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Choosing my word of the year is more important to me this year than any other year. As I have aged, I have become a bit scattered. Can you relate? I realize that I have reached a time in my life where more direction and guidance are not only important but necessary. Choosing a word over a resolution will act as a guidepost leading, guiding, and directing me to fulfill my purpose while staying focused and grounded.
Why am I picking a word while most are making resolutions?
Resolutions have always failed me. Or maybe I failed. They were never based on reflection, goal setting, or with an end in mind. They usually were centered around “self,” at the present, without a goal or plan, and attempted at the WRONG time. Weight loss, better eating habits, more movement, and completing courses or projects were almost always the topics of my resolutions. I always failed at keeping any resolution that involved a commitment. WHY?
Wrong Season- Wrong Reason
Winter is not the season for change and is the worst time for establishing new habits. Winter is for reflection, goal setting, planning, and dreaming. Spring is a time for new growth and the cultivation of things to come. So, using this time to do some soul-searching will result in a more heartfelt goal. Choosing a word or words will serve as a guidepost to keep me on track.
My resolutions always seemed to be centered around me and cultural trends. That’s not always the best form of self-care.
Staying on Track- Not the Wheel
The Hamster Wheel....
You know, that wheel that keeps going around and around in a circle: IN MY MIND. That’s how my mind usually is. I have so many ideas floating in my mind. To say I get distracted is an understatement. My dad often tells me I wake up in a new world every day.
This isn’t a bad thing. I mean, I have some really great ideas. I have interests, hobbies, and a passion to live a simple, wholesome, and favored life while sharing with you!
Failure happens because I am not beginning with the end in mind. Reflecting back over the year will help me discover my WHY, help me set some SMART goals, and get to work.
THIS will give me focus and keep me grounded so I can stay true to myself and my purpose.
Reflections in a Year Past
As I look back on the past year, the main thing that comes to mind is that we survived the year of a pandemic.
It came with a vengeance. It took me by surprise and caught me completely off guard.
Wake Up Call- Why I Need a Word of the Year After COVID19
Where has the time gone? I have been so busy the past few years juggling being a wife, mom, and daughter to my aging parents, a friend, and a teacher. While I was busy running around being all things to all people, I was also getting older, less productive, and less resilient. I was also very much UNPREPARED!
Unprepared at Home
I was unprepared when our state and community went into lockdown. My freezer and pantry were empty. For the last six years, fast food was often our “staple.” Running to ballgames after work and getting home late left no time for meal planning much less cooking. I got in the habit of asking the family what they wanted for supper each day. Meals were often planned on the fly and ingredients were bought the day of. I am not usually stocked up on staples. If I am stocked up, it’s usually random things that can not even make a potluck much less a full well-rounded meal.
At the beginning of COVID-19, trips to the grocery store were only out of necessity and I truly didn’t know how to buy. Shelves were bare each week. Dried beans, flour, and toilet paper were sparse.
Being unprepared at home and feeling overwhelmed by the unknown surrounding our new “norm” added a whole new layer of stress. Fear-mongering and the feeling of helplessness surrounding friends and family who were sick or losing loved ones also added to the stress and overwhelm. Watching my dear mother undergo major surgery with risks for her age was definitely a stressful time. While I was running around being all things to all people, I was also becoming less resilient.
My Stressor Bucket Runneth Over
Like a house of cards in a gentle breeze, our health and wellness can also be shaken. Stress, fear, feelings of helplessness, and suppression of emotions can shake the foundation causing the stressor bucket to run over.
Stress, the silent killer, was the powerful entity that had taken up residence in my body. The sympathetic nervous system was at the helm of the ship and fight or flight mode was in full throttle. I had feelings of anxiousness, heart palpitations, rapid & irregular heart rhythm, and insomnia. I felt like I was being chased by a tiger. This was my new norm. THIS WAS NO PICNIC.
This was my wake-up call! I need to be more.
Standing on a Firm Foundation
Health and wellness may seem like they are stacked on a house of cards sometimes. One foundation that will remain strong and stable is our foundation in Christ. Through prayer and time spent with God, my house of cards(faith) shifted, and I was reminded of my firm foundation, regained my focus and re-grounded.
Last week, I was reminded through the words of a song, that God is for me. He will bless me and keep me. His face will shine upon me and be gracious to me. He will give me peace. His presence goes before me, behind me, and beside me. He is all around me and within me. His favor will be upon me. He will strengthen me and keep me……..
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”Isaiah 41:10
Choosing My Word of the Year: Going Forward
This year, I want to be more than busy.
I want to be:
- more productive
- better prepared
- healthy and well
- more resilient
- a better steward
As I think about my word, I am going to ask myself a few questions. After reflection, I will come up with a word that will be my guidepost for the year.
Maybe it will be one word, two words, or a whole statement. It may be a word of the year, a word of the month, or a word of the day. It CAN change at any time to help me reach my goals and fulfill my purpose.
Questions to Ponder
- What is my #1 priority?
- How “well” am I, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
- Where do I see myself this time next year?
- What are my gifts or talents?
- How can use those gifts and talents to minister to others?
- What am I passionate about?
- What is something I would change about last year?
So, I have two months to do some reflection and soul-searching for a word, words, or phrases to help me prioritize 2021. I already have a couple of life-changing ideas to journal about. But that’s for another blog post. Until then…..
Do you have your word of the year yet? I would love to hear about it and why you chose that word. Drop me a note in the comments.
In love and remembrance,