From Intentional to Influence

From Intentional to Influence

Here we are. It’s almost time again. It’s time to INFLUENCE.

Today is Wednesday, December 30th, 2020. Tomorrow, we’ll be celebrating the last day of 2020!

Let’s be frank. This year, more are celebrating than it’s over rather than celebrating what an amazing year it was. It has been difficult for me this year in watching the world around me and not feeling like I can truly express all of the amazing things that my family and I have experienced. My heart truly goes out to those who have suffered in 2020, so I just want to say that while I’m about to gush about the amazingness that was my 2020, that in no way means that I don’t see the struggle of those close to me, nor does it mean that I am blind to the energies and circumstances of the world around me. Let’s just get that straight! As I always have, I choose to focus on the good around me an have hope for a better tomorrow. 

Intentional: My Word of the Year History

Since 2015 my words have been Determined, Joy, Simplicity, and Intentional. Each year my word does its job of keeping my focused while simultaneously kicking my tail! HA! See, as I’ve explained many times in the past, choosing a word isn’t just choosing a focus, it’s about challenging yourself. When you choose a word, you’re saying to the universe, “I’m ready for it!” So in true the-universe-has-a-sense-of-humor fashion, you better be ready to be either bombarded with the word you chose OR the opportunity to find it!

As examples, 2015 through 2017 were tough ones for me on many levels and so I had a MULTITUDE of opportunities to practice being determined, which was my word for those 3 years. In 2018, it was one of the worst years for me physically and I really had to push myself to find joy even in the smallest of circumstances. After taking such huge hits with my health in 2018, I chose simplicity for 2019 because I DESPERATELY needed it… but alas, as you guessed, things were anything but simple, and I had the opportunity then to CHOOSE simplicity when I have had a habit over the years of complicating everything. 

Intentional: Continuing Simplicity

As I mentioned at the end of 2019, I chose the word intentional with the intention (See what I did there!? HA!) of continuing on this theme of simplicity. Yes, up until that point I had done a much better job at not over complicating things, but sometimes, that came with throwing caution to the wind. I wanted to continue to keep things simple, but also really get in touch with my reasoning behind things. I wanted to be firm in the reasons I said yes AND the reasons I said no to people or situations. I wanted to really process information before making a decision or sharing my thoughts. 

And… WOW. Did 2020 ever present an opportunity to do just that. 

On a business level, I made some changes to things I was doing and felt good about them. As time went on, I was able to identify what was working, what wasn’t, and was intentional about making prompt, firm, decisions, instead of being my wishy-washy self, and move on to devoting my energy elsewhere. That felt SO good. So much guilt went out the window, FINALLY, about moving on from things that were no longer serving me, my business, or my community. 

On a personal note, I became intentional about fighting for myself. As I’ve mentioned, over the years I’ve struggled with my health. It’s not something that I share the blunt details about often, but if you poke around in my blog I’m sure you can find some things. At any rate, after all this time, I still have no clear medical answers, so at the start of the year I was louder than ever about declaring that I am the boss of my body and I am the only one I can count on 100% to do literally EVERYTHING to heal myself, so that’s what I did. While it’s still a process and I will continue this year, I have felt better this year than I have in the last 3 and I am so grateful for it. 

On the home front, it gets interesting. Most people that know me, know that I have expressed over and over again my desire to “go home” to Connecticut to live one day. Then, toward the end of 2019 I went to Michigan to meet my cardiologist and really fell in love it. I literally came home and told myself, that’s it! We need to move! It was perfect because it would have been a hop skip and jump to Toronto to see my husband’s family and many of our friends. As we began making plans over the next couple months to make it happen, all these little things would stand in the way. At some point it became apparent that this wasn’t us not doing enough and we both just said, ok, let’s just roll with it then. Soon after that, came what has come to be known as the global pandemic. Suddenly, the borders closed, and my husband was offered a job. Not in Connecticut. Not in Michigan. But here… just 4 hours north of where we were already. We said yes, an have continued to say yes ever since with the intention of bringing peace and grounding to our household in the midst of a chaotic and ever changing world, and it’s still blowing my mind how doors just open and continue to open when you do that.

So here we are, 8 months after saying yes, thriving in our first home we’ve purchased together, my husband enjoying his work again, and we get to provide a safe haven for our children and ourselves… intentionally. And my big realization? I am not stuck. Even when I make a firm decision… even when I say yes. I am not stuck. I can be completely intentional about the choices I make in the moment, knowing that when opportunity arises, circumstances change, OR… I JUST FUCKING WANT TO… I can be just as intentional about saying yes again… without guilt, without fear, without worry… with full confidence in myself. MY GOD… freedom within me feels good. 

In addition, the word Intentional also kept me safe and grounded during the world chaos that I have referred to. On social media, and in relationships, there have been MANY moments where I’ve wanted to just scream and stop and cry.. and frankly, call people idiots as an initial reaction.  While I’d like to say that I am unique, I feel so much of the world can relate to those sentiments. That said, as I’ve wanted to do those things, each and every time, I’ve gone back to my word in he following ways:

1. Intentional has reminded me to process my feelings internally before blurting them out to the world. Not everything needs nor deserves a reaction or opinion. I have learned to ask myself, “What’s your intention of sharing this now?” as well as, “What’s your intention for the future of this relationship or circumstance?” AKA: Is it worth it?

2. To piggy back off my last sentiment, Intentional also reminded me of roles in relationships. I’ll admit, I tend to be an over-sharer, which has bit me in the ass more than I care to admit. What does that mean? It means that I tend to share things with people who either don’t care or don’t understand. The problem comes in when I KNOW they won’t, I share anyway because I need to get it out, and then I’m upset when they show me they are who I know they are. I’m much more intentional now about knowing the roles people have in my life and evaluate the information and source before I share. 

3. It wasn’t long before I watched some spiral down with the stress of the world. While I wanted to run to them, I knew the dangers of internalizing their stories. (Thanks Shiraz.) I also knew that the desire to run to them and “fix” was an old habit of mine to want to do the work FOR people and God help me, I am NOT that person anymore. SO in this I learned to be more intentional of who I spend my time with as well as where I focus my energy. 

Intentional kept me busy. Clearly. HA!

On to Influence

As with years in the past, I had a general idea of what I was going for, and when I heard the word Influence, I did my digging:

Noun: The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.

Verb: To exercise influence on; affect; sway.

Digging Deeper: Impact, Leadership, Prestige, Importance, Character, Connection, Esteem, Guidance, Magnetism

My intention for the word Influence in 2021 is to examine and break down different SPECIFIC aspects of my life (such as my show The Breakthrough, my weight, my relationship with my husband and each of my children, my home etc) and ask myself 2 very important questions: 

1. What and/or who influences this area of my life? Then, do I want it to continue that way or does it need to change?

2. How do I influence others in this area? Do I need to or want to influence others in this area? If yes, how do I grow that?

With Influence, I intend to do as I always have in previous years which is to carry forward my words of the past as well. As I examine how I am influenced and how I influence, I will:

Be Determined.

Choose Joy.

Keep it simple.

And be intentional.

What’s your one word?

Love and Blessings for your 2021!

Jessica Dugas Signature