A few years ago, my New Year’s resolution was to never again make a New Year’s resolution. I had a bad habit of setting my goals way too high and then falling short every single year which left me feeling like a total failure.
I would decide on New Year’s Eve (probably after eating pizza and chicken wings) to run 20 miles a day and do eleventy thousand push-ups and eat kale at every meal. Then, on January 4th, when I would inevitably find myself polishing off the last of my kid’s mac and cheese, I would feel so defeated. The shame would come crashing down when I counted up how many push-ups I had actually done (negative seven).
Something had to change.
Instead of resolutions, I began to choose one word for the upcoming year. I would spend the last week of December reflecting on the year. Which areas of my life did I do well? Where did I struggle? How would I love to see myself at the end of next year? Then I would try to set the tone for the next 365 days by choosing one special word to be a reminder to myself of how I want to live my days. And with that small change, everything shifted.
Last year, as I reflected on the previous year, I saw how many missed opportunities there were due to one simple thing. Fear. Fear of failure. Of judgment and of all the what ifs. So I decided my word for the next year would be BRAVE.
With courage on my mind, I lived each day a bit more fearlessly. When I was challenged to step outside my comfort zone, I chose to answer yes instead of the automatic “no way” that comes so naturally. I had more adventures that grew me as a person, boosted my confidence, and changed the way I saw myself. It helped me to remember I’m not just a mom. And believe it or not, that little reminder helps me to be a better mom.
For this upcoming year, I’ve chosen, JOY. I hope to remember this when I’m up to my elbows in dirty dishes, up to my knees in dirty laundry, and losing my mind over potty training. To remember to grab onto those joyful moments we find in the middle of those long, often monotonous, days of motherhood. I want to remember to store up those treasured minutes in my heart, to save them for a rainy day when the kids are grown and the house is suddenly too quiet.
Do you choose a word of the year? If so, I would love for you to share your word in the comments. Let’s cheer each other on and hold each other up as we make our way into 2018 together.