The Blue Kite Blog

3 Guiding Principles for 2015

By | January 12, 2015

Happy 2015! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your year is off to a great start!

Unfortunately, this year has started a little slow for me. I’m a week behind with this since I spent the first week of the year with a sinus infection. But, I’m back and ready to take 2015 by storm. What about you?

I always love the start of a new year as it gives us the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a new set of goals and ideas. In addition to setting SMART goals for the year, I always set three guiding principles for the year.

No, these are not New Year’s resolutions. These are principles that I will focus on daily to help me achieve my very specific goals. In fact, I typically add these words to my bulletin board and keep it up all year as a reminder.

I modeled this after Chris Brogan’s three words exercise. This is my fifth year doing this. And, if you’re curious, here are my guiding principles from the past four years:

2011: Be intentional. Be Balanced. Be myself.

2012: Be disciplined. Experiment. Find the joy.

2013:  Create space. Build systems. Focus on now.

2014: Rest Well. Lean on Others. Be generous.

My Guiding Principles for 2015 

So, what words will serve as my guiding principles for this year? Here they are:

1. Be Bold.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius power and magic in it.Leaving the comfort of a full-time day job to start your own business is terrifying and it requires a lot of courage to make the leap.

But, in case you were wondering, running a business doesn’t get any easier. It’s not all downhill once you take that terrifying first step.

In fact, as Michael Burcham, former head of Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center, puts it, entrepreneurship is like getting onto a roller coaster – as you go along in your business, the highs get higher and the lows get lower.

I couldn’t agree more.

I tell you all of this to say that it’s time for me to up my game. It would be easy to coast along and continue as I have been.

But, I’ve got some big goals this year for Blue Kite Marketing and if I want to achieve them, I can’t rest on my laurels or be complacent. I need to be bold, get out of my comfort zone and take some courageous steps to get to where I want to be.

2. Prioritize. 

Obviously, given the point above, this has a lot of business implications. However, this one is really more personal in nature for me.

Last year came with some unexpected life changes and personal challenges. And despite that, my husband and I kept up with all of our commitments – from both a business and personal perspective. And, as a result, it left us tired and depleted.

That has to change this year.

It sounds selfish, but we have to take care of ourselves first if we want to help others – both through our work and in our personal lives.

It’s kind of like the instructions you receive on an airplane in case of an emergency – put the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting those around you.

We care deeply about helping our friends and our city, but we are not useful to anyone if we are utterly worn out.

We have both discussed at length what we need to do to take care of ourselves first. But ultimately, it means that we have to stay focused on our personal and professional priorities and then get better at saying “no” to the things that don’t fit.

3. Celebrate. 

I’m an achiever. I view goals like hurdles that have to be jumped. Once I clear one, I’m already sprinting toward the next hurdle.

While that’s a good trait to have as an entrepreneur, it also can be incredibly discouraging. It makes it seem like the job isn’t ever done.

There is so much value in rewarding success and recognizing how far you’ve come.

For instance, even though I didn’t hit EVERY goal in 2014, we reached many of them. Here are just some of the things we accomplished last year:

I didn’t realize just how much we had accomplished until I stopped and looked back at our goals and started crossing them off.

This year, I want to get much better at that. We are going to stop, celebrate and reward both personal and professional accomplishments.

Not only does that make achieving goals more rewarding, but it also makes life a heck of a lot more fun! And, I’m all about having some more of that.

It’s Your Turn 

Do you select three words or principles to guide you through the year? If so, I’d love to hear yours! Share yours in the comments or link to your post where you wrote about this as well.

3 Comments

  • Your “celebrate” principle is interesting. We had a meeting here before the holidays and reviewed everything we had accomplished this year (and it was a lot!) and realized we didn’t take any time to celebrate. We were always on to the next thing as quickly as possible. That realization made us stop and reevaluate. Going forward, we are going to do more celebrating! Cheers to 2015, Laura!

    • Hi Kara,

      Thanks for the comment – sorry it got hidden in our spam filter. It’s here now!

      To your point, it’s amazing how much we forget to celebrate success. We want so badly to achieve it, yet we don’t acknowledge it! I think to keep teams motivated, it’s important to recognize and celebrate when we reach our goals. I think it will only lead to greater things. Here’s hoping that’s true for both of us in 2015! 🙂

  • Hi Laura, this is my first time here. I’m learning to do all three. For 2 years, my wife and I were building an organization that we thought we needed to build. But at the end of the day, neither of us were truly passionate about it. It became more work than something we could just go on and on talking about.

    I began freelancing full-time last year as a graphic and web designer during that time and I have found that my ability to help people break out of where they were to where they want to go makes me fulfilled. I am learning to be bold, getting better at organizing, but I am definitely in celebration mode!

    Great post!