At the end of 2015, I wrote a post on selecting an anthem for the coming year. The point of selecting an anthem was to give me a musical reminder of my aspirations for the coming year. It was the first time I had tried something like this and the idea came from an article written by Christine Kane on selecting a word of the year. Since I relate on a very deep level to music, I decided to select an anthem instead of a word.
I wanted to give all of you a quick update on my anthem experiment. While I stopped waking up in the morning with the song playing in my head it did continue to be a huge source of motivation to me throughout the entire year. I play the song often in my car and office and would actually play it intentionally whenever I was feeling moments of doubt or procrastination. As soon as the first note came across the speakers I was immediately in a different state of mind.
The experiment was so successful that I’ve already started thinking about my anthem for the start of 2017. As incredibly clever and creative as I want to be with choosing a song, I’m still drawn and excited by my anthem from last year. I feel I have some unfinished business and have decided to stay with the same song for 2017. I think my life has evolved from individual years to phases. Maybe the phases have emerged because my learning and development is more intentional than it used to be or maybe it’s because my goals and desires are so big that they can’t be contained within a calendar year. In either case, I’m in my fire phase and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2017.
I’ve included my entire post from December 30, 2015 below for your reading. Please share with me if you selected an anthem last year and how you incorporated it into your daily life. Or, please share your anthem if you have selected one for this year. I’m always so inspired to hear your stories.
My New Year’s… Anthem? (Originally posted 12.30.15)
A couple of weeks ago my good friend Laura Mixon Camacho reposted a blog written by Christine Kane on choosing just one word to guide you through the year instead of setting several New Year’s resolutions that will never be kept. You can read the full blog post here (http://christinekane.com/powerful-lessons-word-year/#sthash.G3VL28Eo.dpbs). I love this concept and wondered what my “word of the year 2016” should be.
As usual, my issue with perfectionism stood squarely between me and successfully choosing a word. You can read more about my struggle with perfectionism here (https://minervamanagement.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/confessions-of-a-recovering-perfectionist/). What if I don’t pick a word that continues to motivate me through the entire year? What if I pick a word that doesn’t accurately reflect what I really want? What if someone else picks a word that I like better? What if the word isn’t creative enough? What if the word is not aspirational enough? I know, you get the picture.
Picking just one word is too stressful for me and created way too much anxiety. So, while I love the concept of selecting a “word of the year”, I decided to change it slightly to make it work better for me.
I love music. I relate to music on a very deep and personal level. I always have and I suspect I always will. With this in mind, I decided to adopt an anthem for 2016 instead of a word.
You know how Major League Baseball relievers have a song that is played while they run onto the field to take the mound? PS. I’ve always wanted a song that played when I enter a room or take the stage when at a speaking engagement…don’t laugh. Well, Christine Kane has indirectly given me permission to select my song through her suggestion of creating a word. It probably will never be played as I enter a room, at least not for others to hear, but you can bet it will be playing in my head.
For those who know me professionally, it may be surprising to learn that I love rock music and I’m a big fan of the group Halestorm. Front woman Lzzy Hale leads the band with a giant voice, mad guitar skills, and no apologies. (For all of you country fans, Lzzy Hale performed a duet with Eric Church on the 2014 CMT Music Awards and she opens College Game Day on ESPN with Big & Rich).
Halestorm released a new album in 2015 and within that album I have found my anthem for 2016 – “I Am The Fire.” The song fights through negative self-talk and limiting beliefs to remind us that we are more than this, we are the fire.
Everyone will use their “word of the year” or personal anthem differently. How will I use this anthem in real life to help me achieve my best year yet?
1. I still have goals – I just won’t be calling them New Year’s resolutions.
2. My anthem becomes my theme for the year. 2016 won’t just be the year of the Monkey. It will be the year Stacy was the fire!
3. Since selecting my song, I find that I wake up almost every morning with it in my head. So make sure you pick a song you really like or that will get old really fast if the same thing happens to you.
4. Every time I hit a roadblock or obstacle to one of my goals, I start singing the song. So every time I reach for something unhealthy – which doesn’t help me reach my healthy eating goals – I repeat, “I am through with this, ‘cause I am more than this, I promise to myself, alone and no one else, my flame is rising higher, I am the fire!” Repeating the song helps me rewrite my current story to something I aspire to. If I’m really the fire, then I’m going to stop the story of unhealthiness and focus on my new story of health and self-acceptance.
The same goes when I’m procrastinating doing something that I know I need to do for my business but self-doubt and fear are keeping me from trying or they are slowing down my progress. There is a verse in the song that says, “…Shackled by the ghost of what I once believed, that I could never be what’s in front of me…And I am the one I’ve been waiting for…Alive and burning brighter, I am the fire!” It’s a reminder that it’s all up to me, which energizes and motivates me to keep pushing – even when I don’t feel brave enough to get it done.
If we happen to cross paths in 2016 and I seem aloof with music in my head or you hear me singing something under my breath, know this, I’m rewriting my story or I’m feeling very energized and inspired, or I’m about to take the pitcher’s mound. In any case, I am the fire!
Please share in the comments below your “word of the year” or the anthem you have selected for yourself in 2016.