Well y'all, we did it. We made it through 2019 and have welcomed in 2020!
I've been excited for 2020 for a while now and I can't explain why. I just feel optimistic about it! In fact, this year - more than other years - I've felt an intense drive to make this year really count.
Naturally, I've been pondering resolutions - but, even those don't seem to quite do the job. Something about 80% of people failing to keep their resolutions, according to Business Insider, just kind of puts a damper on the resolution process from the outset.
Instead, I've been drawn to a technique I discovered several years ago during a Sunday School class. Instead of setting resolutions, the teacher encouraged us to pick a word or phrase to represent the upcoming year. The word she'd chosen that year was simplify. Throughout the year, she would ask herself if a particular activity, habit, goal or plan reflected her word for the year - was she simplifying?
As 2020 neared, I discovered I couldn't find a word I felt 100% good about and I couldn't seem to find a phrase or quote that seemed right. So, drawing on a little influence of Chinese culture (for those who are curious, 2020 is the year of the rat) - I decided to pick a theme, a declaration for the year.
I'm declaring 2020 to be the Year of the Story.
Because stories are at the center of everything we as humans do - it's at the center of everything I do. Every day I wake up and roll out of bed, I'm putting a whole new set of stories into motion. Some stories will be short, other stories in my day are just installments in a long saga.
Some of my daily, living stories make me laugh, others cause pain and grief. Some of my stories are mundane, others are exhilarating! Some stories won't even make sense to me until I look back years from now and get the bigger picture.
Stories are constantly happening - we are living, breathing stories.
But, as I looked back at 2019, I realized I wasn't telling my own stories enough and I want to do better. In years past I've resolved to write in my journal every day or take a picture once a day.
Unfortunately, I've got alot of half started journals laying around and and LOTS of pictures.
This year, I've not committed to doing one singular thing every day to tell my stories, but I am doing something every day. Some days it might be a written journal entry - other days, a picture. Maybe a quick video on my phone or a couple of sentences on an index card tucked into my daily planner, perhaps even a post or two on social media.
However I can, I'm telling my stories more this year.
Which leads me into the second part of my theme for the year - I want to help people tell their stories too. This desire is what prompted me to start Root Story Studios last year and it's what propels me forward into this next year!
There are fewer things more precious than our own stories. When our biological clock stops ticking, it's our stories our loved ones will tell at the memorial, it's our stories they will cling to, it's our stories that will keep us alive in their memories.
So, I'm asking you to join me. Will you commit to telling your stories more? Will you commit to preserving your legacy? Will you commit to making your story not something you live and forget each day, but rather live and share?
As mentioned on Root Story Studio's Facebook and Instagram pages, I'm going to be using the hashtag #2020YearoftheStory this year, if social media is your thing - use that hashtag too! If you're not sure where to start, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help!
If you're overwhelmed at the prospect of telling your whole life story at once, let's start small. Check out our Snapshot or Bonsai packages.
Follow this blog this year too - we are lining up guest authors and some tips of our own to send out weekly! If you're someone with expertise or an interesting story to share - let us know, we'd love to keep booking guest authors!
I'm thrilled about what 2020 will bring - no, it won't all be easy, but I can't shake the feeling that there's going to be some great things in the next 366 days (don't forget that leap year this year!).
Let the next chapters in our stories begin!