If I asked you to describe 2020 in a word, would you choose ‘DELIGHTFUL’?
This year has been many things. If ‘delightful’ isn’t the first word that comes to your mind, I understand.
It does, actually, come to mine. Let me give you a little bit of background:
In December of 2019, I looked at the year ahead with fun family activities on the horizon, cool new work projects lined up, airline tickets purchased for some bucket list travel plans. I chose my theme for 2020: DELIGHT. I recorded the word along with my vision, purpose, and goals, where I would see it daily.
I’d love to say that was all it took.
I’d love to say I didn’t consider changing my theme mid-year.
But I kept with it. As all those activities, work projects, and trips I was excited about got cancelled, I stayed with the theme of DELIGHT. And through the challenges of the year, three points stand out as significant factors why ‘delight’ is one of the words that will define 2020 for me. I hope one or more of these helps you as you reflect on the past year and/or plan for the next:
Recording A ‘Daily Delight.’
Every day, I wrote down one thing that made me smile that day – no excuses, no passes.
Much like the Success Journal concept I have shared many times (here, for example), the Daily Delight took about a minute each day, and I cannot tell you how often I find myself perusing this now-long list!
Not every day felt delightful, but I searched for a spark of delight in every day.
Whether ‘delight’ or ‘success’ or a completely different word, jot down a moment of it each day. Side benefit: Exercises like this also connect you more deeply to your purpose.
Asking A New Question.
That question: What would bring delight to this moment?
Let me be clear: Not every moment has to be (nor has been) delightful. As a coach to many business leaders, nonprofit directors, educators, and healthcare professionals – and as a small business owner myself – there were many moments requiring us to simply acknowledge, and sit in, the difficulty.
Glossing over the challenges or pretending they don’t exist does not benefit us. Neither does staying stuck in them.
When the time came to shift gears, asking what would bring delight to a moment proved surprisingly helpful. A brisk walk, a chat with a friend, lighting a scented candle, a tall glass of water, a fun magazine or novel – the answers were often simple, and enough to refresh the mind and change the direction.
I’ll be honest, around mid-April I considered changing my theme. Delight, at times, felt hard. But as Glennon Doyle has written, and as we have all proven to ourselves countless times over, we can do hard things.
And just like working your dream job doesn’t mean every task, every minute is dreamy; a year of delight doesn’t mean every second feels delightful.
I learned, however, to find and create new forms of delight, and even to reframe challenges into delight. Cutting my kids’ hair is not my strength – but I found delight in taking on this challenge, in the one-on-one time spent with each kiddo, and in experiencing their endless patience with me (it takes me a loooooong time to cut hair!).
While I used to frequently pop into the grocery store for this or that, I found challenge and delight in planning meals more efficiently and reducing store trips to a couple times per month.
And odd as it may sound, sometimes delight has come in the form of tears shared with a close friend or coach. There is delight in feeling fully heard and understood.
Delight doesn’t always mean sunshine and puppies and jellybeans. (Although all of those things can help!)
We’ve been navigating a lot, friends. It’s not been easy, and my heart is with you.
But perhaps even amid the difficulty, we can find moments of delight. Perhaps in addition to the hardships, we can find spots of happiness. Perhaps beneath and beyond the problems, we can also find purpose.
I encourage you to think about a word or phrase that you would like to describe your coming year – or even your coming week. Jot down an example of it each day. Ask yourself how you could bring it into the present moment. Redefine it so it meets your own personal needs.
I’ll be sharing my 2021 theme soon, so be sure to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn!
In the meantime, I wish you a meaningful wrap-up to the year and a purposeful start to 2021!
Want to set yourself up for a ridiculously awesome new year? Contact me– even a one-time coaching session can make all the difference!