I’ve thought a lot about what my word for 2017 should be. Choosing one little word for the year can be an impactful exercise. I agree that it can also feel a little silly. Nonetheless, having a specific concept to meditate on for the year can certainly help to steer your mindset.
By meditate, I don’t mean sitting in front of a mirror, eyes closed, chanting the same word over and over again. Instead, I see it as an opportunity to guide your mind back to where you want it to be. My word for 2016 was courage. When I chose that word, I had an entirely different route of courage in mind that I wanted to practice. Little did I know, my world would soon be shaken to the core and I’d need to be more courageous than I’d ever been.
I didn’t spend the entire year thinking about being courageous. Instead, I simply reminded myself to show courage when I felt myself shrinking. When things got hard and I sometimes felt like I couldn’t keep going, I’d remember that one little word and encourage myself to push a little harder. Just one more step. Just one more push towards bravery and courage.
This year, I’ve thought a lot about what concept I think I’ll need to marinate on in 2017. I don’t have a long list of goals or intentions for the year and at this point, I can’t even clearly say what I want this next year to look like. When I think about 2017, the only thing that remains constant is that I want the year to be intentional. I want to be mindful and make decisions and choose my actions intentionally and with purpose. I don’t want to just follow the flow of traffic or live according to someone else’s plan. Instead, I want my choices to be made with the understanding that every choice and every movement, big or small, contributes in some way to the finished product. If all of our decisions and activity were chosen with an end result in mind, how much quicker would we realize those dreams?
In 2016, the end of the year looked much different than the beginning. So many things transpired over just 365 days that it is seemingly the culmination of many, many years. We could have easily spread the happenings of 2016 out over two to three years and it still have felt big. This year is a perfect example of how much can be done in just one year. I certainly am not suggesting to pack one’s days full of activity so that you can check items off of a big list somewhere. Instead, I’m pointing out how much progress can be made towards one larger goal in a year. If you did something small every single day that contributed to a big dream, at the end of a year, your 365 small tasks would certainly equal a big change. In less than a year, my house is different floor to ceiling, inside and out. It doesn’t even slightly resemble the house we had at the end of last February! My home life is wildly different both from a new perspective and because Matthew and I now work the business together. The business dynamics are completely different than they were this time last year. My position in the company has evolved into something I wouldn’t have even imagined in 2015. All of these big, huge, monumental changes happened over the course of a few months. And they happened because we made intentional choices and strategic moves. We didn’t just simply fall into a new normal. We made choices daily, and those choices have yielded a personal and professional life that I’m proud to have.
After seeing what all one can accomplish in 12 months of deliberate movement, the concept that lingers in my mind is that of intentionality. What could the start of 2018 look like if my choices in 2017 were intentional? After this last year, I’ve taken stock of my life, determined what and who is most important, and decided to hold a tighter grip on the reigns. No more following the flow of traffic around me. No more obliging when something doesn’t align with my vision, and no more doing things simply because I feel like I have to. Instead, in 2017 I aspire to be intentional. And I can’t wait to see where that notion leads.
Are you setting a word for the year? Or do you have a big idea of how you hope 2017 plays out? I’d love to hear about and encourage you in your plans!
P.S. If you want more info on how One Little Word works, this podcast (and its show notes) is a great resource!