Wow, it feels like just yesterday that I was sharing my 2019 guiding words: Vision, Transition and Fun. This year, my words have come to me in pieces – with my first word being certain from the start and the others “trickling in” as I’ve prayed, thought and talked about them with others.

There is so much disruption and change happening at the macro level -- think election, globalization, demographics, technology and more. The enormous change is driving a sense of helplessness, frustration and even hopelessness around us. I have grown so tired of bad news and negativity. It is no great skill to be a problem-pointer-outer! So, my first word came to me immediately because it will act as my armor in 2020 against pessimism and complacency. My first is HOPEFUL.

This year, I will:

  • Shift my inner dialogue and conversations with my family, friends, clients and other audiences to always ask, “What are the possible silver linings to these issues and/or solutions we can try?”
  • Practice a regular listing of hopeful possibilities in my life. It’s easy to list your worries – and it’s okay to do so in a daily journal, so you can get them out of your head and potentially put them to rest. But right next to those worries, I’m going to regularly list the areas where I see hope and possibility.
  • Lead others in the practice of listing the hope and possibility they see for their firms, teams and themselves and aid them in communicating hopeful messages and executing real strategies to achieve that potential.

We do a lot of this already, but I haven’t been as intentional about it as I will be this year. As hopeless and fearful messages from the media get louder, I plan to speak over them and spread HOPE.

My second word came easily, too. And it is GRATEFUL. I practice gratitude regularly, praising God for my many blessings and admiring the gifts and contributions of others. But I don’t verbalize my gratitude as often as I should – especially with those closest to me, and I plan to express gratitude to my family and team members as a daily practice, just as I do my prayers of thanksgiving to God. I will also be present to the enormous gratitude I feel in 2020, as ConvergenceCoaching celebrates our 20th anniversary in business. The support of family, team members, former colleagues, clients and our many friends in the profession has given us so many opportunities and we are forever grateful for those. All year long, we plan to highlight the wonderful contributions of others that raised our business to adulthood.

This year’s third word has taken more effort. If you know me, you know I can be intense and intent at times. My winning formula amid chaos or challenge is always to buckle down and grind more time, energy and physical effort to make things happen. Yet this year, I want to practice more faithfully giving up my false notion of control and self-reliance and look more intentionally and hopefully to others to bring solutions and their unique gifts. That’s why I’ve chosen the word FLOW to symbolize my commitment to faithfully make space and allocate time for ideas, solutions, strategies for change and higher-level “world” energy to come to me and to others around me. Through more regular meditation, prayer, collaboration and scheduled thinking time, I intend for brainstorms, bold ideas and blessings to flow easily between me and others.

Those are my three words to start this new decade. As I progress in my changed thinking, new behaviors and actions around these three words, I’ll report back. Meanwhile, what are your words? What is your intention for 2020?