I really love the idea of choosing one overarching word for each year rather than making detailed resolutions because it offers me a way to reevaluate and readjust throughout the year without feeling guilty over each little miss or failure.
In 2012, my word was authenticity, and I grew a lot that year in my willingness to set aside my pride and let people see the real me. The messy, imperfect me.
Last year I’d originally chosen “consistency” as my word, but it turns out that word doesn’t actually mean more consistent (ha!), so I changed my word to true…and it didn’t really stick. (I should have just kept my original word!) But it was also a year of transition for our family — with first trimester morning sickness, preparing for and welcoming a new baby — so it wasn’t an easy year for being consistent anyway.
When it comes to choosing my word, I tend to just open my mind to the possibilities and wait for my word to come to me. That sounds a lot more woo-wooey than I mean it, but just like my best ideas come to me when I’m not actively searching them out, I don’t want to try to force myself to choose a word that I don’t really mean, so I prefer to wait until inspiration hits.
This year, the word that jumped into my mind and heart was live.
I want 2014 to be the year that I begin to truly live…
…a life that reflects my values.
…for today instead of for tomorrow.
I’ve spent a lot of years working toward my goals, making sacrifices today for future benefits, and I think there’s a place for that. It is, after all, how our whole family is able to be home together and have the flexibility to travel, explore, etc.
The only thing is at some point that moves from a season to a lifestyle, and I don’t want it to be a characteristic of my life. The truth is that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us, so I don’t want to put off living — really living — for a day that may or may not come.
This commitment to live in 2014 sounds pretty theoretical, but here is what it means for me practically:
- Stopping to look the girls in the eyes when they talk to me. Not just sometimes, but every time.
- Playing a game — Sylanders on the Wii or alternating rounds of Rumikub and Sequence Jr, for example — with the girls several times a week.
- Being more spontaneous when invited to play dates or activities with other families. (This is a hard one for me because I like to plan and because most of our friends live 30-60 minutes away!)
- Avoiding wasting time on the computer when I’m bored or tired.
- Being intentional about regular coffee dates with my friends.
- Enjoying my time with Jackson rather than falling into the habit of nursing him and then handing him off to someone else so I can “get things done.”
- Closing the computer even when my to-do list hangs over my head because there’s always — always — more to be done.
- Making time for one-on-one dates with the girls.
As I try to figure how to actually do this — there is the small matter of deadlines and bills to pay and all that jazz — I’m reading two brand new books this month: Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life by Crystal Paine.
Besides having the world’s longest titles (ha!), both of these books speak to my desire to live in 2014. Rachel’s book is encouraging and inspiring while Crystal’s puts legs on the principles with practical tips for getting things done and still having time to enjoy life.
I also ordered one of Lisa Leonard’s one word bracelets so I can wear a reminder to live daily. I can’t wait for it to arrive!
What is your word for 2014?