I stopped making New Year’s resolutions long ago. While I love the idea of setting goals, my resolutions always ended up tossed to the side a few weeks into the new year, and once they were broken it seemed as if I’d failed and it was just easier to leave them by the wayside rather than remind myself that I’d failed. For a few years I made “to-do” style lists, but eventually those got too lengthy and hard to keep track of as the year progressed.
So last year I decided to take a different approach, pick one word – just one – for the entire year. Of course, this really isn’t anything new. I’ve seen other bloggers do this for years, but for the first time ever, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I didn’t write a post about it or anything, but I did select a word: FOCUS. I felt that in a lot of ways I lost my focus in 2016. So many areas of my life seemed to be out of my control, and I desperately wanted that control back. I wanted to focus on my family, on my friendships, on myself, on my work, on so many things, really… That in and of itself is probably the very the antithesis of “focus”, but it wasn’t going to stop me. I needed to get off the motherhood hamster wheel and focus.
And throughout 2017 I did just that; I brought the word “focus” into my daily life. I can’t tell you how many times in 2017 I sat frazzled in my office, home, or car and thought, “focus”. I pulled my kids aside at their championship games with a sole message, “focus”. I sat at our kitchen table with kids frustrated by homework, took a breath and focused. And although I didn’t clearly and intentionally share my word of the year with my husband, I can’t tell you how many times we sat on the phone trying to figure out how to be everywhere the kids needed us to be and thinking “we can do this, we just need to focus”.
Naturally, all of our efforts weren’t successful. There were periods where we had to readjust our focus. For example, I stepped back from my blog, which had been a focus for me for so long, to focus on areas where my husband and kids needed me. We dropped extra-curricular activities that were no longer working for us. And about 2 weeks into this school year, at my older daughter’s insistence, we majorly changed our approach to the school year. It forced me to focus and get organized in ways I’ve never, ever been organized before.
But it paid off.
Two thousand and seventeen was a year full of growth and success. I prepared for 2 federal trials and settled my biggest case ever. I started horseback riding again, which is something I wasn’t sure would ever happen (more on that later). Trips were taken, championships won, milestones were celebrated, we even survived a hurricane (and 20 hour evacuation). It was quite a year.
So in 2018 I’m selecting another word (and this year I’m writing about it!). Without further ado, my word for 2018 is “EMBRACE”. Why? Well, truthfully, it just seems like the next logical step. I worked hard in 2017, and while I don’t want to dial that back at all, I want to enjoy it more. There were times I felt so focused and so determined in 2017 that I missed the part that was supposed to be fun. I want to live and embrace fun. More importantly, I want to embrace areas of my life that may have been neglected. To embrace life, and those areas that may have been neglected, seems like the right way to approach 2018.
To embrace opportunities…here on my blog, but also at work, with my family, and with friends.
To embrace creativity…crafts, writing, and photography (and not necessarily as a part of a brand partnership).
To embrace those around me…because if I’ve learned anything from years past, they can be gone far too soon.
To embrace my own parenting style…and be totally okay with the fact that no one else understands it.
To embrace the moment…and stop worrying about things in the distant future or trying to relive things in the past.
To embrace imperfection…but refuse to settle.
To embrace uncertainty…which is by far the hardest, because honestly, I don’t know what this year is going to hold for me and I’m a bit of a control freak.
I could go on forever. There are so many ways that this word fits into my life right now, I can’t even begin to describe them all to you. I can’t wait to live this word in 2018.
What’s your word for 2018?