How To Discover Your #1 Growth Priority For Next Year
Packing For Adventure But Feeling Stuck
I was packing my bags to go on an adventure to British Columbia, Canada and I should have been excited but instead, I felt depressed…
Because I was stuck. Up-to-my-hips-in-the-snow stuck.
A part of me hated to admit that as I pride myself on being a go-getter and always pursuing growth…
But here I was getting ready for an adventure — that many people would dream of going on — feeling lost and with a super bad attitude.
The worst part of it was that I didn’t know how to get unstuck and so I felt afraid because that was so unlike me. I didn’t like this version of me but I had no idea how to regain the momentum that I’d lost.
2 Big Reasons Why I Felt Stuck
I felt stuck in different ways. For one, after working a couple of years with a non-profit, I decided I didn’t want to continue pursuing that career. However, I had already spent a number of years in school as well as trying out and researching various careers…
And now, I felt like I was at a dead end in terms of figuring out my career path.
Second, although I loved the city where I was living and the community I was developing, I knew that I didn’t want to set down roots there permanently. Unfortunately, I didn’t know where else I wanted to live…
Not knowing these two big areas of my life caused me to feel like a boat unmoored, drifting aimlessly…
Only I don’t drift. And I’m not an aimless person.
However, I gained some encouragement while praying with friends about the future as I had a sense that I was about to step into a big adventure that was going to change my life.
So, without a specific destination, I just started putting one foot in front of the other…
Sometimes Growth Means Doing The Next Right Thing
That was only 3 years ago but it feels like a lifetime ago because so much has changed since then.
Now, I feel confident about my purpose and sure of my direction (even though I’m still living out of a suitcase).
At the same time, I learned incredibly valuable lessons during that difficult season in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Lessons like… sometimes when you don’t have a plan or you don’t know the next step,
you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing.
And then the next right thing. And after a while, when you look back, you’ll see that you’re not in the same place.
And as I look at where I was 3 years ago, I know that I’m not in the same place.
So as this year winds to a close and we look ahead to the new one beginning, how can we make sure that we’re not in the same place next year?
Throw Out Your Long Guilt-Ridden Growth Lists
(I’m going to keep this really simple. ‘Cuz I like simple things; my brain leaks… a lot… so I find it hard to remember long lists.)
And because I want to write a post for any woman who is feeling stuck, overwhelmed, afraid, guilty, or unsure how to move forward…
Yet, deep down in your heart, after another year has rolled around, you want to be able to look back and see that you’re in a different place.
A better one.
If you’re super confident about your direction and you’re looking for a list of ten things you can do to grow over the next year, then this post isn’t for you. There will be lots of other articles to help you reach your goals.
No, this post is for the woman who feels down or defeated and is struggling to hold onto hope. And you definitely don’t need a big to-do list piled on top of everything else you’re juggling to make you feel even more like a failure.
So go ahead, throw out the long growth lists that make you feel guilty about all the things you’re not doing, and do this instead…
How To Make Sure You’re In Different Place Next Year
Here is the super simple thing you can do — Choose ONE thing to focus on for the next year. Just one. Not two, not three… and definitely not ten.
Think about one area of your life, that if you were intentionally about growing that one thing over the next year, that it would help you to move forward into a new place.
And it could be a simple thing…
- Like learning to be more patient (that’s something I need to work on but I don’t have the patience to work on it 😉
- Or it could be being more intentional about how you spend time with your kids or grandkids.
- Or it could be practicing speaking up more at work so you can keep advancing your career.
Maybe you have something that comes to your mind immediately. However, if you’re like me right now and nothing is jumping out at you, here are 3 easy steps to figure out the one thing:
3 Easy Steps To Discover Your Top Growth Priority
Write the following categories in a list: Relationships, Spirituality, Professional Growth, Personal Growth, Physical Health, Emotional Health, Finances.
Beside each category, write the MOST important thing that you could work on in that area that would make the biggest impact on your life.
Go through each category and number them from 1-7, 1 being the most important and 7 being the least important. When you’re numbering them, think about which one will have the biggest impact on your life and rate those categories the highest.
Choose the most important item from the list as your #1 area for growth over the next year.
Write it on a piece of paper and stick in several places (mirror, computer, fridge, etc.) where you’ll be reminded that this is your BIG goal over the next year.
Next, write out one step you can take in the next week to move in the direction of that goal.
Finally, find at least one person to hold you accountable with your goals and to encourage you.
That’s it! You’ve now figured out what area you want to focus on over the next year.
Give yourself a hug, a pat on the back or a high five.
And you get the satisfaction of ignoring all of the reminders to create New Year’s resolutions or goals for the new year.
Focusing On One Area For Growth Keeps It Doable
Here’s an example from my own life: Earlier this year, one area that I decided to focus on was financial stewardship. I had gotten super lazy about budgeting and needed to develop some healthy habits around my personal finances again.
So, over the past year, I’ve read a couple of books about finances, started listening regularly to a podcast about personal finances, found an easy budgeting app I really like to use, and set aside time each week to keep my finances up-to-date.
By focusing on this one area, I’ve grown a lot over the past year and am much happier with where I am in my personal finances compared to one year ago.
You can feel the same satisfaction in your own life by keeping it really simple and taking small practical steps forward in just one area of your life.
And if you do, you’ll discover just how far you can go.
Chief Marketing MastermindHannah is cutting her teeth as a digital marketer with 4Better 4Ever. When she’s not working, she enjoys the outdoors, travelling and reading. Read her full bio here.
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