Have you been weighing hard decisions lately? This is often a time of year when we are looking ahead- planning and prioritizing. Wrapped in the cold of winter, we are preparing for the coming seasons and determining what we want to get accomplished.
On this episode we'll look at some great tools to help with hard decisions and with some things that may weigh us down or overfill our plates. We'll also chat a little more about our words of the year and how they can be a tool for helping us determine what's most important.
Have you decided on your word of the year yet? If not, head over to podcast.thegritshow.com (or find it on your favorite podcast streaming app)- go to episode 28 to get some valuable examples that may be helpful in figuring it out.
You can also visit our IG profile: @The.Grit.Show and check out a reel from the 3rd week of January.
This week is a solo episode that I kept just under 30 min., so you'll still have time to check out the trailer for The Fire Inside Her - bit.ly/FireInsideHer that is launching next week on the Authentic Connections Podcast Network.
I'm excited about the amazing individuals I get to work with and walk alongside as they make their podcasting dreams a reality! Learn more on Instagram @37by27
A little about me-
Shawna Rodrigues is an entrepreneur, podcaster, internationally best-selling author, and consultant. She spent the first two decades of her career supporting families and communities and being honored by Boston University for her “Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Social Work.” She found the synergy of her passion for change and creativity in podcasting. She is the host of The Grit Show; a podcast for warriors, givers, and doers with a focus on self-care and growth; and a new podcast Author Express that allows you to get to know the writer behind the pages in an express format. After learning the abysmal fact that only 27% of podcast hosts are women, she launched the Authentic Connections Network which takes the tech and stress out of podcasting. Authentic Connections has an audacious goal of 37 by 27—increasing the number of women hosting podcasts by at least 10% in the next 5 yrs. Shawna’s the city girl-next-door who loves to travel, and is a connoisseur of apple cider doughnuts.
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Sometimes it can be very hard to make decisions in life. Maybe you're very familiar with this. Maybe you're familiar of being in places where all of the decisions feel hard. How's your 2023 going so far? Can you believe that we've already pretty much zoomed through January? Are you feeling like there's a lot to accomplish and time is getting away from you a little bit? There are so many people I've interacted with in the last couple weeks that have been dealing with illness in their homes or with ones they love. It's not fun. It's a hard way to start the year. What are we doing with this? Where are you at? What are some strategies you have to narrow your focus and help you feel more successful? What does your word of the year have to do with this? Welcome to The Grit Show, growth on Purpose. I'm so glad you found us. I'm Shawna Rodrigues, and I'm honored to be leading you on today's journey as part of this community growing together as seekers and thrivers. Today I'm doing a solo episode to chat with you about a big decision I've made. Talk about some tools that may be helpful in decision making and look at how you're applying your Word of the Year. It's all a work in progress. Are there things that you thought were off the table? Things you felt like you have to do that are non-negotiable? I know my conversation from episode 12 with Belle Lockerby, we talk a lot about what we've been told about who we are and the words to define us. This also includes the things we've been told we should do, the things we must do. You've heard me talk before about how beneficial a gratitude practice was and it helping me to know what I'm grateful for and how much that helped me know what is truly important in my life and what I truly value. And how gratitude is how I was able to narrow things down and figure out what was really me and what I enjoyed, and not what I was told or thought, or believed, or was perceiving to be the case. I've also found that my word of the year has been valuable in helping me to see what was most important. I talked about a word of the year in episode 28, and the process of selecting mine and some thoughts about how you can select yours. It's absolutely not too late for you to select your Word of the year, regardless of what month it is or where we're at in the year. So go back and listen to episode 28 if you think that would be helpful. I also reposted on Instagram last week at The, Grit, Show, the little reel I made around choosing your word of the year. It's kind of fun because you can just use your phone to snap a photo and do it a few times and see which word you get. It might be that the word that you happen to snap on, be it persistence, daring, focus, family, embrace zen, surrender flow, gratitude, transformation, understanding. You get the idea. There's a lot of words that, whichever ones that you snap might be something that resonates with you and becomes your word of the year. It's a fun way that if you're having a hard time thinking of the word or narrowing a word, you might go there and see what raises to the top, and you might find your word that way. So that is still there. It definitely helps me to narrow down what is most important to me and what I want to focus on. It also helps to filter other things out. There is this fabulous parable that I loved and it was attributed to Warren Buffet that upon research I actually found out that Warren Buffet later said, uh, no, that's not something that, that I ever did. But in the story, someone important told their pilot to write down 25 things that they want to focus on and after writing down the 25 things they want to focus on. Cuz again, like as we start the year, as we start to focus at any point in time, all the things we wanna do, all the things we wanna accomplish, it's a list of at least 25 things, right? Sometimes hard to narrow to 25, and then the directions are to cross off 20 and only focus on five. Because those 20 things are gonna take your focus away from the five things you really need to focus on. So it's very unfortunate that whoever came up with this concept needed to attribute it to Warren Buffet to get our attention. And it turns out that Warren never said that to anybody. But that concept remains solid. You need to be able to cross off and get a lot of things off your plate and narrow your focus. And that's the idea of having a word of the year instead of having like 25 goals, five goals, 20 goals, all these things you're trying to accomplish, to have one North Star for the year. And again, next year is a different one. And if you listen to that whole episode, I can go back and I tell you about the ones I've had in past years and how much they help me focus, and then they become the bedrock moving forward that I already have those pieces. We can look at a principle you probably heard of, which is the Pareto principle. It goes way back to 1896, and it's interesting because it started as a observation by Pareto that approximately, 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the people and 20% of his plants contained 80% of the fruit. Things are not distributed evenly. And so with this, it's an observation. It's not a law of nature. You can start to see how that can play into your favor. That sometimes you need to find that 20% that will give you the 80% and to focus on finding that 20% is gonna yield the 80% and that to put the effort into that versus, putting so much effort into multiple things. And so the focusing can be what can give you the bigger yield or have more, productivity in the end. So they look at it as 20% of players result in 80% of the points scored, and 80% of a company's profits can come from only 20% of the customers. And so to really focus on where those things are coming from, and then build up those areas. And so you find out what works and you double down on those and put effort into those. Cause that's where you're gonna get the most success is from those things. And so it is a way to help you instead of having 25 things to focus on. That you find the five most successful, the five most important, and put more energy into the five instead of spreading yourself across the 25. And so that's one reason why you have the word of the year right, is to help narrow your focus. so you can focus on, rewarding the employees and building on employees that are doing most of the work and that you satisfy the customers that are gonna be your return customers and that loyal customer base is there. It also means that you realize that you still have that other 80%, right? So to have 20%, you still have to have a hundred percent You still have all those customers, you still service all those customers. You just put more energy into that 20%, that is gonna have the larger return on investment. And that's one of the benefits of a a word of the year, helping you to focus on what is most important and helping you to know where you say yes. Because your resources, your time is the most finite thing that you have. And so you decide what you want to spend your time and your energy on. So Jean Haley is part of an online community that I'm part of, and she chose the word consistency was her word of the year for 2023. And then upon application of it, she decided that she needed structure in order for the consistency to happen, so she changed her word. So her word became structure. Something, in her words, that she's fighting against her whole life was structure. And yet she realized that in order to have the outcome she wanted she needed the structure to be the base for that. She was able to take a step back and see that. So, Narrowing it to one thing, we can often see perhaps that we actually need something different or something, one step behind that, and to be able to say, okay, I can stop fighting this. I can see how this might be what I need. But if she wouldn't have realized that she wanted the consistency, she never would've seen the structure could give her what she wanted most. I Love that she shared that. And asked her if I could share it on my podcast. I found it was very valuable. This is a process and it can change. And so it's valuable for you to put something into place and it's okay to change a word and to find the right one that fits and fits perfectly for you. I know that for me personally, the term abundance is one that does not resonate with me. For me, abundance is too generic. It's a veiled term that individuals in society were like, how can we say richness and prosperity without saying richness and prosperity and maybe for people, the connotations that was necessary. But for me, tell it like it is. Be straight. Get the specific word. That's what you want. You want richness, you want prosperity, you say richness, you say prosperity, and you own it. And that's okay. And if you have things. You know The Words The Caterpillar Ate. You need to read that book from Belle Lockerby, go back and unpack that. You unpack those words and get to a point where you can own those words cuz you need to have what you really want. And personally, I have an abundance of stuff in my house. I want less stuff. I want less stuff in my life. I've an abundance of stress at times, and in the past I've had an abundance of that. So abundance is too much. I don't need too much. There are plenty of things that I could have less of in my life, and so I'm still inviting in prosperity, but I'm definitely letting go of abundance and I'm definitely not looking for that term. And I invite you to find that specificity to be key to exactly what you want. And if you want richness, if you want prosperity, you own that. And you say richness and prosperity. and you don't hide behind some veiled piece that makes you nervous, that someone else has handed you their baggage with. You find what you want. And if you choose health, then you say health, like you know what you want and you sit with that and you own that and take away the pieces so that you can have that word and and utilize that word. It's important to find a word that fits and one that you can put into action. So I think our conversation with Will Halpin just last week on episode 32 around internal family systems. When we talked about getting curious, you can really have some value with that here as well. If it's not sitting right. Have some curiosity about why it's not sitting right, if it's hard to find the word, have some curiosity about that. We're all about finding the right questions here on The, Grit, Show. We don't have all the answers. I'm the first to admit I do not have all the answers and I just worry about trying to find the right questions. Cause that's the first step is finding the right questions. So finding the word applying it, and that's what we're gonna focus on a little bit more now. So my word is savor, and I talked about that more in episode 28, about why I chose Savor. I wanted Savor launching the Authentic Connections Podcast Network. I wanted to savor celebrating my wedding with those I hold near and dear and launch my marriage to the love my life. I want to savor that, all of that. The only trouble is, that was a lot to fit in and to try and savor, so trying to savor the time that my toddler nephew was staying with us. We were turning over a rental and I'm trying to savor. I do love painting and fixing things like I was trying to savor that. We had a planned trip to the coast. Another surprise, upcoming trip to San Diego. My love bought that for me for Christmas. Um, cuz I didn't want more stuff, so I said I wanted nothing for Christmas. So he bought me a wonderful trip to San Diego that's coming up that I'm so excited about. But it was getting more impossible to savor when there was so many things I was trying to fit in. And it was wonderful to have this changed lens of being able to savor and being present in these things. But the time and energy that was taken just meant that I wasn't sleeping and I was exhausting myself and trying not to use the term overwhelmed, but really having a hard time not using that term. Because my plate was very full, and so something had to give. And I was trying to just push through. I know I can muscle through and make it all happen. Like I'm somebody who's muscled through. If you're listening to this podcast, you're someone who has muscled through in the past, like you have the Grit, right? And I worry that when we think about Grit, we think about this, right? We think about just pushing through and making things happen. And I think a lot of my friends think of me that like I'm the woman that makes impossible things happen. I, I juggle and all these things come together and, you know, against all odds I make it happen. And that was part of my identity at one point that I could make the impossible things happen. It was miraculous that I do it all. And if you're listening, you might identify with that. You might be known for that at times. But guess what? I don't want to do it all. just because I can and just because there's some validation from others when I do. My word of the year is not conquer. I don't wanna conquer everything. I don't wanna prove anything to anyone. I don't need to show that I have Grit. I know that I have Grit. I want to savor, I want to savor. I have nothing to prove in the end. I have myself to answer to and honor, and I want to savor. So to savor, I needed more room. I needed more time, I needed more space. I want to do these beautiful, amazing things, and I want to savor them. So guess what? I did something that most people think is the option that wasn't on the table. In fact, the first time that I said it, I said it, it just slipped outta my mouth and it wasn't an option. It was a what do you want me to do this? I can't do this. I did the thing that resulted in losing some money and deposits and causing some inconvenience, but my wellbeing, my ability to be present and joyful and savor was the priority. And I have waited and focused on finding the right partner who I'm so grateful for, and who is so understanding and supportive. And in the end, we are postponing our wedding for a year so that we can savor it. So we can do the things well and not just check 'em off the list, get 'em done. And I had to look at things hard and from All angles, and find the things the looked immovable and get curious about whether or not they could move. It doesn't change how amazing my relationship is, how supportive it is. It doesn't change how amazing the wedding will be. It actually might make my relationship a little more amazing cuz he was so great about this. And it might actually make my wedding more amazing because of the people who are supportive about this. But it does change my stress levels drastically. It meant asking myself, what is the worst that could happen? I still remember the car I was in and the friend I was with the first time I was introduced to that idea. At the time it was regarding a pending breakup, and they asked me what was the worst that would happen if we broke up? And it's a question I'd never asked myself before. This kind of connects back to episode 30 with Jessica DeRose. She was listening to a podcast and they asked the guest, they were talking to that question and that person's answer to that. And the answer of the individual coaching them helped her realize that she was living in her worst case scenario, right? So what is the worst that could happen? Have you ever asked yourself that? Sometimes we're so busy swirling in the fear or just accept things as truths and things that are like immovable that we can't even address, that we don't stop to say what is the worst that could happen? Some of you, when you hear me talking about postponing a wedding, might have had a knee-jerk response of, wait, you don't do that, that you don't do that. So you told people when you were getting married, people had plane tickets, like you had a venue. You don't, you don't do that. You don't let people down, lose deposits and change plans. You just don't. Others might have thought, what's the big deal? What's the worst that could happen? The worst thing for me, honestly, would be someone questioning our commitment to our relationship in this marriage. But you know what? The only person that I care about questioning this marriages relationship, or the only two people is my fiance and I, and we're both fine with it. Don't get me wrong. When I like had that night of not sleeping when it first hit me and I started looking at dates and wondering could I really do this? And the next day he happened to get off work early and we went to lunch and I asked him at lunch if this was an option and Very understanding and supportive. And I'm in tears at the restaurant cuz I can't believe I'm considering this. And he was just taking it in stride. But I was very nervous that he would take it wrong or he wouldn't wanna tell people or he'd be worried about people thought when he didn't and wasn't, and was great and supportive because he is the man I'm spending the rest of my life with because he is like this and I should have known that. But still I don't expect, we don't expect automatically to have this grace and beauty from other people. And I'm always so grateful for it when it happens, but that's what I care about. And he was very understanding and, and I know that this is the best thing for me, and he is the partner I want, and this is a relationship I've waited for and I have no questions whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, the first person that tried to twist it or put meaning into it it actually, it, it bothered me a little. I did have to process it with at least two of my friends that were great and understanding and amazing. For that person, it was definitely more an indication of the deeper turbulence in our friendship and the fact that they don't know me, who I am and where I'm at or get, they don't get me. And we're in different places and that's kind of a sad, separate topic. Not anything to do with this decision I'm making. Just a sign of that person, their lack of support and connection to me. Anyone who really knows me and gets me. Got it. And some got it more deeply and beautifully than I ever expected, and it made me even more grateful for them and even closer to them. The next hard part was that I was inconveniencing others, which I felt bad about, but again, that went better than expected, and for the most part, they were wonderful about it and so supportive of me doing this and taking care of myself and giving myself the space. It was hard phone calls. But the amount of joy, I felt This decision was made on a Friday and we went to the coast for the weekend and I actually had an amazing weekend at the coast with my partner and had this incredible weekend. I had a list of wedding things that were supposed to happen. I was bringing with me that we were supposed to be doing and taking care of. Cause I was so behind on everything that I was cramming into my weekend. And instead I got to be present with my partner and enjoy him and go on walks and do all the things that we would normally do on a weekend away instead of trying to like fit everything in and savor it all. Like there it was. It was getting to a breaking point with trying to savor at all. I got to savor this amazing weekend and I'm super excited about our trip to San Diego because I'm actually going to really enjoy our trip to San Diego cause I'm not doing those things. And so even those hard phone calls, I was able to make them in a timely fashion because I didn't dread them because I was able to, Enjoy and get everything I wanted back because of that. And again, the people who are understanding amazing, like they made the short invitation list to our wedding, they hadn't received invitations, they hadn't received save the dates yet. That's part of the problem. I kept not getting those mailed. But the people that were already buying plane tickets they are my nearest and dearest. And so they are the people that are the most understanding. Right? And last we lost money, but deciding when we did minimize that .And it also gave me a chance to practice putting less value on money and more value on my wellbeing and happiness. And we could have more about that, right? More than one episode could even cover. Money has as much power as we give it, and I don't let it have power over me. I allow it to be a tool to help make my life better, not to limit or control it, or add stress and pressure to it. It is a data point, not a deciding factor. And this helped me practice that because the deposits and the money put in that was lost was just examples of that. Does this resonate with you? Is there something in your life that feels completely off limits? But if you start to turn it over and look at those angles and wonder about the worst that could happen, does it feel like maybe that's not so bad and maybe it's actually not worse than what you are already experiencing? Is it something you feel you have no choice about? Something that's hard to say no or hard to say yes to? Perhaps a shift in perspective can be helpful for you too. These are all just tools and having a word of the year is one of your tools and it was such a valuable tool for me cuz honestly, without my word of the year, I'm not sure if I would've come to this decision when I did. Or not come to it at all, and just pushed through and made everything happen and completely exhausted and drained and burned myself up. Which, you know, there's an episode back in December around that. Because we have Grit, right? We don't have to show that. We don't have to prove that. We can savor, we can enjoy, we can live our best life. We can make the decisions to make things better for ourselves. We are empowered to do that. So take the time to figure out what you really want. You can take the story, and write down the, the 25 things and cross out twenty to get to the five most important. You can start looking at the parateo principle and start to say, oh, well my kids are only gonna remember 20% of the things we did when were kids. So we just gotta make 20% of these memories really great, cuz that's all they're can remember anyways. And the other 80. We, we don't have to put so much effort into, we'll put a lot of effort into 20% and the rest of 'em will just flow with it like they gotta be there, but we can just roll with it. So stop trying to do all the things. When your plate is full, look at what you can take off instead of what you can put on and make sure it aligns. If your word is create, think about the things you want to create and what that means to you and make room for that. How you can make room for that. What's on your plate that connects to that, that you wanna preserve and honor, and what stuff you might need to slide off because it doesn't. What things will be room for next year, other years, we have time, there's more time in the future. So right now, right now, cuz if you keep all the 25 things, you never give all of them all their attention. So let's narrow, let's, let's get focused. If your word is structure, then focus on the structure and say yes to the things that help you form the structure and not the things that add weight to it and make it harder to have it. If your word is focus. What's helping you to focus? What's taking away your focus? What is making things muddy for you? What are the things that you can get rid of because they make things muddy for you? Is it's scrolling through Instagram and Facebook and social media that makes things muddy for you. Is that something you can take off your plate? What's the things you can do? What can you get rid of? What things can you get rid of? And then let's talk about the thing that I said, the hard thing. Like what is the worst that could happen? If we're talking about something big. If you, thought that you were going to take on something really big this year. It doesn't have to be a wedding. If you were gonna take on a big project this year, and what if you said no to that project? What is the worst that could happen? If you did take that job somewhere else? What is the worst that could happen? If you said yes to that relationship? What is the worst that could happen? If you said no to taking on responsibility for your neighbor, for your sibling? What would that look like? What is the worst that could happen if you did that? Is that worse than what you are already dealing with? Or that taking it on would be dealing with? And if you're not sure, having that word of the year can help you kind of look at what is important to you right here, right now, and how does that all weigh out and come together. All food for thought. So I think we have a pretty strong example of self-care. I think that applying my my word of the year so that I could go to the beach for the weekend and actually be present and savor my time at the beach. even if it required postponing a wedding. Was definitely an example of me taking care of myself and me going to a wonderful weekend in San Diego with my love is definitely an example of that. So those are ways that I am doing self-care. I'm making hard decisions to make sure that I am savoring. The things that I'm doing. So even when I'm, when I'm painting and turning over an apartment, I am still going to be savoring it cuz I do love those things and it's when I let myself get overwhelmed that I don't enjoy those things. And so protecting my time and protecting my focus is how I'm able to make sure that I remember. I do like to paint, I do like to do those things, but. I need to be in a place where I can enjoy them and I can savor them. And that makes some hard decisions about where my focus is. So that's my self-care is the hard decisions of what I can take off my plate. And that will be our Grit wit as well, is you looking at what can you get rid of. And I feel like we've done this before and I should know which episode, but seriously, take a hard look when it comes to that list. Remember the, 25 only keeping five, which that is the same as the the Pareto principle, right? Of only 80%, 20%. What's the 20% you're gonna focus on? So to recognize all the things you're saying, yes to mean that you're saying no to things, even if what you're saying no to is your ability to enjoy and be fully present and to savor and to be in those things because you have so much on your plate. So that you can be more present with your kids when you're spending time with them, or you can be more present with your husband or that you can enjoy cooking instead of rushing through, cuz you have 2, 3, 5 other things to get done. What can you take off your plate? Maybe it is the cooking, right? So what is, what is something that you can push aside, and so tonight, or today or this afternoon or this morning, whenever you're listening to this, just have that in the back of your mind. What is something I can take off my plate? What is something that's not something as important that's possibly taking my focus away from that, that is important? What can I completely let go of? Because you know, I kept saying, That I was going to paint the bathroom, but I really don't care about painting the bathroom. So can I just let go of the fact that the bathroom is the color it is? Or can I get somebody else to paint the bathroom? Can I tell, you know, what else can I do? Because I need to let go of this. Because right now this just needing to do this is weighing on me. So what are things you can get off of your plate so that they stop laying on you and to start thinking about that, focusing on what to get rid of, not what to add. See if your word of the year can help you focus that to help you know what you want to be doing, where you want to be focusing, and what things should rise to the top. That's your Grit wit. Thank you so much for sharing this time with me today. I value you. I hope you know that. I'd also love to hear it resonated with you from this episode, from other episodes as well, and I love to hear if there's something you to hear more about. I'm currently researching guests to build on some areas of past episodes because someone just like you connected with me and said, Hey, I want more on that. I look forward to getting your messages and I love reading your reviews so you can leave your reviews on Apple Podcasts, listen notes or various other sites. Just look for it where you listen. If you leave one, go ahead and take a snapshot of your review and share on Instagram or Facebook and then tag @The.Grit.Show on Instagram or at The Grit Show on Facebook. It's kind of funny cuz Facebook doesn't let you do dots, but details, right or even just DM it to me if you prefer. there's enough listening platforms and I may not see it and I really care about what you have to say, so I would love for you to share it with me as well. So thank you for being here today, in case you haven't heard it quite enough. You are the only one of you that this world has got, and that means something.