At the beginning of each new year, I pick a word to help center my goals. I find this helps drive my vision and stay centered in earning my achievements. It’s so easy to let the small things quickly get in our way. All of a sudden, another year has gone by, and things feel left undone. This year that word is "NURTURE".
I am at a point in my life where I feel a need to focus on myself, my growth, to lean in more to my needs— ways to nurture myself. I am at a point in my role as an entrepreneur that I enjoy focusing on others growth and development. I know if I want to continue to nurture other people, I need to start nurturing myself just as much.
What does it mean to nurture?
As a verb - care for and encourage the growth or development of someone or something
As a noun - the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something
Both of these definitions really resonate with me. I feel that I am a natural nurturer, and I want to ensure that others are growing and developing every day. How am I bringing nurturing others into this new year?
Focus on Completing Nurturing Actions: The foundation of nurturing is in fostering relationships. Good relationship can be priceless. But it takes effort. I can spend my time with anyone, but I don’t have to spend my time with everyone.
Make Dedicated Time with Those Who Matter: Whether friends, family, clients, or co-workers, devote time toward relationship building. Let those who are most important, know they are a priority and valuable.
Communication: One of the most important factors in nurturing a relationship. This is critical in any relationship, whether it is a personal or a work relationship. Communicate well by speaking honestly, building trust, and gaining and giving respect.
Be an Example and Show Appreciation: I will be the most positive person I know. Positive people are grateful people. They know the measure of how to appreciate others. Practice gratitude. It is one of the most positive emotions, and its effects can strengthen and nurture relationships.
Under-promise and Over-deliver: The best way to show people that they are important is to follow through on commitments. Give more that is expected. That is why my mantra for my business is, "High Touch, High Excellence". Through my expertise, my clients can be pleased with results because of our desire to over-deliver.
Connect Through Service: Too many relationships are built on wanting to get something out of the relationship. The main way that a relationship will last is if you treat it as a place where you go to give and not take. That is a main theme in my personal life as well as in my business. How can I "delight" the customer? That is the question I ask myself daily.
But doesn’t this run the risk of failing to nurture myself? YES! So, how can I nurture others without neglecting the nurturing of myself? It is important to consider the following:
Know your boundaries.
Know when (and how) to say “No”.
Know when you are stretching outside of your comfort zone and take a break.
Know when to insert self-care because self-care isn't selfish.
Find things that allow you to relax, enjoy and focus on yourself. It is important that you nurture yourself while you nurture others.
In 2023, I will take my own advice. Here’s how I will be putting this into action. I plan to use this blog post as a check in for myself to ensure that I am using my own guidance to nurture others, but more importantly, that I am using it to nurture myself. I have the entire internet helping to keep me accountable to myself.
Stay tuned to actions I will be taking to nurture others through the Enhanced DNA Publishing Academy, through my social media, and through the books that I publish. And, as a giant act of nurturing myself, I will be TOTALLY UNPLUGGED between January 13th - January 24th! I will be taking a much-needed vacation, cruising the Eastern Caribbean for some amazing self-care!!! Bon Voyage!
It’s never too late to start NURTURING yourself.
Denola M. Burton is the Founder and CEO of Enhanced DNA: Develop Nurture Achieve, LLC and Enhanced DNA Publishing. Through Enhanced DNA, Denola develops and nurtures individuals and organizations to achieve their Leadership, Communication and Performance goals and objectives. Denola is also an author and publisher and through Enhanced DNA Publishing, assists new and newer authors in publishing their books according to the Independent Book Publishing Association (IBPA) standards. Denola retired from Eli Lilly and Company after 27 years where the majority of her career was focused on Employee Relations/Human Resources. You can connect with Denola on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN and Twitter at Enhanced DNA or send a message to DenolaBurton@EnhancedDNA1.com.