pursuing who not what

Pursuing ‘who’ not ‘what’ this year

Let’s pause together and take a breath. The start of the year has been full of new possibilities, goal setting and uncertainty. I normally love the start of a new year and getting to dream for the time ahead. This year has challenged me. I wrestled with reflecting and setting goals. Part of me didn’t feel ready to be back in the midst of responsibilities and growth. I have set goals but hold them loosely in many ways. More than ever, I realise it is more about who I am becoming in the pursuit of those goals than ticking off a specific metric. I am pursuing ‘who’ not ‘what’ this year.

At the end of 2020, I spent time reflecting on my manifesto for the year and my progress towards living out those principles. That manifesto is not finished with yet. I am bringing it forward into 2021. The only change I am making is in my one-word focus. This year my word is ‘expand’. Do you have a word for this year?

I choose a word by praying, listening and noticing what word seems to stand out to me wherever I go. ‘Expand’ seemed like a really random one and I have sat with it for a couple of months before settling on it. At first, I saw this as the focus because I am in the midst of growing my business and launching a new teen self-leadership coaching program. Of course I want to expand in this area. However, I don’t think this is the real heart of it but a peripheral part.

This is more about me as a person. I sense a challenge in my soul to expand in the ways that I love others and invest in relationships. It is time to stretch past my comfort zone. I don’t fully know what this will look like right now. It feels scary but that’s generally the sign of a worthwhile pursuit I find.

Growth opportunities are plentiful in the year ahead. Who do I want to be at the end of this year? Setting goals and trying to come up with projects and launch dates in the midst of ongoing uncertainty is precarious. Figuring out the growth I want to see in me as a person is not dependent on certainty in circumstances. In fact, the flexibility, creativity and agility needed in these times is part of becoming that person.

Pursuing ‘who’ not ‘what’ this year acts as a filter for the choices before me. Will this opportunity bring me closer or take me further from that person? Do I like the person I become when I structure my days in this way? This isn’t about being perfect. Our response to mistakes is a bigger part of growth that getting everything right in the first place.

So who do you want to be at the end of this year? Maybe this is the reminder you need to pursue ‘who’ not ‘what’.

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