This year I’ve been more organised and thorough than previous years and I’ve spent much of December reviewing 2016, mind mapping possible new themes for 2017, and setting specific goals for the New Year. With just a couple of days to go to 1st January 2017, it’s time to make that final decision on what my new theme will be.
Can I have a drum roll please!
My New Year’s theme for 2017 will be… IMPACT.
I really thought that I was going to go for something along the lines of being ‘intentional’, ‘proactive’ or, a new word that I’ve discovered, ‘purposive’. I tend to be quite reactive to what’s happening around me, planning my year around things going on in other people’s lives and not being too forceful about what it is that I want. This is a ‘first world problem’ of course and I’ve had a really fun year in 2016 as a result of being this reactive; and at the same time I do feel that I’d like to move towards a more proactive approach.
Somehow, though, ‘impact’ is the word that has come up for me and now feels right for 2017. In fact, I would say that those themes of being intentional and proactive are an integral part of ‘impact’ as well…
In my research and coaching this past year, I’ve found that the number one driver as to whether or not your work is meaningful is believing that your job is having a positive impact on other people. In so many office jobs in particular, we are so far removed from the end users of our products and services and we just can’t see that impact. This was a key reason for why I left my full-time job back in 2013, and I believe it’s the underlying reason why so many people are feeling unmotivated and unfulfilled in their jobs today.
I tend to focus on process-oriented goals, input and actions, and while I think these are important I have a feeling that it’s time to shift my attention to the actual impact I’m having. It’s not just about writing blog posts or doing videos, it’s about the impact that this content has on my business, on the people I work with and, ultimately, on the broader issues I’m trying to address.
The events of 2016 have also given me a bit of a jolt, bursting the bubble that I’ve been living in and compelling me to open my eyes to what’s happening around the world and to seriously consider what role I have to play here.
For me personally, IMPACT means a few specific things.
First, I believe I need to get even clearer on my message in terms of my vision, the real value that I bring, and who exactly I help. I have so many ideas and different projects but I know I will be much more effective if I can craft a more coherent and cohesive story. When I have that message, I will be able to bring that missing intentionality and purpose to my work and be much more consistent and persistent in working towards that bigger purpose.
Second, I need to make choices and really focus on the priorities that will make the biggest difference, create real forward movement and have the biggest impact. It’s easy to get distracted by things like Facebook posts and ads while missing the bigger picture of the things that will really drive the business. In terms of scale, I want to be reaching more people with my message as a first step, and ultimately I want to be helping more people with my coaching and consulting.
Over the autumn, I did a social entrepreneurship course and I loved bringing together my business and marketing experience and expertise with my studies (my degrees are in International Relations and Development). The course gave me both academic and practical frameworks to apply to my own work as well as a heightened awareness of what other people are doing to make a difference; it made me think bigger in terms of the impact I want to have and at the same time think smaller in terms of how I can get started.
Therefore third, I want to work with other people who want to, or are already, making an impact. This means continuing my career coaching of people who want to leave their corporate jobs to find more meaningful work, guiding them through defining the impact they want to have and how they can go about achieving it; as well as working more with solopreneurs and small startups who are aiming to create a real impact with their business ideas, and supporting them in building an effective brand and marketing strategy to maximise that impact.
In fact, bringing these threads together I think the common theme across my different projects and businesses may well be that I help people create an impact in their personal and professional lives.
So I’m feeling pretty good about this new theme. Inspired, a little bit nervous, and excited about the year to come.
I’ll be setting specific goals with milestones along the way to support my theme this year, and of course I’ll be checking in as usual every three months with a quarterly review of how I’m doing.
Have you decided on your theme for 2017? If you’re still unsure, take a look back at my previous posts, this year and past years, for inspiration!
In the meantime, I wish you a very Happy New Year!!!