Have you seen this trend? Choosing a word for the year?
I saw it for the first time a few years ago and frankly, I thought it was dumb. A word to represent the upcoming year? This seemed too far on the woo woo side of things for me to get excited about. Kind of like vision boards where you cut out pictures or words and phrases that represent your goals for the year. What you want to accomplish and how you want to feel. Something tangible and concrete that you hang on your wall to look at daily so you can see where you are measuring up or falling short. I don’t hang arts and crafts on my walls, damn it! That’s tacky.
Well, like many of my opinions and stances through the years, my derision of words and vision boards took a backseat to my willingness to try new things. I started to embrace the idea behind them both. I still have trouble hanging up an actual piece of poster board on my wall - I have to admit, however, that having my goals hanging over my head, literally, did help me to check in and compare what I was doing with what I had set out to do.
So, back to words….
My word for 2018 is more of a phrase, which becomes a prompt of sorts.
Simple and Easy.
That’s it. That’s my word/phrase for the year. I want everything I do, feel, and have this year to be simple and easy.
The prompt? Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I will pause and ask myself, “What would this look like if it were easy?”
I didn’t invent this, I heard Tim Farriss talk about it in an interview he did promoting his new book, Tribe of Mentors. And it’s not about allowing things to be sloppy or taking the easy road, it’s about not overthinking or overcomplicating things. It’s about reassessing how I go about accomplishing my goals for 2018, because I have goals! And they aren’t small ones.
Why this word/phrase/prompt for 2018? Because it’s what I need. Really and truly need. The past 5 years of my life have been a bit overwhelming. They’ve been full of changes and challenges. I’ve grown and learned more in this time than any other in my entire life. Much of it has been good, really, really good and much of it has been hard, really, really hard.
I’ve always tried to open and honest about myself, so you probably already know that depression and anxiety are constant companions of mine. I can get overwhelmed quickly. I think I’m doing fine and then all of a sudden - BAM! Things feel out of control and more than I can handle. I’ve learned to manage this, sort of, and I’m always looking for new ways to catch this tendency before it pulls me under. This year I’m going to honor that truth. I’m going to put it at the forefront of everything I do. I’m giving myself permission for things to be easy.
Simple and Easy.
I’m sharing this with you for a couple of reasons. First, people tend to assume that I’m the kind of person who gets up at sunrise and meditates for an hour before getting on the yoga mat and practicing diligently for another hour or so, then drinking green juice all day while being kind and generous to everyone I meet.
When in reality, I’m the kind of person who needs at least 8 hours of sleep every night and is cranky as fuck if I get less than 7. I drink coffee with half and half, I eat pizza and drink beer, and my yoga practice is often relegated to a couple of stretches when I get out of bed in the morning (This is why I have to wear high waisted yoga pants - too much junk food and not enough exercise). I do try my best to be kind and generous, and I attempt to meditate (but I set a timer for 10 minutes because that’s all I really have time or energy for). I want to practice more, I always have a goal to practice more, but it doesn’t always happen and it will never look like what you think it should!
I’m very uncomfortable being put on a pedestal of any kind. I would rather you not like me at all because of who I really am than be disappointed when you find out I’m not who you thought I was.
Second, I want to encourage you to find a word that truly reflects what you NEED this year, not what you think you’re supposed to do or feel or be. Last year I had a different word and that was fine. This year I NEED my life to be simple and easy. I don’t care if that’s not impressive and “inspiring” in some hyped up, get shit done, this is going to be the year I accomplish everything I’ve ever wanted sort of way. I am hoping it’s inspiring in a different way; an honest way. I hope that it helps give you permission to be deeply personal and honest about what you want to be, do, and have this year.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t choose a bold, energetic, go get ‘em, type of word. If that reflects what you want and need, then do it! I’m simply suggesting that you think about it. That you don’t choose a word because you think it’s the one you’re supposed to choose. The one that will impress people. Choose one that will inspire exactly what you want to accomplish this year! No matter what that is.
Choose the word that you will want to put on your wall, your screen saver, your background, so that you can remind yourself daily, hourly, what your focus is this year.
When you see it or think about it, pause and compare it to how things are going. How you are approaching your daily life. The big tasks and the small ones. The big dreams and the daily chores. Not to flog yourself for not measuring up, but to reevaluate how you are going about those things. Do you need to refocus? Reorganize? Reboot? You can.
*** Have you ever chosen a word for the year? Did it help you stay focused? Did it spur you on? Did you or do you plan to choose a word this year? What is it?