It seems like the thing is to have a one word intention to set the course for the year ahead. Author Gretchen Rubin talks about this on her Happier podcast. Also I keep seeing ads for this company called MyIntent.org where you can make a bracelet or necklace with your one word for the year. This is the coolest idea! I really like the idea of the bracelet: something I would wear daily to constantly remind me of where I want my focus to be. I’m going to suggest this to my family so maybe we can all get bracelets and cheer one another on as the year advances. Seriously, how cool would it be if our entire family wore “matching” bracelets? I mean, everyone would have their own word but the fact that we did it together? Priceless.
One word! It’s harder than it should be to come up with one word. Maybe that’s because when I think through my goals for the new year, I look at several different angles of my life and while definite themes arise, I can’t find one word that does justice. Plus a year is a long time, and as humans, we are infinitely capable of far more if we put our minds to it.
You need only look at the ten resolutions I made for 2017 to know that I’m ambitious but I do want to pare down my focus a bit this upcoming year and significantly advance on a couple of things. Master them, if you will.
After careful thought I’ve whittled my intention for 2018 down to three words: very fitting for me as three is my favorite number. They are breathe, connect, and nest.
Breathe – My daily reminder to pray, meditate, set my intention for the day, and journal. To choose food that will nourish and heal me. To think before talking. To think before spending. (God help me if I spend one more dollar on a piece of clothing for myself.) To walk 10,000 steps daily and stand instead of sit for half of my workday. To stretch and strengthen this body, be very mindful of the state of my physical, spiritual, and mental health and work to keep all three vibrating positively.
Connect – To celebrate the big birthdays in my family this year. We have a child going into double digits (woo hoo!) and a new octogenarian mother-in-law. My husband turns 50 and two nieces turn 30. These milestones are very big deals and we should celebrate them.
My oldest and I had such a wonderful time last year on a special, long weekend trip to Seattle, I’ve decided we will make it our thing each year he is in high school. It was an amazing way to connect with him and there is just no way I will limit our time to just one trip. He wants to go to Chicago this year. I’m down with that. We’ll get our picture taken at the “bean” and catch an MLS game. Maybe Taste of Chicago will be going on while we’re there. Whatever he wants to do. He loves his mom and I love him. It will be amazing…
I want to give more to charity – sure we give to our church and to the United Way, and I often contribute to the Red Cross during times of crisis and support other people in their various causes, but this year I want to think deliberately about the causes I personally want to support and I will give to them. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to figure that out!
Connecting also means making more of an effort to resurrect old friendships and strengthen new ones. If you saw one of my last posts, you know how much I need a community. It’s scary to open myself up to new people so I tend to gravitate toward the ones I already know even though none of them live by me. But open ourselves up we will and host brunch every now and then…opening up our house like we used to do when my husband was in the Air Force and 30-some people would descend upon the house, or like I used to do when I was single and hosted parties with 70-some people. It feels like a lifetime ago how I used to be a connector for others, even a matchmaker for a couple of marriages, and I do nothing of the sort now.
But that’s not all. Connecting means reading even more books, blogging routinely here and on LinkedIn, and even learning a new language, starting with Spanish. The Coffee Break Spanish is a fun podcast for that! Connecting also means grounding myself with nature by hiking more, and sketching…trying something altogether creatively new.
Nest – And this is where I let the floodgates open to some additional home improvement. I consider the home a sanctuary, but we’ve put so many changes on hold forever. It’s time to make our house as cozy as possible. Every thing in it beautiful and functional. Not too much, and not too little. In this context, nesting is not mutually exclusive of connecting. They go together, actually.
Do you have an intention for 2018? Are you a believer in the “one word” approach? What works for you? I’d love to hear from you on this topic so we can support one another.
Happy new year. I am definitely ready to flip the page to something new.