I create a “one-word theme” every year to help me achieve all my goals. It keeps things simple and has a cascading effect. When you solidify your foundations, everything falls into place effortlessly. And the best thing is that it gives you clarity on the next step of your journey.
You can steal the simple framework that helped me get everything I want and live an effortless life by clicking here.
At the beginning of the year, I made a list of things I wanted. My goals in 2022 all required me to manage my energy and be productive.
I decided my theme for 2022 will be FOCUS.
In the previous year, my main goals were focused on healing my body + mind. My theme was “CALM”. Inspired by my newfound access to instant inner peace that I realized I achieved in December 2021, my goals for 2022 revolved around finding clarity because I was going through another paradigm shift in my life. I craved immense change.
In a nutshell, my micro-goals included: upgrading and learning as much as I can because I won’t always have this freedom, and finding clarity in my transition.
I was making bank, had plenty of time and freedom, lived life on my own terms, met my dream partner, and had developed a mindset of iron but I was ready for another shake-up.
I was burnt out from managing clients, copywriters, engineers, suppliers, and other stakeholders at my digital agency while still trying to live my best life, AND maintain my fitness. I did that for over a decade because I wanted EVERYTHING. Who knew it was unsustainable? Hah!
The accident and losing my health gave me a new perspective on life. I was caught in another paradigm shift.
In 2021, I had no choice but to heal myself holistically after my body literally shut down from an accident, trauma, burnout, COVID (all happened at once). I healed mainly by harnessing the power of my mind, energy medicine, and nutrition. It was easy nor linear but my priorities completely changed after that.
For my entire adulthood, I’ve literally woken up every single day EXCITED to start my day. In my darkest moments, I still found myself excited to get up every morning excited to take on the challenge of healing. Never the one to sell myself out, I was determined the next chapter in my journey is going to be filled with the same passion and excitement.
A Few Accomplishments in 2022:
- Became a Wellness Coach & Life Coach
- Became an NLP Practioner
- Began a diploma in Modern Applied Psychology
- Completed a Peak Performance training program
- Began another Peak Performance coaching program
- Found more mountains to climb. Did a LOT of subconscious shadow work while continuing to chase my triggers and everything that scares me.
- Jamming through my Masters in Holistic Nutrition (doing this for fun because I’m sooo passionate about food… and you are literally what you eat!)
I did this while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, traveling, riding my bike almost every day, running my agency (at half capacity), doing client work, managing my team of copywriters and engineers, writing for my blog, and doing a few other writing gigs.
The most important skill I had to learn was how to manage my energy with science-based techniques.
Now, if I kid that would be a different story! 😆 But that’s why I don’t have kids! And if I do, I’d have a nanny (to do the dirty work because mom needs her me time). I always have my future in mind for every decision I make.
Anything is possible with discipline, determination, and planning!
How It Works
Like that annoying backseat driver in your car, or your mom nagging you, you’re going to hear your WORD in the back of your mind, reminding you to stay on path. Examples:
When I’m supposed to be doing deep work but I find myself task-switching and reading a random article online. FOCUS.
When I’m supposed to finish writing an article but I go on LinkedIn. FOCUS.
When I go to the bathroom where I’m trying to get into the habit of doing breathwork but my mind starts wandering. FOCUS.
5 Mindset Shifts I Mastered in 2022
By practicing letting go of control, I learned how to be comfortable with an extremely unstable salary. I truly mastered an “abundance mindset”. This included a lot of patience, mantras, and sitting with discomfort— it didn’t make sense because I could make almost a year of income in a month. Society makes you think ‘stability is king’ but it’s a lie! It was okay to take a month off to upgrade your skills without having ‘work’ at the back of your mind. What’s “work” anyway?!
MANTRA: “Work” is just another label.
2. Delayed Gratification.
Having to work all the time is such a scam! But it’s simply our monkey minds craving the feeling of “moving forward” (achievements) otherwise anxiety settles in. We all know about it but it’s hard for our brains to not “see” results right away— a survival mechanism our ancestors needed but our society has outgrown it.
For example, after deciding to take weeks off to “learn” instead of work, I drowned in guilt, and pesky unsettled feelings of self-doubt began creeping in. But why brain, WHY?!? I made enough last month so I don’t have to work for a long time! Delayed gratification was something I was okay with but this year, I really wanted to excel.
MANTRA: SHUT UP BRAIN.
3. Eliminate distractions with science-based techniques.
Forget about time management. The future is energy management. It all starts with neuro-energy. 🧠 Science gives you the knowledge to use your biology to your advantage. Your brain can’t solve what it doesn’t understand and if you don’t clearly understand the fundamentals of the problem, you’re running around in circles.
I learned the science of energy management and focus by reading books and listening to podcasts— neurotransmitters, physiology, light-hacking, circadian science, the science of caffeine, nutrition, etc.
MANTRA: STAY CURIOUS.
4. Focus on the right things.
People stay stuck because they focus on the wrong things. For example, let’s look at the controversial topic of “healing from _______”. Before you get triggered, yes, I know we’re all on our ‘own journey’ but why do some people heal faster than others (even when facing similar T’s)?
There are countless factors such as level of resilience, other traumatic experiences, and a low-vibe environment but maybe one of them is your FOCUS.
➡️ You continue to focus on the problem, not the SOLUTION.
➡️ You’re focusing on your current self, not your FUTURE-SELF.
Instead of saying: “I need to heal.”
You should say: “I’ve lost all my self-worth and don’t believe in myself anymore after going through that pain and trauma. In order to heal, I need to rebuild my confidence. I’m going to launch my own business….”
The outcome: Instead of reading the same books about ‘healing’, you read books on entrepreneurship, sales, and marketing.
Focus on your future self, not your current self.
MANTRA: We don’t attract what we want. We attract what we are able to become and sustain vibrationally.
5. Never stop leveling up your skills.
You can make learning fun by starting something and sticking with it. The problem is that people give up early because it’s too hard but passions are developed— not found. Take Elon Musk for example. The builder of four multi-billion dollar companies. He’s successful because of his framework:
- Study as widely, as many fields as possible rather than a single focus. This increases your chances of breakthroughs and levels up your curiosity and creativity. You have an information advantage in a world that’s only getting faster. Your career is future-proofed. You’re not a prisoner to recessions and layoffs. You have the confidence to pivot whenever you want. Life feels more exciting.
- Understanding deep principals and mental models. This usually gets down to root cause and science aka “how things work”. Don’t waste your time with surface-level fluff.
”It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.”
- It’s all about priorities and how badly you want them. Make time to do this by the 1% everyday rule or prioritizing a simple 5 hours a week to learning. You have 24 hours in a day and one hour (or even 20 minutes) is going to compound exponentially than zero. It’s only impossible if that’s the story you’re telling yourself.
Bonus: How To Know You’ve Been Successful With Your “One-Word Theme”
The ‘aha’ moment happened at the end of September, and it naturally led me to what I wanted to focus on in 2023. All the work I’ve done led to me dropping 20k on a program (without hesitation) that sang to me. I instantly knew that was what I needed to take me to the next level. It’s hard to explain but it’s like buying a house— when you walk into your dream home, you just know.
Here are my reflections after successfully living out my theme in 2022.
By doubling down on FOCUS, I also achieved many other micro-goals and achievements along the way:
- Work: I spent the entire year upgrading my skills, taking courses and masterminds, and learning— while running my agency at half capacity. I’m the kind of person who refuses to do the same thing my entire life.
- Productivity: I accomplished a lot by isolating myself from distractions. I stayed home when I was in Vancouver and said no to 80% of social events (while still living my best life). Temptations to go out were neverending but mastering the discipline of “being alone” was satisfying.
- Money: The paradox was that I made more doing less. Work never feels like work. I did it by RELENTLESSLY FOCUS and learning how to work and live SMART (not hard) by implementing science-based methods.
- Science: I learned and implemented new strategies to my toolkit by turning them into habits. This was the hardest work (but fun) and I stayed disciplined by being obsessed with behavior change. More details later.
- Travel With Intention: I create my own schedule and can work from anywhere so my life already ”feels like a vacation.” However, after being homebound because of a pandemic, I traveled with a purpose in 2022: to get away, reset, and enhance FOCUS + productivity. I spent a lot of time in LA riding my bike and working, went to Whistler to remove myself from busy city life, and spent 3 months in Europe (seems glam but it was 90% work + health).
- Health: I barely drank. Completely eliminated junk food cravings and late-night snacking. Healing my gut. My sleep scores have been higher in the last four months than in the last four years. Also took up running because I discovered I was good at it. The cascading momentum of staying FOCUSED
- Relationships: Focus on my environment was emphasized and I decided I needed to prioritize relationships: with myself, my boyfriend, and my friends. I was selfish this year but next year, but next year I’ll do better! You’re the product of your environment. If you want to succeed, you have to manifest success for everyone around you. Intimidation, jealousy, and frustration are all results of your own insecurities.
- Self: Spent all my free time working out, prioritizing my gut health, learning, reading, and upgrading. It wasn’t hard because I was doing all things I loved. I only strictly eliminated everything else that wasn’t serving me because it’s better to do the hard work upfront and see a lifetime of benefits.
- Completely annihilated my relationship with my phone. I literally have ZERO interest in being on my phone. It went so far to the deep end, that I need to train my mind to “want to be on it” for work. But it’s a nice problem to have! 😆
- Learned how to effectively habit stack without overloading my brain. When my brain was tired, I would go for 3-hour bike rides with music (or none at all). My younger self would’ve tried to cram in all those moments with podcasts and audiobooks to be “productive”. When I cook or eat, I don’t do anything else such as read while I eat (my guilty pleasure. When I get ready to go out, no more podcasts but only music!
- #1 thing was to prioritize TRUE ACTIVE RECOVERY where I shut off my brain from all stimulation (even meditation, books, technology, and conversations). I can literally stare at a wall for 20 minutes or exercise for hours without music or podcasts. Learning how to sit in the uncomfortable feeling of BOREDOM is the best thing you can do for your mind.
- Reset. I spent a lot of time away from home in different environments to reset my nervous system. When I came back from Europe, I felt like I was in a new body that was no longer as tense, tight, and stuck. Success.
Because of everything I’ve achieved and the profound insights and experiences I gained in 2022, it naturally led to my one-word theme would be in 2023: COMMUNITY.
Life is a journey and for us to level up to meet our own needs, we have to identify what they truly are and do the work.
By creating an over-arching one-word theme, it creates simplicity and in that, everything will fall into place because results drive momentum.