When we did our 2019 family reflection earlier this month, I openly shared my disappointment in meeting some of my “Align” projects for the 2019 (Align was my word for 2019). My 11-year old daughter then said “mommy, is it because your aspirations are too complex?”, pointing to my long to-do list.
I did the reflections again last week when I did the family annual photobook and relooked at my own definition of “success”. Instead of “complex” definition, I asked myself a simpler question: What did I learn from the 2019 experiences and do they contribute to my “Align” intention? The answer was a clear YES.
Here are the top 3 of my “Align” reflections:
1) Align with “Who I want to become”
Admittedly, I had been struggling to come up with 3-year and 10-year vision. After many iterations, I needed to reframe the question from “what do I want to do” to “what do I want to become”. The slight tweak in the semantics opened up more possibilities and now I feel more congruent in the vision. It is much easier to define my character, and my contribution, than planning something that is hard to predict in foreseeable future.
2) Align with the things that “give me energy”
This remains a continuation of past year’s experiment on what brings me real joy and energy. I became more mindful of the people I surround myself with, the promises I make, the stuffs I own and the way I spend my time. Let’s say, I did major “Marie Kondo” in many parts of my life (and our family life) this year.
Surprisingly (which is not surprising at all), I find that those good old advice still prove very worthy, such as weekly planning and daily prioritization and reflection. This way, I feel more in control of my energy and whether the time spent are aligned with my intention. Overall, I am only at 70%, and looking forward for more energized and focused life in 2020.
3) Align with the concept of “blessed life”
This is probably the most vague but also turns out to be the simplest. Blessed life to me is really living mindfully and being at peace, by grace of God. Sometimes, I feel that we get trapped by “external noise”, be it validation or just artificial measure of success. At the end of the day, I realized blessings can span from help from unexpected sources during my trying times to signs to the questions I had been asking.
In summary, I am grateful for all the lessons and experiences in 2019 that helped me align in critical areas of my life.
So what is my word for 2020? “Focus” – as a response to my daughter’s observation and also the lessons of moving one step forward.
I shall “focus” my energy on things that matter and spend time with people that matter. Here’s more to a more productive 2020!