Yesterday morning as I was driving to work, I was listening to the DJs at SpiritFM discuss the topic of New Year's Resolutions and how people usually do not keep them because they set rather generic and "boring" goals for themselves (i.e., lose weight, stay in budget, pay off debt, etc.). After reading an article from Relevant Magazine about setting more dynamic and active goals, Abby (one of the DJs) mentioned one of the examples that really resonated within me. Rather than set a generic goal, the author mentions creating a one-word goal for yourself during the year. The theory is explained more in this article from the Huffington Post.
Since I decided that making a list of resolutions was a waste of my time--especially since it takes more time for me to make the list than to actually stop doing them--I hadn't really thought too much about what I would like to accomplish in the year of 2011. In fact, I figured I would meander along as I have in years past and hope for the best. However, I still cannot get this thought of a one-word resolution out of my head. So much so, that I've been up since 2:30am this morning trying to figure out what my word would be. (Yes, work is going to be a killer today.)
I don't think I would have thought quite so much about having a word, but I stopped last night to watch the movie Eat, Pray, Love (completely out of character for me to watch a movie on a school night) and the characters in the movie were discussing words that define themselves. If you haven't read thebook or seen the movie, I'm not going to go into it, but the word she finally chose seemed appropriate for where she was in her life at that point. I want a word to be the same thing for me.
Calm would be a wonderful word. I really would like to have a calmer life. My stomach and my cat would greatly appreciate it. Unfortunately, it 's not the word for me this year. (Sorry Maddie.)
Peaceful is another word I would love to have to describe my year, but that hasn't settled well with me at all either. (More to come on that later this year.)
Energetic would be nice--especially since I seem to lack some oompf at this point in my life, but that isn't it either.
No, after all of the hashing and re-hashing about how I would describe myself and my year, I think the best word to describe it is:
Yes, simple and to the point. I want to be present in my life this year. Too many times I catch myself going through the motions of an event in my life that I miss the experience.
Yes, I capture everything on film, but I find that I am rarely in the pictures because I hide behind the camera.
When my family, and sometimes my friends, are talking and I get tired of actually listening, I start planning my grocery or to-do list in my head. Am I trying to be rude? No, but I am nonetheless. I want to be present for these conversations so that I can live knowing that my friends and family understand that I truly care about them and that they are not wasting my time.
No, that doesn't mean I'm going to accept all the invitations that come my way and make myself over-busy. (I'm still a recluse, I'm just venturing out of the cave to experience life a little bit more.) No, that doesn't mean I'm going to be at every family function with bells on. (Have you met my crazy relatives?)
It just means that whatever I am doing, I will give it my full attention. I will be present instead of daydreaming, as usual. Present. There's a quote that I've run across several times:
"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
I think that by being Present, it will be a gift for others. One I've been withholding for years. Yes, the more I think about this word, the more I realize that it's definitely going to be a challenge, but I think I am up to the task.
Do you have a word for this year?