In early January, Chris Messina and many others kicked off the new year with "theme words", ideas that should help them focus their efforts. I thought I'd share the #themeword I picked a month ago and have been following since. It's "exploration", in every sense of the word.
Exploration in the travel sense. I want to see more of Europe. I've been in the UK for some years now but haven't had a varied holiday track records, going mainly to Canada to see the family and Menorca for a touch of sun. I want to see the Italian countryside, check out the Scandinavian winter to compare to the Canadian one, see more of France, especially the South. I unquestionably want to fly out to New Zealand to see my sister during her stay there, and I want to give some parts of the US another go, even though I'm not so fond of Maricans.
Exploration of business opportunities. Last night, while invoicing a few older pepsmedia clients who have ongoing hosting contracts with us, I realised how far I'd come in confidence, knowledge and general business sense since we started. Every year, every month, I can see that we're producing better projects, making clients happier and feeling more in control of our business. It's hard work, but it's genuinely enjoyable and rewarding. I look forward to another year of growth and new ideas, pushing myself further than before.
Exploration of skills and abilities that are currently nascent or unused. I know too well that it's easy to sit within your existing comfort zone and use exclusively the skills you already master. It allows you to look good, always in control, but it doesn't take much to fall into a much-dreaded routine. As my inspirational and downright wonderful grandfather always showed me, you stay young by continuing to learn. There's a world of possibilities out there, and I don't see a reason to stop now.
Exploration of my friendships and relationships. There are so many great people in my life with whom I don't spend enough time, I want to take advantage of our soon-to-be new house's dining room and back garden to have as many dinner parties, bbqs and social get-togethers as possible, enjoying life and good company.
While exploring - and my life in general - seems to be about more, more, more, faster, faster, faster, I also want to think in terms of less and slower. Taking me-time to breathe and think and focus myself. Eating better, at the dining table and without the tv on. Having evenings where both Andrew and I can relax without worrying about work to be done.
So far, it's looking like it'll be a good year... What's your themeword?