A new year doesn’t mean you need a “new” you. So, you can take that pressure off of yourself to have some big and profound shift this upcoming year. You simply showing up for today is good and we don’t need a “new” you. Instead think about you you can show up as more of your undistracted self, intentional in your choices, alive in your passions – even if it’s not ALL of them right now, but rather the ones that are fit for this season. Think about how you can show up this year more aligned in your priorities and filled with momentum to live today to its fullest and tomorrow the same – doing good, focused on good, and inviting others in (or coming alongside others) on impactful things. If you’re wanting to leave a greater impact this year, it’s simpler than you might think.
Here are five simple ways to leave a greater impact this year.
1. Gift yourself the gift of done (especially on things that matter)
As you make your way through your to-do list, leave your standards of perfection out and leave the unimportant things off the important list. They both contribute to too many undone “threads” and tangle up our thoughts and energies. They are part of the reason you might experience overwhelm or lack of clarity. Do the important things and try my “four F’s” approach.
Focus on what needs to be done.
Find the next most meaningful thing to tackle.
Forget about the things that in the end don’t really matter.
2. Set meaningful goals for LONG TERM success.
If you’re one who holds a word of the year, sets an intention, or sets goals each year, this is one especially for you. I don’t want to sound cliche on this one so hear me out. Think about these things in light of what is essential and what truly matters in the long run?
And if you’re hoping to accomplish something big this year, share it with someone else and invite them in, double the time expectancy to complete it, or extend grace and give yourself a smaller goal to begin the momentum towards a bigger one. You are indeed capable of big things, but it’s important to set yourself up for success.
If you have a “word of the year”, like me, try this: Think about your word in light of your long term focus and what you say is truly important. Make sure it aligns and focuses your efforts and energies well this year. For example, I write out dozens of ways my word can be used each year and would encourage you to try the same. Thinking about inward change, outward impact, seeing it as an action, and a state of thinking. Think beyond the word.
3. Join forces for good (or create them)
Essentially, be in community. So many of us introverts have become so accustomed to isolating and introverting during these last two years. The challenge is, however, when our thoughts also become isolated and our minds become consumed and self-absorbed by our own thoughts. We become too much of inward thinkers and doers and that’s not what life is about! We’re not made to live in isolation. We’re not made to work in isolation. We’re not made to do business in isolation. We’re built for community and we need community.
Go be the friend that makes getting together happen. Make the effort. Support the business, locally or internationally doing great things. Start that change you’re waiting to see. Engage in meaningful relationships with people. Regardless of what season you’re in or what direction you’re headed, relationships are so crucial to all aspects of your health. They affect, influence, and enhance experiences, careers, life stages, and impact. Go out there and create or be the community you’re searching for.
4. Consider the impact in and outside of your home.
Each year, we go to a New Year’s Family Conference – it’s a family retreat so obviously when you’re ending a year and beginning a new year with family there’s probably a similar goal of “family” in the room. But this year, I love what they shared about thinking beyond the walls of our home more. Thinking of not just how we prioritize family and raising our kids, but beyond the impact we have on our families, looking simultaneously to the impact outside of our homes.
Whatever family looks like to you right now, think beyond your four walls at work or at home, and also think beyond 2022. What kind of impact are you investing in beyond yourself and your lifetime?
5. Evaluate excuses for meaningful things
If you have something meaningful that you want to accomplish and you find yourself saying things like, “I’ll start once…”, “as soon as”, “when…… finishes, then……”, “I don’t know where to start”, evaluate what barriers are actually excuses and challenge the ones that aren’t. Perhaps you can try it differently or in bite-size form. Don’t let the fire burn out on passions you have for doing impactful things because it can’t be ablaze right now. Think, “What can I do now?”, “How can I start small now?”. Instead of “When this happens, then…”, ask yourself, “What can I do even before this happens?”. Think about what you can do with what you do know.
You have access to so many people, ideas, research, and opportunities. Don’t waste them. Leverage them.
It’s not just another year, it’s a year filled with opportunities. Making an impact can start small and can be simple. Don’t overthink it. Just start doing it. The world needs it.
Listen to this episode on The Tried and Truth Podcast.