2018 came. 2018 has now gone.
Joined past tense like all those other years before it.
It’s been a strange year. An amazing, memorable one.
Tough. At times, to the brink tough. But glorious, too.
Here are a few things I’ve achieved, gone through, endured and laughed through this year:
- Imogen was born.
- Imogen grew up past, from infant to baby.
- George made me proud on more occasions than I can count.
- I cleared credit card debt.
- We turned our house into a home.
- We went on holiday twice (with a baby).
- I started my fifth book (halfway through).
- I met great people.
- Made a few amazing clients.
- Tightened great relationships with others.
- Grown alongside Rosanna.
- Had lots of family time.
There are many more moments, of course.
But it’s clear, as I look back, that this year has been a grand one. One I’ll remember. One I’ll treasure. One I’ll look back on and miss.
But… it’s been tough.
Having a baby is tough. Balancing it with work and life and everything else is tough. At times, impossible.
And I cannot overlook this as I look back on this year. Because I’ve let a lot of things slide this year. You have to, when you bring a kid into the world. They play by no rules, other than their own. They don’t obey your sleep. They don’t stick to your schedule.
You have to let go.
You have to adapt.
You have to BE.
And it’s tough.
This, in part, is what inspires me now as I plan for 2019. I yearn to regain some of what I’ve lost, but not lose that in which I’ve gained. I feel like I’ve learned a lot; evolved.
I want to continue to.
This is what I dedicate my 3 Words for the year to.
This is is the vision I pain for the year ahead.
Because you don’t have to settle.
You can have your cake and eat it.
The world is full of abundance, yet we forget this.
I know I have over the last few months. Due to being tired and fed up and out of energy and will, I’ve too often assumed that this is how it is. It will pass, sure, but right now this is it.
- The lack of sleep.
- The lack of time.
- The arguments born out of pure frustration.
- The comfort eating.
- The lack of exercise.
- The lack of “ME” time.
I’ve lost sight of what maters, because I’ve lost myself within my self: self-pity, playing the victim, ego, sadness, the burning of candles that are close to the tip.
It’s affected me. It’s affected my mood and my commitment to work, family and me.
I’ve grown complacent, losing sight on the consistency I built at the start of the year. I have sacrificed “me” time so I can serve others I love, which is fine and noble, but not the point of love. I have let things slide in body and mind… again, for others.
But if I’m being honest, mainly for me because it’s easier to blame it on others.
So 2018 has been amazing. I truly, utterly mean that. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Yet I don’t want 2019 to be like it. To have elements, sure, but not to be a duplicate. Because I know I have more to give:
- to me,
- to others,
- to my family and those I love,
- to friends I haven’t seen for too long,
- to my vision for the future,
- to my work, writing and craft,
- to this ONE life I’m given,
- to TIME!
So… my three words for 2019 are as so:
1: PRESENCE ==> to be more present in the moment, and to be conscious about how I spend my time, what I put in my body, what I say yes to and no, and why I choose what I do. If I find myself on autopilot or do something just-because… I owe it to myself and to those around me to stop and focus on the moment.
2: SELFISH ==> I am a father. I am a partner. I am a writer. I am a man. I am many things, but above all I am human. I have needs: mind, body & soul. I need to cater towards these, not be a martyr. I’m an introvert who enjoys time inside his own mind. This is how I heal. Without it, I’m no good for anyone. So I need to fill my own glass daily, because the only way to be selfless is to first be selfish.
3: SELFLESS ==> none of the above matters if I forget that I am indeed a father and partner. Beyond the words, my own needs and those of my clients, I have duty and care to care for my family. This means once my own glass is full, I should look to fill the glasses of others: my kids; my loving partner; my family and loved ones; friends, both absent and not; clients, colleagues and my team.
There’s a song by Gillian Welch called ‘Look at Miss Ohio”.
During it she sings, “I wanna do right but not right now.”
I’ve always loved this line, and thought about it often in recent weeks. I want to do right. I want to serve and love and care and be the most generous, selfless and caring person I can be.
In the past, I’ve struggled to be any and all of these.
Since becoming a father (and being in a real relationship) I’ve started to appreciate how important and amazing “doing right” is. I feel I’ve sometimes swaying too far the others way” to serve others ahead of me. This is wrong. This creates resentment and frustration.
So in 2019 I WILL be Selfish and fill my own cup.
But I WILL then take what’s left and top up another.
And all the while I WILL be Present; in the moment.
Because this time we have is precious. I love my family. I want to be with them and live with them and be with them as often as I can. But I also want to look in the mirror and smile and the hapless dude looking back; smile at who he is and the journey he’s on.
I want to achieve so much, for me and for others — for now and for the future.
I wanna do right, and I wanna do it now.
But I also want to continue to for many years to come.
And I’m starting to appreciate more and more by the day that this life is a marathon. the steps you take today matter, but not if they’re at the expense of the steps that come tomorrow.
So to finish this article off (that I’ve written for me, not for you) let me share my Vision for 2019. This is my Goal / Resolution / Aim / Objective / whatever you want to call it:
To create 100+ proud, memorable moments throughout 2019.
I will do this by committing to those three words above. Some will focus on family, whereas others will focus on work. Some will be only for me, whereas I’ll share others with others.
The moments will differ, but the collective point is to make 2019 purposeful.
I truly believe this commitment will lead to an abundance of much: money, opportunity, happiness, everything else we crave for as sapiens.
But I’ll do my best to focus on none of that stuff.
Instead, I will focus on the moments and see where that takes me…
But a final note is another important lesson I’ve learned in recent years, and it’s that there isn’t much value in a goal unless it’s consistently and regularly tracked. 2018 confirms this for me, as I became less and less accountable and motivated as the year went on.
So this year, each Sunday, I WILL dedicate a little time to PLAN + REVIEW.
- I’ll reflect on the week that’s just been, and make note of any memorable moments.
- I’ll add these proud, memorable moments to this simple spreadsheet.
- I’ll spend a little time planning for the week ahead — to ensure I’m focussed and ready.
I’ll leave everything else to the future.
The morning routine, the health kick, the mindfulness, the strategy, the budgeting, the shopping list, the everything else that I’ll no doubt tweak and refine as the months tick by… they can come tomorrow (or the day after, or any day it chooses).
For now, this is enough.
And with that I’d like to wish you an incredible end to 2018, and to a 2019 I hope you make the most of. Just remember it isn’t about how you start or how much you cram in. It’s about growth and progress; the evolution of YOU.
What that involves and looks like, I don’t know. It’s for you to figure out.
Set yourself up for success. Be kind. Know that you are enough.
I am, and over the coming year I plan to appreciate the fact a great deal more.