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One Word for 2024: Thriving

By Mike Heffner

An annual tradition I started both with my work team and my family is choosing One Word. This exercise uses a word to set as a theme for the year versus a traditional New Year’s resolution. It forces you to really look at what has happened over the last couple of years and what you want to see happen in this next year. I picked this up from author/speaker Jon Gordon.

Last year, my One Word was Sustain. We had a great run of growth in the last several years, and I wanted to see us Sustain that and keep it going. What I realized toward the end of the year though was Sustain felt more like settling or just keeping things moving. We ended the year with growth both in our business and in our family. For this year, the One Word that I think better suits what I want 2024 to be like: Thriving.

Last year seemed like the year for managing, avoiding and beating difficulties. I knew it was going to be tough, but it did not seem to leave much room for Thriving. Anyone that can say they ended up on the positive side after 2023 should celebrate. But at the end of the year, I did not feel like we won – I felt like we managed. I am positioning this year to Thrive.

What does it mean to be Thriving? Many think of being successful, trophies, fame and fortune. I want to define it this way: prospering and having health in all areas of life – financial, spiritual, and physical. My desire is to see as many people as possible find success. It means being busy in a good way – busy, making a difference, flourishing, growing and living an abundant life. A life that produces fruit for others and our work is helping others be successful, and that feels like Thriving to me.

I have spent a great deal of time this year learning about mindset. If you want to Thrive, you must have a good mindset. If you want to see personal fulfillment and optimal performance, then you must be mentally, physically and emotionally strong. This past year felt like a year where I spent a ton of time trying not to fail. My belief system was we just needed to sustain through the difficulties.

Erwin McManus said in his book Mind Shift that “your mental structures can unlock untapped potential and unleash unimaginable capability.” That says to me, if you want to Thrive, you need to get your mind healthy. If you are simply working to not fail, it’s hard to thrive. You need to play offense versus defense. As McManus shared, “your thoughts are the road map to your future. If you transform your thinking, you will transform your life.” I believe that with all that I am.

If you plan to Thrive, these three things need to be a part of your outlook:

  • Thriving Relationships – life is about helping other people succeed and making a difference for others
  • Thriving Growth – invest in yourself, as well as others. Learn, grow and move forward
  • Thriving Future – surround yourself with people that are committed to living at the highest level

You may be thinking, thriving? I am just trying to survive. I agree that life is hard and full of obstacles and challenges. Make sure the story you are telling yourself, though, is one that allows you to Thrive. It is easy to self-limit our thinking into believing that where we are at is due to something else. I would challenge you that if you want to be Thriving, you need to see the obstacles as opportunities.

This article is written by Mike Heffner, the owner of the local Greenwood Express Employment Professionals franchise. Contact Mike at Mike.Heffner@expresspros.com, @IndySouthMike on X (Formerly Twitter), Instagram or visit ExpressIndySouth.com.

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