Happy New Year! I googled New Year’s resolutions, and found that the first items on the search page for New Year’s Resolutions are: to lose weight, take up a hobby, get fit, and learn something new. What do you notice about these ideas? They are all pretty much focused on self. Yes, people benefit when we take proper care of ourselves, but what happens when we do that, AND focus on others as well? When I look back on my past New Year’s Resolutions or intentions, a lot of times they are pretty selfish. I want to: add a new exercise routine, take a class, commit to reading new books, guard my time better. They are all very similar to what the rest of the people making resolutions in the United States.
This year, I want a different challenge, and I hope you will join me. I want you to chose ONE word that you will focus on for the year. This word of the year should speak to your heart, and this year I want it to inspire you to be more relational.
Being relational doesn’t mean that you never take time for yourself, or that you have to give everything you have. It means being intentional about having meaningful conversations and relationships with the people in the world around you. It means that there will be times when you have to focus on the people more than the bottom line. However, as the year goes along, you may notice something. It is easier to meet the bottom line when you have relationships with your staff. The drive to work well together as a team has increased because you have conversations about what matters to each other, and how to work well well together.
Being relational isn’t always easy. Sometimes it requires us to be bold, and step forward into issues that aren’t comfortable. Being relational requires us to face fears. We have to lean in and stand up for what matters. This isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is more comfortable to turn a blind eye when we see injustice, bullying, or even someone who is tearing up at the water cooler. However, being relational requires us to talk to one another. It requires us to be intentional about supporting one another, and offering space for conversation, even if we aren’t entirely comfortable doing so. The good news is that the more we have these types of conversation, the more comfortable we will be with them.
What is your one word that will inspire you to do all of these things? The one word that will remind you to be relational? What word will inspire you to connect with one another in a positive way, even when you are afraid?