Happy New Year, my absolute favorite blog readers! I’ve been taking quite a bit of time to reflect on this holiday season and the start of the new year, and I’ve finally come to a decision about one of my favorite New Year traditions: the one word resolution. This will be my third year since making the shift from creating lists upon lists of New Year’s resolutions to choosing a single word to represent my goals for the year with the #oneword365 movement. The idea behind choosing one word is to help create more focus and intention behind your personal and professional goals, and then making them measurable, as opposed to starting with the more measurable items like “lose weight”. I look at it as the “start with why” of New Year’s resolutions. Before I reveal this year’s word, let’s travel quickly down memory lane and see how I came to choose my 2016 one word resolution.
In 2014, I chose the word “do” to emphasize my hope of taking on more projects and challenges as well as pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It was a pretty banner year: I started this blog, ran a five mile run, completed a reading challenge, and filled my plate to the brim with new tasks.
In 2015, I decided that I wanted to take things to the next level and chose the word “up”. I pushed myself even further and got two new jobs, completed two major home renovations, and unfortunately experienced my fair share of stress and anxiety stemming from pushing things just a little too far. I love the word “up” for so many reasons, but my intentions did not really have the best effect on me last year.
After quite an eventful 2015, I can only think of one thing I want to do: take it easy. To represent this concept, as well as caring more for myself, letting things go, and lightening up, I’ve chosen the word “light”. I’m not going to lie, the fact that Dan and I have been chugging our way through a Harry Potter movie marathon may have helped my choice, as the above quote from Dumbledore is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve chosen “light” because it represents positivity, optimism, and hope, but it also represents a lighter load and a weight lifted. All of those things sound pretty good to me in 2016. Here are some things that I’m working on to illustrate “light” in my life for this year.
Focusing on mindfulness. At the end of 2015, I downloaded and began using a meditation app called Stop, Breathe, and Think. It’s a free app that provides the user with a number of guided meditation options at varying lengths, enables you to “check in” with your physical and mental well-being, and rewards you for making progress with virtual stickers. So far, I’ve really been consistently utilizing and enjoying it.
Enjoying hobbies with no goal attached. I love writing this blog and doing DIY projects. I love being a Jazzercise fitness instructor. I’ve gotten a lot of benefits from both of these “side hustles”, as well as other challenges that I’ve put on myself. However, I’d like to think of 2016 as a year of coming up with some activities that have no goal attached – hiking, walking, photography, maybe even (gasp!) crocheting. I’d like to become more comfortable with some pressure-free activities that don’t involve deadlines or the stress of perfection.
Lightening up my workload. I’ve decided a few things: I can take a sick day when I need it. I don’t have to work out four times every single week (or feel guilty if I miss a class). I don’t have to write 47 blog posts this year. I’d just like to lighten my workload (most of it self-imposed, of course) and be okay with the fact that I may not be as productive as I’ve been in years past. If I’d rather spend a day hanging out at my parents’ house or touring local breweries instead of writing a blog post, I’m going to do it, and I’ll lay off the guilt. This process is not going to be easy for me because I LOVE to say yes to things, but I know that intentionally taking a step back will take some of the pressure off.
I’ll be tracking my one word all year on the blog and personally as well. Feel free to follow along with my #oneword2016 Pinterest board where I’ll be sharing quotes and inspiration on the journey!