I’ve been doing a one word goal for a few years now. I still have regular goals that aren’t bound by the New Year’s holiday, but I don’t think I’ll ever make a traditional New Year’s goal again. There’s something so beautiful and cathartic about reflecting on last year’s word and then shifting my focus to the new word. I take the feeling of all those unnamed yearnings in my life and give it a label. And when I think of this label, this word, all the deeper meaning and intentions are invoked with it.
My word for 2021 has been Growth. As trials and challenges came this year, and boy did they, I let them stretch me and mold me. I was determined to grow, not shrink.
As I pushed myself a little further into places I needed to go but didn’t want to go, I’d think “it’s time to grow.” The word Growth cheered me and pushed me on all year.
Goals shouldn’t be sticks we beat ourselves with, they should inspire us, help us.
In 2019, as I was pondering my word, I was in a deep depression and trying to claw myself out. My word that year was actually a phrase, but I count it anyway. It was Get Dressed. Get Dressed. So basic, so simple, but I knew that if I could get up and get dressed each day, it would help. Just saying a word doesn’t make it happen, and at the beginning I wasn’t good at it yet. It was an important baby step to recovery for me.
In 2020, my word was Rest. A few months into the year and everything shut down, school and activities were cancelled. I rested.
I’ve spent time in this last month, contemplating my new focus so much that focus was almost the word I chose. Finally, though, I found my word: intentional.
What will I be intentional about?
- What I do with my time,
- Who I spend my time with,
- My words and thoughts,
- My energy, money, resources – I want to be very intentional with how I use myself up.
And yes, I used a garden as a backdrop for my word because a gardener is a great metaphor for being intentional. A good gardener is a master planner, nurtures, knows what to prune and take out, and knows what to add in.
I’d love to hear your word and why, if you’d like to share.