sunriseCountdown to 2020: Part II

When I published last week’s post, I noted that it was exactly four weeks to 2020.

Exactly four weeks not just to a new year, but a whole new decade.

OMG. The next decade is already knocking on our door!

Looking back

Last week, I talked about how, before getting ready to look forward, it’s appropriate to look back at the highs and lows of the decade we’re about to say goodbye to.

Not in a navel-gazing kind of way, but in a “wow, look at what I’ve been able to do in the last 10 years” way. As long as we’re not arrogant about what we’ve achieved to date, it’s a great way to think about how to achieve what we want in the years to come… similar to the utility of baseline-setting in Social PR strategy.

By the way, thank you SO much to everyone who responded and shared their own “look back,” whether via email, or in the comments. I learned a lot about you, some of whom I’ve known IRL for a decade-plus. The power of asking questions!

Looking forward

Several years ago, Chris Brogan introduced his “three words” concept, which is essentially that, instead of setting a New Year’s resolution, you come up with three (distinct and disparate) words that will guide your choices and actions for the coming year

If you’re a WUL reader, I can’t imagine you’re not following/subscribed to Chris’ email/blog/whatever. If not, please do yourself a favor and hop to it. 

Apparently the last time I actually did the “three words” exercise was 2012… or, at least, that was the last time I shared them. A new decade feels like a pretty good time to pick this exercise up. So here we go.

My Three Words for 2020

list of inspirational words

Here are all the words I came up with. I settled on the three below.

Shed.

As we grow, we’re constantly also “shedding” or letting go; old behaviors, patterns, tendencies, fears, habits, and so on.

Shedding is not new to me; in fact, if you meditate on a regular basis (btw, check out my friend Janet Fouts’ guided meditations on Insight Timer), then you are quite familiar with practicing letting go on a moment-by-moment basis.

In 2020, I will shed old behaviors and fears that no longer serve my best interests, whether on a more philosophical level (e.g. reacting defensively), or more practically (e.g. of water; I’ve been taking swim class and love it!).

By doing so, I will let go of what no longer works for me, and create space in my life for what does.

For me, the word “shed” also conjures up the visual of a safe place.

So, in addition to letting go of what I no longer need, I will be watchful about keeping myself in, and functioning from, a safe place. I will create and maintain personal boundaries, but do so from a place of calm and love.

Ground.

With everything I’ve been through the last few years, I’ve felt uprooted, untethered, and adrift at times. This year, I started to reclaim and rebuild my life. And as I enter my next decade, this is a really important word, and continuing action, for me. 

In 2020, I will ground myself. This means continuing to build my foundation and “take root” in my new life, which includes progressing through the Harvard Business Analytics Program, as well as continuing to re-engage in meaningful, purpose-driven work, but at a pace which works for me.

The visual and metaphor of grounded electricity is also important for me to internalize.

Grounding literally helps to stabilize and positively harness electric current, which could otherwise be extremely chaotic, volatile, and potentially life-threatening. So grounding, for me, is also about managing my (typically high) energy, and staying as balanced, effective, and efficient as possible.

Own.

Historically I haven’t done too bad a job with this word. I’ve (co)owned my home, my business, etc. But when you’re navigating life as a person newly single after practically 20 years, it takes on a whole new light.

In 2020, I will own my own [sic] life. This means taking responsibility for being happy,  feeling comfortable in my skin, and being financially independent. I will design the work I want to do, get it, and do it.

And I will own, without guilt, the joy that comes with being a self-sufficient, secure, and successful woman.

lola basset in front of fireplace

This photo of Lola in front of the fireplace (as I wrote this post) made me so happy. I had to share.

Over to you

So there you have it. Those are my three words for 2020.

What are yours? Why?

Blogging, communicating, or sharing of any kind, is only fun, interesting, and rewarding if there’s more than one of us talking. So do share via a comment below, I’d love to know!

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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