Welcome to 2020 beauties! 

How were your holidays? It’s my sincere hope that the festive winter season was filled with warm and fuzzy moments of gratitude and time spent with your favorite people and pursuits. The holidays can be a time of amplified emotions which can make everything more magical or more challenging depending on the situation. I traveled back home to Oregon for the first time in 18 months and felt a full spectrum of emotions ranging from: “Oh my God I love it here so much I want to cry, how can I move back?” to “Try to enjoy this beautiful moment now rather than distract from it by planning the logistics of how to come home.” I was buoyed with love, quality time, and ample holiday decadence. I feel so lucky and I wish this feeling for everyone.

To keep myself sane during the exuberance of the holidays, I said yes to as much self-care as possible. Saying yes to self-care helped to keep me grounded at the end of six months of travel. As I rode the Friend-and-Family-Holiday-Visiting Express, I was thrilled to hear my loved ones all but brag about their self-care. Some called it “self-care” or “indulgence” or “extravagance”, but no matter the word, it made me happy to hear my people choosing to prioritize themselves n the midst of holiday madness. I can’t think of anyone who plans on showing up to social events drained and weary, but so often that’s how we show up. I’m guilty of it too. Sometimes we stretch and bend our time around show up for everyone but ourselves. When we take care of ourselves, we can show up better for our people and make the most of our precious time together. Self-care is a classic look that I hope never goes out of style.

In the spirit of building on our collective self-care efforts (yay, us!), let’s talk about how to prioritize self-care in the context of obligation. Want to get more done, take care of your needs, and set some simple but powerful goals for 2020 and beyond? Then let’s get to one of my favorite topics: planning.  

Future Planning: an Addictive and Productive Pastime 

Do you like planning? If you know me, you know that I LOVE planning. I took a Spanish class in fall 2019 and one of the class activities was describing what we like to do such as: “I like to cook, read, and talk with friends”. I surprised myself by saying: “Me gusta practicar yoga, hacer senderismo, y hacer planes” (I like to practice yoga, hike, and make plans.) The love for planning runs deep and definitely checks my “Does this activity give me effervescence?” box. The fact that I just used a box checking metaphor just now is slightly embarrassing, but honestly just sitting here reflecting on planning gives me makes me sit up straighter, brings a genuine smile to all the muscles in my face, and triggers a fresh inhale breath through my nostrils. I’ve never done cocaine, but when I see actors do lines of coke in movies, their faces look a lot like how I feel when planning. That planning high is unmatched. It makes me feel in control of my life, tapped into my creative flow, and as if I’m using my finite time on this planet wisely. Planning gives me reasons to look forward to moments, provides me with motivation to complete certain tasks, and gives me time markers for when I’ll spend time with my favorite people. Without planning, I wouldn’t get any work done, nor spend time with my people, or enjoy my favorite activities. None of my time with people would have happened without planning – a fact my 10-year old niece intelligently pointed out as part of a short pitch as to why she too should have a smartphone (what a smart cookie she is!)

So if planning brings people together, what’s not to love about it? For starters, planning means future-oriented thinking. There is nothing wrong with thinking about and taking action for the future and in this way, planning can be a very effective tool for gaining clarity on what is most important to you which tells you how you want to spend your precious time. 

The problem is I spend an inordinate amount of time planning. My mind slips away to thinking about the future which means I’m not fully involved in the present. It begs the question: do I live to plan, or do I plan to live? 

My point is this: I’m trying to be more aware of the addictive pull that planning has over me. As with most things, the balance is found in the nuance. So if you love to plan like me, I invite you to plan and dream big, but I also encourage you to be mindful of how much time your thoughts drift to the future rather than enjoying the present.

Choosing a Word of the Year

I like to start the new year out by choosing a word of the year. This word serves as a theme and can be the driver of decisions, or simply just a fun way to say yes or no to opportunities that light you up or make you feel indifferent.

In 2018 my word was “create” and in 2019 my word was “finish”. Looking back, they are perfectly complementary since I said yes to personal and professional creative projects in 2018 and had to decide which ones were most important to finish in 2019. The past two years were a great time for starting and finishing projects which of course took lots of planning to execute. In 2018 I created by growing a business, investing in business courses, moving across the country, and making new friendships and a new life under the same roof with my partner. In 2019, I finished by completing my business training, meeting a financial goal, and putting in the work to complete some creative projects. 

In 2020, my word is “emerge”. I chose this word carefully because I wanted an action word that leaves room for planning (old habits die hard, y’all!), but also encourages patience. My mom uses this word a lot and when I express my frustrations that things are NOT HAPPENING NOW, she reminds me to allow things to emerge. The word “emerge” also allows reminds me to allot specific time for planning, then allow what will unfold in real life to come to alive all on its own. 

I looked up “emerge” in the dictionary and there are five different uses of this word: 

  • To move out of or away from something and come into view 
  • To become apparent, important, or prominent
  • To become known
  • To recover from or survive a difficult or demanding situation
  • To break out from an egg, cocoon, or pupal case

So “emerge” is my word for 2020. “Emerge” is there to remind me to lean in, but also lean back and let the magic happen. “Emerge” reminds me that my efforts are required, but I cannot be attached to the result of them. 

As we start this new year and this new decade, I encourage you to choose a word to set your theme for your year. And if you’re having trouble picking a word, I encourage you to allow it to emerge. Trust that it will come to you. 

So now I’d love to hear from you. What do you think about choosing a word for the year? Does choosing one word help you live your best life or give you any clarity? Leave a comment below and share your word for 2020. 

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Breathe and believe, beauties!