanted to quickly tell you about a cool offer from my friend, Jen Gordon, of The Hope Deck.

A couple of years ago, before I met her, Jen went through some really difficult circumstances in her life, but was blessed enough to have a group of good friends to see her through it. Later, one of these friends challenged her to make something good from all of this mess.

She’s a graphic designer, so she created The Hope Deck as a thank you gift for these friends. It’s a beautiful set of cards with a different Bible verse on each one. In fact, those friends selected the scriptures that were used.

She kept getting more requests for The Hope Deck, so now she’s making them commercially. She’s almost out of the original run, so she launched a Kickstarter a couple of weeks ago to get more printed. This second run will be enough to start selling them in stores, through affiliates online, and things like that.

Typically, a Hope Deck is $23, but for the next three days you can get two for $24. And they are super nice quality!

I’ve enjoyed having mine, and thought some of you might be interested as well. You can use them yourself as prayer cards, postcards, recipe cards, reminders, decor, and things like that. Or you can buy a bunch to keep on hand for gifts. Due to the nature of the cards, they work for pretty much any occasion!

I’m really proud of Jen, and am praying this is a successful campaign. Please join me in supporting her!

Join the Kickstarter Now!

ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT!