Happy Sunday! I do love me a good Sunday with things to do – but not must do’s, ya know? Like I have nowhere I have to be… checking things off my list like laundry, dog walking and refrigerate organizing can easily turn into book reading, card writing and working on a puzzle while listening to a book on audio.
That kind of day.
As many of you know – I choose a word for the year every year as opposed to a resolution. I make a big deal out of the word (just like I do out of First Book). It has to speak to me and be something I know that will stick. If I don’t, then within a couple of months I am trying to recall what the word was and how to implement it in my life. *Wah Wah so to speak.
Some years, I just know what it will be and come in like a jouster on top of my steed. Other years… I am struggling to find the right one right up to go time. They are always best when a story accompanies why it became my word.
And that is what happened this year.
For must of 2020 I felt my word for 2021 was going to be Enough. The act of determining what was enough and being ok with saying no. Something, admittedly I can struggle with. However as 2020 came to a close and most of the big hurdles I dealt with had been conquered and no longer as pressing and hard as they once felt – I did not want to waste my word on something I felt I was already doing. So January 1st came, and I still did not have the word I felt fit for this new year.
Have you ever heard of Strength Finders? It is an online assessment that identifies your top 5 strengths. A book accompanies this and once you know your strengths you can read up more about them and then utilize this knowledge when developing teams for work, etc… I first learned about this in a Minnesota Library Group Training session in 2012. I was fascinated to learn these things about myself and since then everyone I know who has taken this assessment what it identifies as their top strengths I have found to be spot on.
Through the years, I have taken the assessment 3 times, the last time in 2018 when a new Strength came to the top of my list that I had never seen on anyone’s list before – let alone mine. It identified my #1 strength as a MAXIMIZER.
This was explained as: Excellence not average is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strength’s rather yours or someone else’s, fascinates you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out looking for the telltale signs of a strength. You are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. Rather you want to capitalize on the gifts which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And it’s more demanding.
So…. on January 1st, after being up until almost 2 am working on the First Book post, I was taking my own sweet time getting to work (there was not set time to be there). My boss gave me a call to see what time I was planning to be in and I explained to him that I had been up late working on all the pieces of the First Book. He was sharing how he too had been up late with his wife binge watching a tv series, and I continued how if I had not had to be so detailed I would never have been up that late. You know me I said, “I had to maximize the post – make sure it was easy for people to find the books in the pictures and put on their own reading lists if they chose. And of course I wanted to identify where the authors were, I thought that would be fun….”
And there it was.
Maximize is my word for 2021. I want to take the everyday – and level it up. I guess, live intentionally so to speak. I am a big believer that each day is a gift and I am also someone who knows first hand that you only get that day the one time. Once your through it, you don’t get to go back and make it better. Might as well put in the extra effort and have something worth being proud of, worth remembering… and I absolutely love looking back and saying, “Yeah I did that.”
Yeah, that was a bit long. I am curious if you chose a word for 2021? If you did please share it? I find saying things out loud make it stick much better than secretly keeping it to yourself. Also if you had a word for 2020, I would love to hear how it went. I find almost consistently that what I think a word will mean at the beginning of the year means something different to me by the end. My 2020 word was Define. I had no idea that 2020 would be what it was and my word turned out to really mean something stronger than I thought it would. I feel in some ways we were all defined in 2020. 2020 revealed true character in how we each handled these world changes. Turned out to be a great word for 2020.
(and here is the link to StrengthFinders 2.0)
Have an amazing day!