Looking Back at January 2016

January 31, 2016
It’s the last day of January. This month has been both, moving far too quickly and strangely slow all at once. January held a bowl full of challenges for me. I'm taking a look back at the month to reflect on the ups and downs, where I’m at and where I need to go from here. Here's how it all went:

My “official” tinychallenges objective was to choose my 3 words for the year, inspired by Chris Brogan and outlined on our first tinychallenges podcast.  To close the loop on that challenge, here is what I chose and why.

  1. Finish
    I’ve chosen the word finish, because, though I do acknowledge I start AND finish many things, I have a tendency to start much more than I finish. Maybe from the outside, this isn’t all bad. From the inside, it’s not all bad. The bigger picture for me with the word “Finish” is more about demonstrating to my girls that we must finish what we start. If we begin a thing, we must close the circle. There will be plenty of opportunities to change gears when things don’t feel right, to course-correct
  2. Focus
    Closely related to “Finish” is my desire to apply more focus on a few things that feel right to apply focus toward. I would like to narrow my focus on service and on a smaller field of work and projects that support and align with my What’s Important principles.
    I want to be even more mindful of the things I spend my time on. 
  3. Fun
    Not all things in life are fun. Taking out the trash isn’t particularly fun, nor is doing laundry or dishes. I like to think I’m pretty good at fun a lot of the time, but over the past couple years, my focus has been more on balance and space. Being responsible. All these things are very important and I believe I’ve served myself well in making those things a priority. When I think how this word should apply, it’s about the things and people I welcome into my life. It’s about the energy I put back into the world. I find myself very tired at times, and my favorite remedy for those times is most often found in the form of fun.

I took on a small secondary challenge to write and post something every day, because writing is where I’ve found solace, exploration and introspection. I wanted to keep it very simple, so I stuck with the daily journal approach.

I succeeded! This post will close the loop on that challenge as the 31st and final daily journal post for January, 2016. Woo-hoo!

I also had a personal project that I plugged away on here and there, but I would mostly consider progress on this a fail. I can see where, why and how in hindsight, which is very much the reason I have journaled through it. I asked for help and got a little bit of it, which was nice. What reaching out for help reminded me more than anything, though is that if you really want to do a thing, YOU have to do it. It has to be a priority. I thought it was for me, but I didn’t treat it like it was. I worked on a lot of other things that I preferred to focus on instead. 

We’ve set a “music memories” challenge for the tinychallenges community. I did this last year, I loved it. We've staged it as the community challenge because we are genuinely fascinated with the stories people will have to share on this topic. I’m not sure I have another 29 of my own to share. I have considered redoing last year’s via YouTube, I would have one bonus day to add this year. 

I miss YouTube. I’ve not posted a video since July 31, 2015 and I really, really miss it. I struggle with YouTube because there’s a huge piece of me that wants to imporve the quality of my videos. I started YouTube to push past the fear of quality and all the excuses I had around NOT doing it. I did it. But the more I did, the better I wanted the videos to be. The reality is that quality returned as a barrier for me. If I put it off until I can do better lighting, or get a better camera, I simply won’t do it. But I love it enough that perhaps I'll just keep doing what I do. So… throwing that out there. 

While I have some pretty solid plans for February, I won’t make a final decision about what I’m doing or how until I wake up tomorrow and see what feels right. The key component of what direction I choose tomorrow will be ensuring it supports my three words, which ultimately extend to support my What’s Important principles.