I don't do resolutions. Not because I can't make a decision and have the discipline to stick to that decision, I just believe that resolutions are inherently flawed in concept. Maybe I'll write more about that another time. Instead, I set focus words. Themes, if you will, of what I want the areas of my life to look like for that year.
2012 was GROWTH 2013 was RESTORATION 2014 was JOY 2015 was PEACE 2016 was FLOURISH
2017 was NEW I take almost an entire day at the New Year (tradition for me) to reflect on what I would like the coming year to represent when I look back on it. Here's what I came up with through seeking God's advice and wisdom. In 2018 I want to go higher. Higher than I have ever thought possible for myself. I want to do everything I do, in all areas of my life, MORE than I think possible. So it is only fitting that this year I have three words which creates one audacious mindset. EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE
I have had some incredible successes in all areas of my life. Emotional, spiritual, physical, professional. But this year, I am focusing on creating a mindset of going above the minimum effort, the smallest requirement or the good enough mentality. Hear my heart - perfection is of no interest to me. I have written about my thoughts of the pursuit of perfection here. Excellence is not a destination or success metric, it is a mindset and attitude.
When I was 24 years old, I started my first business. I was so clueless. Not just about business models, P&L statements, cash flows and budgets but about the correct way of thinking to create success and overcome obstacles. I had massive poverty of thought. However, I was so incredibly fortunate in those early formative years as an entrepreneur to be surrounded by strong, influential Godly women filled with an excellence attitude and who understood how critical to success our thoughts about ourselves are. I grew up in a home where your best wasn't good enough and the environment was uber critical. As such, I became an overachiever in an effort to hear the words "I'm so proud of you"or "well done". My new mentors said the words I wanted to hear abundantly and I thrived in the culture and in that environment. As such, I learned that your attitude determines your altitude and there is no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle.
Those lessons served me very well and were many, many times over the course of my career the catalyst to keep me pushing through and never giving up. But often I find myself wondering when I have achieved a goal, what if I had made one more phone call, worked one more hour, spent one more minute hugging my daughters, or ran one more minute while working out? Would the results be different? Would I be different? I believe the answer is yes, the results and I would be better than what I had ended with. It's not say we should never be content with our results and proud of what we accomplish, but I believe in constantly raising the bar higher. How do we ever become our greatest self if we continually settle for good enough?
If all we accomplish in the pursuit of achievement is a higher sense of self satisfaction, well, then that is a result immeasurable.
Let's break my three words, one mindset phrase down.
Exceedingly – to a very great degree; in a degree beyond what is usual; greatly; very much Abundantly - superabundance, excessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.
Above – to go over and above, beyond
Perhaps to you this seems overwhelming. To be honest? It scares me to death too. I admit I have no idea how to do more when I feel I am already maxed out. But this I know. It requires a supernatural favor and trust that results will come in ways that only God can provide. I need Him on my team to accomplish a normal day, but I will never be able to have an exceedingly abundantly above year if He isn't part of the journey. He has to be on my board of directors. You see, I believe I serve a big God. A father who wants to lavish and astound us with his love, mercy and grace and generosity. Mark Batterson said "God isn't offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less."
So maybe you're thinking that doing one more minute on the treadmill, saving one more dollar or giving one more hug won't create superior results. I am not sure if it will either. But I am going to exceedingly abundantly above all give it a try. Will it create different results? I'll let you know on January 1, 2019.
What do these three words mean to you?