MANIFESTO: Less but Better; Why 2017 Will be My Best Year Yet!

Cheers to the New Year, everyone! Annually, I set goals but have a tendency to keep them rather private. However, read on for my now-public Less but Better in 2017 Manifesto. I urge you to consider what will be essential for you in 2017, too.

In 2015 I began to read and study on the topic of less but better from a variety of sources. Most notably, I identified with the word “essentialism" from a book written by Greg McKeown aptly called, Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I have used this in speeches, used it with coaching clients, and talked about less but better as criteria for success measurement in my strategic planning sessions with company execs. However, I am here to admit that while I have implemented some of the principles behind less but better the client that has seen the least success with this is, well, me. Somewhere along this last fall (or was it even as early as July?) I began to feel the weight, yes a physical weight at that, of having done a poor job of keeping the less but better theory in check. My travel schedule seemed excessive, my preparation for events and people felt rushed, and in general I started too feel tired, a tad grumpy, and when I dared to really study my visage, I looked like, well, shit. No women likes to look in the mirror one day and admit this. Certainly not me.

So, what’s the problem? I asked myself this question during Cary and I’s annual pilgrimage to the Cayman Islands recently. 
Am I out of gas because I don't like my professional life? No, not at all-I have found a niche that serves me and I enjoy serving-I haven’t been this happy professionally, ever. 
Am I not happy with my home life? Certainly not! Cary and I are solid. In fact we celebrated 15 years with matching tattoos of our wedding date. You can ask and we’ll both proudly show you. 
Am I just destined to watch my face wrinkle and droop right off my neck, giving into the sands of time and the sobering fact of having now entered my 40’s? Lord No! I shall fight back! I shall fight back!

As I analyzed these questions, my first response to myself was: “Pull yourself together, Sarah Beth, and for God’s sakes don’t let anyone know you’re discombobulated!” And, I still agree, it is time to put on the Sarah Cloak and go out and achieve. Yet, I have decided to approach my aims differently in 2017; I am striving for a better balance of less but better. My goal is to monitor my less but better meter. Some examples: If I take on too many projects, I’ll feel out of balance, but if I do excellent, rewarding projects that really support my clients, I’ll feel in balance and proud. If I don’t travel enough, I’ll get cagey and bored, but if I’m gone too often, CA will start getting irritated and I’ll feel guilty about not helping enough with the farm and the cows. If I stay up too late at business receptions or working on overdue projects (i.e. too much vino and not enough quality sleep), well, ladies-we know what happens to our faces, don’t we! So, I shall monitor that (and promise my esthetician that I will see her more regularly and wash my face every night)!

As I mentioned at the start of this article, I do set goals every year, usually financial goals and a list of things I want to accomplish or achieve. I’ve still got that list to keep to myself. However, I’d like to share with the reader (if anyone actually gets this far!) my less but better goals for 2017.

Less worrying or staying up half the night creating to-do lists and drafting speeches or remarks in my head and more praying with faith that God has got this.

Less complaining (about external things) and less criticizing (myself) and more compassion.

Less cussing and more using words that are interesting.

Less fear of critisism and more writing dedicated to the Championship Drive series-I promise my readers TWO books this year!

Less eating (of everything!) and drinking (of wine and coffee) and more water and green tea.

Less avoiding tough conversations with family more being there for those that need me or that I need to see.

Less self-importance and ‘busyness’ leaving me out of time for relationships and more calling friends, mentors, and peers that I haven’t seen in a while or that I want to reconnect with and as such more lunches, coffees, and dinner dates just because I want to enjoy a friend’s company (without agenda).

Less procrastinating and more running just for the fun of it with less emphasis on being a great runner (which, I am most assuredly not and won’t ever be the gazelle I picture!)

Less feeling groggy and puffy-eyed and more self-imposed bedtimes and quality sleep!

Less time worrying if it is the right move and more time creating programs and opportunities to serve the clients I believe I am called to serve.

Less time dilly-dallying on social media and more time reading the great authors!

Less spending (on myself-oh, clothes and shoes, how I love, thee….) and more time giving to others-of me and my things (Alert: Marie Kondo-style close clean out ahead!)

Less time working and more time in the barn and being with you, Cary Aubrey.

Cheers to 2017-the best year yet! xo, Sarah Beth Aubrey

Posted on January 2, 2017 .