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My Theme of 2022: Do Less. Do Better. Know Why.

By the time you are listening to this, it will have tripped the wire into the year 2022. And my wife asked me the other day, what my one word for the year was gonna be. We've done this the past few years where we would pick a word, just a single word that would sort of be the theme around which our activities, our thoughts, sort of our living philosophy. The thing that would be our, our Clarion call for that year in terms of how we, what we wanted to align ourself with and what would be the sort of the through line for that year.

And at the time I didn't have one, I didn't have a single word. I do have a collection of phrases though, that I think will be how I orient myself this year. And I wanna share that with you and encourage you as well to consider either a word or a series of phrases or a theme for the year.

The church that I attend has chosen the word Aris as the theme for the year. Mine is gonna be "Do less. Do better. Know why." And I actually picked this up from a guy named Cal Newport. I may have mentioned his name before in the past. He was asked if he could sum up what the running theme was throughout much of the books that he has written, and he summed it up into those phrases- do better, do less and know why. And when he mentioned it, it resonated with me cause I knew exactly what he was talking about.

And I think that's what I want to orient 2022 around. And it may very well extend beyond just that year. The “do less” piece is really about cutting back and taking things off of the to do list. Matter of fact, creating a stop doing list, eliminating more things from my daily task or my weekly task or just things that are creating a lot of mental overhead and really just whittling it down to the few things that really make the most difference.

I actually started that journey. And I may have talked about this on a previous podcast in my work life, in my career life, where I really declared to my leaders, "Listen... Here's why I want my career to go. I want it to go down this particular path. I want to be this particular thing, have this particular role at this level with within the next two or three years." And to get there, I need to shake off these other responsibilities that are unlike and are not in league with the one direction that I want to go down. So that's an example.

And then the second part of doing less is then doing better. So do less, do better. So, the few things that remain... once you've separated the wheat from the chaff, then the few things that do remain, you really go deeply into those things. And you do those with such a high level of quality because you have now unburdened yourself with some of the minor things that now you can really become superior at the few major things that remain.

And then the last part is about knowing why. The know why wraps around how you choose to remove things from your plate. As you are deciding what's going to remain , you should know why you chose to keep those things on the plate. Ideally, because those things align with their values. They align with your goals. They align with the direction you want to see your life take. You've thought deeply about those. And you truly know why. You can articulate why if there was ever a question about why you're focusing so deeply on this thing, this habit, this task, this goal.

So do less do better know why, and that is going to be the plum line for my 2022. If you want to use that for yours as well, I encourage it, but definitely choose a theme. choose something around which to bring you back to true north for your 2022.You can obviously do a number of things to keep it as a reminder, you can do t-shirts. You can do vision boards. You can do Post-It notes all over the place. Whatever it takes to keep that front and center for you so that you don't lose focus.

And whenever you feel yourself starting to sway one way or another, you can always revisit that and say, "okay, no. This is what this year is going to be about." And you can recalibrate- get back on course, and certainly get back to where you are on the path to making, if not your 2022 a success, but certainly the second half of your life, a resounding success as well. God bless and take care.

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