This is new to me. I've never chosen a single word to represent a year before. It seems especially odd to do so before that year has happened; it feels more sensible to me to choose a word to summarize the major themes of the past year.
I'm only doing so because something jumped out at me—a word that has guided me through the first month of 2017 and the word that best represents what I wish to focus on in the near future.
That word is play.
In November I started working with my first business coach, and he said something to me that at first made no sense: “How can you make it fun?” He was referring to my work. I would never have thought of applying the word fun to work. I’ve enjoyed jobs I've had in the past, certainly, but I don’t think I would explicitly call them fun. So one of the ways I'm going about it is by recording playful videos, including one where I talk about how I write my to-do list using dirty acronyms.
A few months ago I heard Mark Fisher speak at the NorCal Fitness Summit. He runs a magical gym in NYC called…Mark Fisher Fitness, otherwise known as the Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams, and it's full of unicorns and glitter. Mark said that he thinks of the ninjas (gym members) as his friends, so going to work is like being surrounded by his best friends. Similarly, I adore my coaching clients. I love helping them solve problems and hearing about what’s going on in their lives, whether or not it’s directly related to fitness.
I’ve also been taking a few cues from one of my entrepreneurial idols, Derek Sivers. You might have seen the outrageous shipping confirmation email from the company he founded, CD Baby. Or heard that he shipped a customer a squid when asked. I love Derek’s spirit and sense of silliness when it came to injecting personality into his business, making his customers feel special, and bringing humanity to making a purchase online.
Press Play: Music
Playing the violin was the sole focus of my life for about 8 years. The last 3 years though, I’ve been so focused on work that I’ve barely gotten to play my instrument. This year, that all changes! Whether it’s in a hotel room, on the street, or in a concert hall, I’m spending some much-needed quality time with my beloved violin.
Press Play: Life
This is going to be a monumental year for me. I feel it in my bones. I’ve got a baby business and I’m excited to make it grow. I’m going to do the most traveling I’ve ever done this year. I’ve already met a few people that are changing my life in a big way. I’m growing and moving forward in so many different ways and I can’t wait to see how it plays out! (Pun intended.)
Press Play: Videos
I’m on YouTube! I’ve recently started posting videos on a near daily basis on my Facebook (add me as a friend!) and on my YouTube channel. I'm having so much fun recording vlogs, visiting gyms around the country, talking about fitness, productivity, Tinder (well, Urban Dictionary), and more.
Get Out and Play
I'm actually an introvert and I enjoy solitude, and solitary pursuits. It’s hard to hang out while practicing violin. And it sucks going out when you can’t eat or drink out because you’re prepping for a bodybuilding competition. (Besides, even I could have, I was probably at the gym anyway.) And while I deeply enjoy those activities and feel very accomplished and productive, I miss my friends. So I’m making a concerted effort to be more social and to spend time with them.
So those are the five ways I'm building my life around "play" this year. Have you ever focused your life around a certain word or concept? What was it or what would you choose for this year?