I, like a lot of people, have a water dispenser in the door of my refrigerator. While in theory, it’s a wonderful convenience, it’s actually my greatest nemesis. Why, you ask? Because I almost always end up with water all over my kitchen floor. I place the cup in the door and instantly start doing something else, usually it’s checking my email but sometimes it’s unloading the dishwasher or picking up things from the counter. Within a few moments, the light trickle of water down the fridge starts, but I am firmly stuck in my distraction until it’s too late leaving me cursing the water dispenser from my hands and knees as I wipe up the enormous puddle in the kitchen. (Thanksgiving found me with not one, but two puddles in my kitchen within one hour of each other thanks to my “multitasking”.)
2020 found me in a lot of moments like this, both literally and figuratively. I felt like I was in a whirlwind, moving from one email, Zoom call, and coaching call to the next, leaving me at the end of most days spinning and exhausted. I spent a lot of the year “doing”, but not feeling a grand sense of accomplishment or grounded-ness. Let’s just say there were a lot of water puddles in 2020.
2021 finds me wanting to feel more in control of my days and doing a better job of managing the whirlwind. I have picked, “attention” as my 2021 North Star (or word of the year). I want to pay better attention to what I give my energy and focus to. Attention to the present moment in how much I have on my plate at any given time, attention to the task at hand (not checking email while making breakfast), attention to my health, attention when I am with my kids (by not running through the To-Do list in my head while I play Candyland with them on the floor) and attention to doing one thing at a time (not scrolling through social media while watching tv).
But also, more attention to the future. Paying attention to how busy I let my schedule get, strategic attention to what projects and initiatives we take on at Bluewater, attention to making time for my own professional development, and attention to relationships that need to be developed and nurtured.
I would like to think that 2021 will be less chaotic than 2020 was, however I fear that is not likely for a bit longer. So, my real North Star is to pay attention, even in the busy, to connection, intention, and purpose in 2021. How will I know if I am succeeding? Perhaps tracking the number of puddles in my kitchen would be a good place to start.
What is your 2021 North Star? Share with me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.