When setting business and personal goals for the coming year, I look for a catchphrase or mantra I can recite daily in the coming year to keep myself on track. A few years back, when stress was a concern, I adopted a saying from our client service manager Aurora's dad Santiago: Lávate las manos y ve a la cama, which in English means, “Wash your hands and go to bed.” You've done all you can do, so let it go. So simple, and so effective.
The phrase for 2017 was “Problems & Solutions.” I wrote those words every day in my notebook at the top of every page. I would list all problems and difficult tasks on the left. Then my eyes would catch the word Solutions, and after a deep breath, I would let the ideas flow. More often than not, the solutions seemed to magically appear. And when it did, I could feel the smile across my face.
The mantra for 2018 has been “Open to the Universe.” When we're busy or stressed, too often we rack our brains trying to come up with answers, instead of allowing ourselves to be clear and open to what appears before us. This year, I allowed myself to be open to changing our business model, staff, marketing, our client profile, revenue targets, and, next month, a new fancy shmancy office location. In blog posts this year, I looked for topics that mattered to our clients and to me, and tried to be as open as possible in addressing them. The secret to openness is listening deeply to the world around you and to the inner voice within you. It means resisting the urge to speak, interrupt, assume and overreact. The calm that comes with clarity is a gift to cherish.
As I ponder my mantra for 2019, I wish each of you much clarity in all your pursuits.