I’ve been thinking a lot about New Year’s Resolutions. Every year, it seems, I make the same tired ones that everyone else does: to lose weight, to get more organized, to rid my house and my mind of clutter, to be a better mom, to manage money better… and the list goes on and on, and just thinking about all of that just makes me exhausted. And I never get a real start on one of them, let alone all, and nothing gets accomplished.
So, what, I’m thinking, am I going to do this year?
Because of the things that have happened in my recent past, I am keenly aware that changes need to be made in my life. Turning 40 will do that to you. Turning 40, and realizing that, even if you wanted a career, you don’t have the skills for one… that’s a major eye opener! (ok, I have skills. I just don’t have them backed by a piece of paper or by cohesive, documented experience that employers look for. Managing a toddler while juggling finances, grocery days, and a newly blind husband don’t translate well on a resume)
So I started toying with the idea of making a Vision Board. Except for me, it would be a Vision Book, because I don’t have the wall space for a board, and books are easier to add on to, and I’m an add-on-to-er. (and there’s your Lauraism for the day) And because I can do nothing without researching it to death, I came across a blog that dealt with exactly that, making a Vision Board. And I liked what she said. So I surfed around her site a bit, and came across this one very apropos post. (I also think it’s very, I don’t know, prophetic maybe? that I hit what I thought was the “home” link, and it took me to that post – from December 2006. Maybe it was my subconscious telling me something?)
In a nutshell, she advises not making a whole resolution, or set of resolutions, because that will bog you down. It’s overwhelming. But one word is simple. One word is not overwhelming. One word is just that. One word. A reminder. A goal.
Only problem is, I have two words.
The first thing that came to mind, when I read her “one word” idea was the word, “health”. Health encompasses so many parts of my life… “healthy living” means eating right, exercising, getting rest, playing. “Healthy home” means cleaving a path through this clutter and maybe ridding the house of some of it. “Healthy relationships” most definitely means being a good mom to Josh, and being a good whatever to the rest of the people in my life. And most of all, “Healthy” is just a gift to myself.
But then I read a little further in her post and liked the word that she chose, “courage”. Courage to be healthy. Courage to finally let go of so many things that have bogged me down, from the things (literally) in this house to the emotions that I’ve clung to for so long, to perceptions, to fears, and so much else.
So I’m thinking, instead of another tired, not-gonna-do-it-anyway resolution that is done before it starts, I’m going to take her advice and go with the word approach.
Health. Courage. They can go hand-in-hand, right? And hopefully, they’ll give me the boost that I need to make some long overdue changes.
This is good. I’ll have to think about it and come back. I really do like Health and Courage. I hope now I don’t get stuck on those. But the one word thing is a neat idea.
Cool! I always say, less is more. Can’t get much simpler than one word.
I stopped making anything resembling resolutions some years ago. I don’t think I ever really took them seriously anyway. It was more my “wishful thinking” list. And if anything, putting something on the list made it less likely to happen – as if my mind subconsciously saw it as a list of things I couldn’t make happen.
So I haven’t given resolutions much thought this year. Someone sent me an email that did inspire me to make one – I think it was finding time for myself again, now that my kids have taken up almost my whole life for over 2 years. I love time with my kids, but I feel my “self” starting to slip away like a distant memory, and it scares me. Because my kids don’t need me as much and someday they won’t need me at all. And then what will I have left – a career, yes, but my work life bears no resemblance to the person I always aspired to be (and perhaps was becoming at some point). I used to be creative, curious, musical, artistic, well-read (or getting that way), in love with nature and with things exotic, interested in education, charity, religion, health, economics, politics, even the opposite sex. When I decided to become a mom, I swore I wouldn’t compromise who I was – but that was unrealistic. Still, I gotta start waking up those sleeping parts of my brain, little by little. Wouldn’t it be sad if my kids never get to know who I really am / was?
Anyhoo. So what would my one word be? Self? (That sounds totally selfish – I don’t like it at all.) Reawaken? (Too abstract.) Integrity (as in, “the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished”)? I guess I need more time to think about it.
I admire you SKL. That was very honest.
SKL, thanks for sharing so openly. You said that so perfect. I think as woman who are born nurturers it is easy for moms to forget themselves in the daily routine of taking care of everyone else. My son is only one. But I’ve realized with the push of my own mom to take time each day, even if 15 minutes, to be alone. I take time where I can now to write, read, study, relax alone and I am happier than with my family too. My mom had an adventurous life before us kids, like you said was full of ideas and dreams, but she let it slip away taking care of us, and it is sad to me because I know she is not in touch with who she is, her dreams, not happy but comfortable. It is the saddest thing seeing your parent not fulfilled. I am glad she has started lately to workout and do creative work again. Seeing your parent happy is your childs greatest joy, just as seeing your child happy is your greatest joy.
SKL, what about “balance”? That incorporates not only “me/self time” for you, but also time for your kids, your work, and whatever else you wish to fit in there, just in a little more equal way.
How about “motivated?”
Laura, I love your ideas. The one word is great. I have a vision board! I got the idea from The Secret I read 2 years ago. I love it. Anytime I find a picture, a word, ect. that represents something I deeply want out of life in the near or far future I put it up there, I envision attaining it and believe it can happen. I really believe visuals work the best, and the psychology behind it. If you truly believe you can attain something and want it bad enough-whether a house, career, health, self balanced, becoming adventurous- anything is possible-but having faith and taking action is the key. Good luck to you! I think resolutions to oneself are like diets, just to restrictive and you feel terrible if you fail so you never want to begin either! But committing just to growing as a person or to being healthy is something we can all do on a day to day basis and feel the results, it is not about numbers then. It is about the joy you get from getting in touch with what your real dreams and fears are.
Joy said it all for me when she said “Motivated”. There are a lot of things that I would like to do if I could just get motivated to do them. Most of them are health related. I NEED to quit smoking and I NEED to start excercising so I NEED to get MOTIVATED to accomplish these things.
I’m really liking this whole one word thing. 😀
Very motivating story, Laura! Thank you and also the comments above are motivating to go on in this life with my head up, staying happy, healthy and caring.
Wow what a great post! I love this idea, it makes it so much easier. I think you almost have to pick two things. For me I would pick courage and freedom.
I need the courage in order to let go of things in order to reach freedom. For me freedom would be my main word. Freedom to be me, financial freedom, mental freedom…etc.
Ok I am going to write the word “Freedom” down and stick it to my fridge! Maybe that will give me freedom from fat! 🙂
Yes Laura, this is a great post and idea. I keep coming back here to see what new words people are choosing.
Laura! What a fabulous idea!
Confidence, ambition, courage. I need all those to get my GED this year! I know, I am almost 30! I dropped out when I was 17 and never HAD to go back. If anything I want to do it so I can tell my son I did it.
When I was 16 and going to school in Montana we did vision boards. Obviously mine today would be much different. I have a big cork board and a hundred magazines, I think I can do something really cool with it. Put it right above my desk so I see it all the time. The great thing about them too is you can easily change them. I need that kind of inspiration. This is awesome, I never would have thought about doing that again!!!!
That would be great, Nikki! I need to work on mine, it has been awhile and put new things up there I want to do these next few years as we travel. Eric got his GED when I encouraged him to go for it after high school, if anything, it makes you feel good you did it!
I guess I didn’t say one word I would pick for the year…I would say for me it is two words-one word is hard! Courage…because we are moving to Japan and I need it to gt out there and meet new people, sight see, speak the language (or try!)…and organized..because I am a big procrastinator, disorganized, and not a planner! I am ready to be an organized, planned person. Moving into a new home is a perfect time to make the changes.
Wow, that’s HUGE!!! Good luck!
I choose “proactive”. Proactive in all aspects of my life. Proactive for my health, proactive for my job, for my kids and decisions I need to make. Hopefully in choosing this word it will force me to accomplish what I want to b/c sitting on the sidelines doesn’t get you to the next level!
I have this idea knocking around in my head…. a month from now (if I remember, of course, with this ADD-riddled brain of mine), I’ll post back and check in to see how everyone is doing…
That’s a good idea Laura. We could put a post in the can to remind us. It was fun to read what choices people were going to make.