Last year, I changed up the way I approached New Year’s resolutions. I just simply dropped them. You know how resolutions go – you start with great intentions, but somewhere around the middle of February, we forget, or we simply don’t care anymore. Why did we go through the work of doing it, if we don’t plan on sticking with it.
Around the middle of December last winter, a group of friends did the same thing – however, they replaced a resolution with three guiding words for the year. For me, this makes a lot more sense. Instead of being really specific as to what my goal was for the year, I could broad sense three words that could cover a lot of areas.
Before I break down this year’s words, I should look back at last year and see how I did. You can read my post about last year’s resolutions here. My three words last year were, consistency, courage, and community.
When it comes to community, I feel like I did really well. I am involved in many groups around our awesome town and feel like I contributed. The one area I didn’t get done was the Help Portrait program. Towards the end of the year, the project didn’t get off the ground. However, I am such a believer in the program, that next December, along with the local photography club, we will pull that event off.
Courage and Consistency were the other two words I had for 2014. I stepped outside of my comfort zone a bit more than I have in the past, and I was more consistent in the areas I wanted to be consistent in.
Looking back overall, the three words helped keep me on track for the whole year. I feel like it was a success from that standpoint.
So, what about 2015?
Well, that’s a great question. Several weeks ago, I made plans with the same group of friends to get together and share our three words for 2015. Since 2014 came so easy, I thought that 2015 would jump off the page at me. Instead, I really put a lot of thought in to where I was going to go this year. In fact, I didn’t have my third word until a lunch meeting with a friend helped solidify my thought process.
Buckle up, here we go.
My first word for 2015 is Outdoors. Face it, we have four pretty spectacular seasons here in Minnesota. Look, if you’re not from here, I get it. From the outside, it looks cold all the time. Well, guess what, Minnesota is a pretty awesome state for anything outdoors, no matter the time of year. Spring can be a bit wet, but whatever. Summer? Land of 10,000 lakes, and millions of mosquitos. But it’s also a great time to be on the bicycle. It’s a great time to be on the kayak. It’s a great time to go camping! Go rock climbing or go on the Flying Squirrel. Get off the treadmill and run a half-marathon. Go to an outdoor music festival!
Fall? I am probably a bit biased, but I will take a Minnesota fall over any other state. I just love the colors here. Whether it’s the north shore, or the southern part of the state, the colors are quite spectacular. It’s a great time to get out and hike and generally explore. Winter? Well, depending on who you talk to, the answer will vary greatly. But you know what, one of the ways people deal with winter up here is to go out and immerse yourself in it. From snowshoeing to skiing, to skating and sledding, to snowmobiling, and going down a hill on a rubber tube, there’s a lot of things to do to pass the time that we have some snow on the ground.
My goal for this year, is to really get out and enjoy the weather here. Too often we spend all day behind a computer, or in our cars driving someplace. We come home from work and bury ourselves behind the tv and watch more crap that the TV execs think we may like. Honestly, how many more reality shows can we take? They are all the same anyway. My goal is also my challenge to you. Get outside! Enjoy what Minnesota seasons have to offer. I promise you that the winter will go by much faster if you are doing something other than sitting behind a computer or watching TV all winter. All those things listed above? I’m going to give those a try. I already snowshoe; I’ve been on skis before, and I’ve been down a hill on a tube at mach speeds. It’s really enjoyable. Get outside!
The second word for 2015 is Memories.
I really battled back and forth over this one. I had at least four other words I was considering before this word came to me over lunch with a friend today.
Seriously, time is something we only get a little bit of. Kids grow up too damn fast and it seems like the older I get, the faster time goes. Take the time to build memories that will last a lifetime.
Put down the social media device and look up. Be present in the moment occurring in front of you. In reality, do you have to be behind your phone when you are at the table with friends? Facebook and Twitter will wait. Even Snapchat can wait. I know it will be hard – especially for me. But it’s something I have to put more focus on. We all should, really. This is coming from someone who will just put #hashtag at the end of a tweet, just because. Memories also are the only thing we have that connects us with our friends. I want to spend the next year, and many years after this, creating memories that I can look back on and say, “yep, that was fun.”
I say it a lot, but whatever. I have the most outstanding friends a person could ask for. Let’s do epic shit this year.
Live in the moment. Make memories. We only get one go around at this.
My third word for 2015 is Create.
photo credit: Kristine Leuze
Create falls in to so many of the things I want to focus on this year. I had projects that I’ve wanted to do for the past two years and it’s time to make those a reality. Many of my thoughts around creating surround photography, of course. I suppose it’s not a bad thing, but I suppose it depends on who you talk to. I also want to take the word create in to my other business of running senior living communities. The word create has so many possibilities between the two areas, I can hardly contain all of the thoughts I have around the idea.
I’ve had a few photography projects that I’ve wanted to complete over the few years, and now is the time to make those projects a reality. I’ll start with the Help Portrait program. It failed to get off the ground as I had hoped this past year, but in discussing the project with people around the area, I found great support for the project. This year I will push forward with it with the help of some fantastic people. I’ve had two other projects that involve major shoots that I’d like to see come to fruition this year as well. For now, I will hold those a bit closer to the vest, but look for most posts on it throughout the year as we move forward. One even involves a crossover of photography and seniors. I can’t wait.
In my main business, I want to find ways to create new programs that will help our employees, help our residents, and help our families connect with our brand and our communities in ways they haven’t before. I think we do a pretty good job of 90% of the programs we currently do – but I want to see how we can innovate around what we already do well, and take it to the next level. That will require some creative thinking – but I know it can be done.
This word will be the most challenging for me to accomplish, but I believe that now that I’ve written it down, it will help me put a better focus on it.
So there you have it. My three words for 2015 are: Outdoors, Memories, and Create.
The word “resolution” means “to be broken”. Go ahead, look it up. I’ll wait. Every year I made a resolution, and I never stuck with it. Since making the move to the three guiding words, I’ve been more focused and it stuck with me throughout the entire year. It wasn’t something that I forgot about on February 15th.
If you are reading this, my challenge to you this year is to drop the resolutions from your vocabulary and make the switch to the three guiding words. Try it for a year, and see where you end up. If it doesn’t work, what’s the difference, the resolution wasn’t going to stick anyway.
Tell me what your three words are in the comments below. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.