A New Year, A New Word
I’ve never been a big New Year's Resolution gal. I feel like resolutions fail before they begin. The meaning of the word resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something” and as I get older my world is less black and white. The corners of my life that once seemed so sure and unmovable have become fluid. The list of things that I am “firm” on continues to diminish as I grow, learn and adapt as a person, a mother and a wife. I don’t relate to the word resolution and to make one doesn’t feel authentic or beneficial to me. Resolutions make me feel hurried, anxious and like I have no room to breathe.
I believe that true change comes from a deeper place within us and sounds more like ‘goal’, ‘intention’ or ‘purpose’. September is the time of year when I naturally feel myself changing gears; it’s always been a very defined new season for me and with that brings new aspirations and desires that lead to concrete goal setting. January doesn’t naturally ignite change in me - it more feels like an alarm clock has gone off and I’d rather hit snooze.
In my early 20s I created a New Year's ritual; to contemplate and assign the year a word. A word that speaks to me, something I’m yearning or working for; a feeling I want to have. In the past they have been words like ‘Integrity’ and ‘Quiet’. It only took 15 minutes of reflection for me to know that my word for 2017 is FOCUS.
When this word popped up into my consciousness I immediately felt excited and simultaneously apprehensive. I wanted a different word. This word is going to be a lot of work for me, this word is not going to let me off easy. I generally have terrible focus. Whether it’s long-term focus or short-term focus, it has never been my strong suit to have two feet planted with a clear vision and a connected mind. I am the definition of ADD and procrastination and instant gratification. All these personal short-comings solidify the fact that the universe was accurate and wise by giving me the word FOCUS.
I want to apply FOCUS to these specific areas of my life:
Conversations: I love interacting with people who make me feel like they are ALL IN when we are talking; that I have their full attention and what I am communicating in that moment is the only thing on their radar. These people know how to focus on YOU, and even if you only receive 2 minutes of their time, you leave feeling more seen and heard than an hour spent with a distracted person. I want to be the person that notices you; SEES you. I want to focus on the people around me, in the very moments we are together.
Family: It’s always those who are closest to you that seem to take the back seat. I often feel baffled that I can spend an entire day with my children and still, at the end of the day when I am tucking them in their beds, I can’t recall many moments when we were all fully focused on each other. I want to know my kids hearts. I want to hear them and see past the messes and the duties and all the ‘stuff’. I want a different dynamic with my husband. One that is more than co-parenting and co-everything-else-that-we-share. I want to get better at seeing past the day-to-day mundane and picking out the gems that make relationships bright and alive.
Self-Care: Focused 'Me' time. Self-care that actually serves me, re-charges me and uplifts me. Maybe this won't always be what I want to do - but will be what I need to do for my soul. I hope to get really good at deciphering what I need and when I need it. That my 'No's' are wise and my 'Yes's' are all-in.
Blog: I don't really want to be a 'blogger', I want to be a writer. I have nothing against the mainstream version of blogging - but, I find that I can get very easily get bogged down and distracted by what I think I'm supposed to be doing. This year I'm going to focus on my writing and getting better, more creative. I want to attend and participate in story slams, I want to submit pieces of work to other sources and I want to collaborate and learn from other writers and creatives. I've had an idea for a children's book series for a year now and I need to focus to see it come to fruition.
What's your word for 2017? I would love to hear it!