2017: The Year to Redefine Your Priorities, Relationships, and Commitments

by Diana Faison

My best friend, Kari, got me hooked on a habit – mindfully setting a specific theme for each new year.

With 2017 fast approaching, Kari and I went for a walk last week and talked about the practice of defining a theme for the new year. I realized quickly that she had already been thinking about it when she declared 2017 as the year of redefinition.  I loved that concept the second I heard it.

As we walked, we talked – What areas of our lives need redefinition?  What are the choices we need to make about those areas? 

Kari and I discussed a number of areas that need redefining:

  • Intellectual pursuits
  • Spiritual life
  • Emotional aspects of our lives
  • Our families, work or even profession
  • The ol’ work-life balance concept which has redefined itself already as ‘work-life integration’
  • Physical fitness, endurance or capacity
  • Key Relationships

Making that list of areas that need redefining begged a bigger question though – what IS redefinition?

Google gave me two answers: “To define again or to define differently” and “To give new meaning to…”  Tamara Lackey from the YouTube show aptly named “reDefine” interviewed best-selling author Nicholas Sparks who defined redefinition as the process by which you “start, delete and try again.”

So, what needs a new meaning in my life? What do I need to start, delete and try again?

This research made me think of a recent coaching call with a client. This client had recently received a promotion which included joining a new leadership team. Life had been busy and challenging since the promotion; she was juggling new professional responsibilities along with amplified expectations, including more frequent travel.

The increase in pressure and lack of family time was starting to take a toll on her emotionally.   She was short with her colleagues and missing critical deadlines.  Her family had let it be known they miss her.  She was beginning to feel the cracks in her life. She knew she couldn’t continue at this pace or in this manner.

When we spoke, she referenced taking the promotion as a mistake. She knew she couldn’t do all this. She wanted her old life back; she wanted to return to her normal.

After several follow-up questions, she clarified how this new life and the mounting pressure was taking a toll. Then, I asked her what needs to be different or if it’s possible to create and experience a new normal.

From that moment on, the conversation shifted to redefinition – redefining her profession pursuits, setting new boundaries, creating new expectations both professionally and personally.

She was choosing a new normal in which she redefined not only her relationships, but also her concept of work and personal balance.  She created a new target, something to aspire TO versus something to run FROM.  She started something, deleted a few things, and she is now trying again.

Redefinition is possible in 2017. And here’s MY commitment:

I will redefine my physical capacity in 2017.  I will create new boundaries for my work, my travel schedule, my weekends that will add capacity AND make me a better executive, facilitator and coach – not to mention a better wife, mother and friend. I will make a new commitment to my physical training, perhaps with an extra day of weights or walking.  I will eat slightly healthier.

All of this will help me to redefine how I show up to and for the world – with more energy, more vigor, and more physical capacity.

What in your life needs to be redefined? What do you need to start or restart?  What needs deleting?  What needs to be tried again?

Perhaps this new habit is exactly what you need to redefine your approach to the new year.