1 New Word of the Year?


Liz Jenkins

new word of the year


One New Word of the Year?

Every year, I see my friends post their word of the year – a word that gives them a focus and helps set their goals. I’ve always struggled with this because I’ve got business goals and personal goals  and family goals and these often don’t have the same needs. For business, I’m always moving forward and outward but I’ve found that as I get older, my personal needs look inwards in a reflective mode where I want to simplify even more than I already do, and family is completely different now that we are empty nesters. And now that it is February and we are where we are, I wonder how these words are holding up? I’m not sure ‘simplify’ or ‘balance’ can really capture what on earth is going on these days!

Choosing to Say “No” to Just One New Word of the Year

Does one word encapsulate how we are feeling these days?  I feel like every day has a bit of whiplash with the news and changes and weirdness. But in all of these strange times, I’ve found some joy and some focus I want to share with you. Consider these thoughts that I’ve had over the last several months…

  • being so busy maybe isn’t as important as we thought
  • having so many activities in our lives can be a distraction from achieving goals
  • some of our friends really aren’t our friends (because aren’t friends those who can have civil discourse and respect our differences?) and removing them from our lives is a blessing
  • we are all in this together – meaning that it isn’t a personal attack but something we are all dealing with
  • getting to know ourselves can be really eye opening
  • how good it feels to give grace to those who are struggling

I will say that being organized has become even more important based on my own observations and what I hear from our clients. Clients who were well organized found that transition to quarantine and zoom and routine changes was actually fairly smooth. Those that were not organized as a general rule really struggled – and those are who we are hearing from now. (Here’s a great list of organizing tips you can actually stick to.)

When Your Space is Organized, it Frees Up Time & Energy

Sometimes people equate an Instagram worthy pantry with being organized but it goes deeper than that. It goes into our daily routines, freedom from clutter, the ability to make decisions, etc. When your space is organized, it frees up time and energy to focus on where we are now in our lives. Being an introvert, I’ve never been super social but even for me, the limitations on where I could go or what I could do are starting to wear on me. I’ve taken my down time, though, and considered how I can use it. Plus I’ve read an enormous amount of books. Thank goodness we have an amazing library, Parnassus & Bound Booksellers, and McKay’s used books nearby or I’d have gone crazy.

As I’ve had more time, some of my current projects are:

  • updating our will now that our daughter is over 18
  • investing for fun on the stock market (no more than I can afford to lose but, not to brag, my Container Store stock is up 383%)
  • looking at a company expansion into other markets
  • going through all of our physical and digital files to make sure everything is current and accessible if anything would happen to us
  • increasing our social media engagement as well as charitable giving
  • creating more elaborate meals at home as I’ve always been an adventurous cook, I’ve been experimenting more with things with longer prep times and more challenging ingredients

These are all projects that take some bandwidth and time which I didn’t seem to have pre-Covid. I started chunking my zoom and in person meetings to free up blocks of time to focus on bigger projects. I broke each down into smaller parts, and enlisted a few professionals to help where needed.

I will admit I am really struggling with exercise as my yoga studio closed but I just found out that she’s doing live streaming so I scheduled a few classes. Apparently my dedication to being somewhat fit and flexible wasn’t able to deal with on demand classes….

I encourage you to go beyond ‘me time’ or ‘self care’ and take advantage of the time you have been given even if the reason is pretty sucky. If you need help getting organized so you can free up your time, please reach out – we’d love to help.