I thought I had my 2013 goals all figured out. I even wrote a whole post about it.
But, in my never-ending search for simplicity in life and not actually making real ‘resolutions,’ I’ve changed my mind about my approach.
Well, I shouldn’t say I changed my mind, but rather I’ve decided that most of my goals can be summed up in a better way. You see, I read this article and it encouraged me to find one word to focus on for the year, instead of a list of goals that I can easily lose sight of.
Thankfully, I’ve found a new way to do New Year’s Resolutions that keeps me properly focused. Instead of making my long list of ways I plan to improve, I prayerfully choose just one word to be my focus for the entire year. Just one word that represents what I most hope Christ will do in or through me that year. One word to give me direction.
It’s not a regret-based word but a vision-driven word centering on the kind of person I want to become. It keeps me looking forward and upward.
Genius. I wish I had thought of it. (There’s even a whole community of other bloggers who have picked their word!) Not that I’m not going to focus on those other goals I have…. because they’re (hopefully) going to be a driving force of how I spend my time and money this year. However, I also now have one word that I’m going to keep in the front of my mind throughout the day.
That word is freedom.
It’s amazing how stressed out I was in 2012 because I didn’t feel free. I felt obligated. I felt bogged down. I felt busy. I felt trapped in a job. I felt like a bad friend and family member. I felt like I was constantly inconveniencing people. I felt like crying a lot but I didn’t have time to cry. I felt out of shape. I felt like I was eating too much crap and then I subsequently I felt like crap. I felt worn down. I felt anxious. There were a million things I wanted to do that I couldn’t do. I was unprepared. I was late for events. I blew off events because I was too tired to attend and became indifferent to social activities. I felt sick and then I felt guilty for being sick because I shouldn’t be sick on awesome life events. Guilt was constantly in the back of my mind.
This year I’m letting all of that go. I don’t have any big events to plan and I don’t have any expectations on me. It’s quite wonderful.
Freedom is my word of choice this year.
The freedom to work out or to spend the time reading a book. The freedom to go out if I have the energy and to stay home and sleep if I don’t. The freedom to call friends I enjoy talking to but not to feel obligated to call someone just because I know it’s been too long. The freedom to spend days doing exactly what I want to do. I’m allowing myself to make more mistakes and to think of what I really want above what may make someone else happier. I’m giving myself the freedom to be slightly more unavailable and not to schedule my days around the convenience of others.
This word sums up all of my other goals, and by focusing on it I feel confident that everything else will fall into place.
This word is especially relevant after our trip to Tanzania. We forget how much freedom we have in the USA. For instance, I can travel almost anywhere in the world at whim. I can also pack my bags and decide to live somewhere else. There’s beauty and freedom in that. Although I may not have the finances or time to do whatever I want and to go wherever I want, the government won’t stop me. I also have the freedom to work or stay at home or go to school or have as many children as I want or get great medical care… Freedom means everything.
I’m looking forward to you, 2013!