I used to be big on resolutions and every year, I diligently sat down during the week before New Year and wrote out my resolutions for the year. It was a nice idea but it didn't take long to forget it and move on. I genuinely wanted to make these changes but it didn't take long to just get too caught up in the busyness of life. Then, a few years ago, one of my favourite bloggers (it might have been Sarah Bessey but I can't remember now) posted the idea of the one word. Instead of making a list of resolutions, you take this one word and make that the focus for your year. While it doesn't work perfectly, I do find that it helps me to make decisions and try to be more mindful. Am I actually doing the things that fit with what I want from my life? Are my decisions all made with integrity? I find myself getting swept away by the busyness and then, I get pulled along by life, rather than making my own choices. Choosing a word as my focus helps me to feel as if I am not being dragged and making more choices.
This year's word came to me in the middle of December and while I kept pondering other words, I kept going back to this one. Present. I want to be present. So often, if I am actually able to focus, I realise that I have a chance to really enjoy something (e.g., a cuddle with the kids, truly listening to something they have to say, to really engage at church during worship) and I miss that chance because I say something like, "Sorry, kidlets, I'd like to do that with you but I need to do _________ first," and then, the opportunity is lost. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to slow down. I want to enjoy what I am doing. Most of all, I want to be liberated from the schedule. I spend my entire life focused on what is coming next to the point that I miss where I am right now. I want freedom from that and I think, if I can really make that my focus for the year, I might be able to learn some habits.
So, what does that mean? I'm not yet entirely sure. I have a few ideas I'd like to try though. I'll check in and let you know.
1. Put down the phone. I have a bad habit of browsing Facebook or main, especially when I am in the car or as I am settling down to bed before I read. I waste SO much time that way and then, I am not really listening to the people around me. That has to stop. I haven't figured out yet exactly how I want to do it but I am going to make that one of my areas of focus for the start of the year.
2. Record my word at the top of each and every entry in my bullet journal. I discovered bullet journaling via Pinterest this week and it really appeals to me since I am such a notebook person. I am going to try that and see if it is a system that works for me and my intention (dangerous word) is that each morning, when I do my prayers, I will visit my book and use that to set up my day.
3. Begin to examine ways that we can embrace Sabbath keeping. In the past, years before we had kids, Dh and I had a wonderful practice of making Sunday a true day of rest. We said no computer, no emails, no t.v. and no shoppping. It was bliss. We didn't do much that was exciting but having that chance to just catch our breath, enjoy a meal together and pursue hobbies was wonderful. I know that we couldn't embrace it quite the same way now but I'd like to begin looking at how that might look for us today.
Happy New Year! Have you made any resolutions? Do you have a word?