Several years ago, I started selecting a word for the year to use a a guide for the upcoming days and months ahead. In the early days, it was a reminder to have PERSPECTIVE through wedding planning (shoutout to 2012!); followed by: CREATE, FOCUS, LIGHT, RESILIENCE and INSPIRED.
Last year’s word, INSPIRED, was the right choice for how I felt, though, I wasn’t in the right headspace to be able to act on it as I expected last January. I’ve belabored the point here – and I swear I’ll move on! – but I was just trying to keep my head above water! 2017 was the year of flailing through the water, half tread/half breast stroke, trying desperately to get to the wall to get a grip and catch my breath. I wanted ‘inspired’ to keep me looking up, to remind me to actually swim and not just tread, through the tumultuous political climate and the cascading transitions in my personal life; and it did but in a less splashy way.
It’s been moments of inspiration, instead. In the back half of the year, and specifically the last several months, I’ve prioritized reading books that excite me, listening to meaningful podcasts. I worked with a stylist to help up my fashion sense and I’ve started exercising regularly again. I’m even taking the time to cook which…is not a thing I’ve ever really enjoyed or have been good at (these things are related, I think). INSPIRED is alive in well, even if it means smaller gestures than I planned.
This year, in the *right* headspace, my word is INTENTIONAL. I want to be more deliberate in a few key components of my life like:
How I spend my TIME: At a high-level, prioritizing the people and things that bring me joy and further my growth as a human vs. cramming another activity or event into a day/week/month just to do it. Also choosing to take care of myself. Basically, Kondo-ing my agenda.
The WORDS I use: To be more thoughtful about how I interact with family, friends and co-workers. This means taking more time for reflection, too. I also hate (HATE!) texting but realize it’s a necessary evil and I need to get better about timely responses (i.e. use those cellular words more often).
The MONEY I spend: Primarily, I mean this to be less ‘luxury/nice to have’ spending (e.g.: spending $4 on a kombucha that I love but is not necessary) and more consideration of how/where I’m spending my money. Asking, ‘do I *really* need That Thing? Or would I rather save those dollars for a downpayment?’
Overall, I’m starting 2018 in a far more optimistic and energized mindset that I’ve felt in a few years. I’m excited about the year ahead (even if our president is tweeting casually about nuclear war) and where this little, impactful word will take me.