May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions. ~Joey Adams
Does anybody even make New Year’s Resolutions anymore?
(You don’t have to tell me. But I’m curious if you think you’ll keep them.)
It’s been at least five years since I’ve bothered to make a resolution, save the one every dang New Year’s Day where I swear I’ll never, ever drink a fourth glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve ever again.
In my defense, I always have an entire year to forget that resolution.
Anyway, resolutions are for weenies and teenagers. Those two things not being mutually exclusive.
I’m doing something this year, however, that I’ve never done before. Something that’s NOT a resolution. Something a little more epic, if not more forgiving.
My year is going to have a theme word.
It also has a soundtrack.
(It goes something like this: Na-nana-na-bombom-na. You like?)
My Theme Word for 2011
You know that kid in high school who never, ever did their homework, but aced every test (except maybe the trigonometry ones, because trigonometry was super duper hard for girls … teehee)?
I was that kid.
Coasting was my art form, because I could do it … and get by.
Or worse, I could do it and excel.
Sadly, that trait has carried on through adulthood. (Evidence: A few years ago, I was working as a copywriter. I’d be handed an assignment for the week, and I’d spend 4.5 straight days playing Word Racer on Yahoo, only to complete my assignment in 3 hours on Friday. It was always accepted. Just like high school, but without AC/DC in the cassette player.)
I love trying new things, but rarely do I have the patience or interest to get better at anything. Which is sad, because I want to get better … at a lot of things.
Not a morning goes by where I don’t wake up and think, “Today, I’m going to work on a writing prompt” or “Today, I’m going to learn what the crap bracketing means in photography” or “Today, I’m going to dust off the yoga mat and use it for something other than a blanket holder.”
And then nine hours later, after tweeting and cooking and putting food on my face, I haven’t done anything to get better at what I want to get better at.
It was in this spirit that I chose my theme word: Improve.
This year, I’m going to spend an hour a day improving on something. My writing, my photography, my personal relationships, this little blog, my health … whatever. It can be anything. But in the morning, I’m going to decide what that thing is for the day, and I’m going to work on it.
I’m going to improve.
And not to acquire or achieve, but just to know what it feels like to hone a skill … to be a little more adept at my interests–at life.
What’s Your Word?
It took a while to decide whether or not “improve” was an appropriate word.
On some levels, it could mean I’m not “good enough” the way I am. But my other word choice was “practice.”
And that word … well … that word means doing scales on the piano. Or running laps. Or balancing balls on your nose (if you’re a seal).
Improve has a positive ring to it, for me. It’s a nebulous goal that I don’t have to measure, which is good for me. Measuring is work.
The point: Choose a word that makes you feel good … lighter … better. Choose a word that this year should be about, for you (and you alone) and make it your theme.
Here are some ideas:
- Living in the moment
You’ll notice I left out “love.” I left it out for a reason. Baseball was more important.
Just kidding. You can choose “love” if you want.
If you want to share your theme word here, feel free. If you want to share it on your own blog, even better.
Either way, I encourage you to choose something to focus on that helps you feel more positive about yourself and your life, throughout the year.
And may this year be filled with:
and food on your face.
Oooh, also: The lovely Jan at TwoScoopz is hosting Focus-52. a weekly project where you get to “work on” whatever creative stuff you want. I’m joining in on Flickr to help keep me on track with improving photography.
Head over and check it out – and join in! You don’t even have to take pictures, if you don’t want.
But you do have to have fun.
Oops! Thought I left a comment here but had a little technical difficulty submitting it. The word I’m choosing for my new year is “COURAGE!” To learn new things, to face what comes, to get organized, to just do what needs to be done.
I love this idea! What a neat way to really focus throughout the year. A friend and I are both doing a 101 in 1001, which is 101 goals to accomplish in 1001 days (roughly 2.74 years). Some of the goals are one time things, such as spending a day lazing around at Barnes and Noble, and some of them are daily or weekly goals, such as reading to the kids everyday or making fish once a week. At first I thought it would be tough to come up with 101 things, but it really wasn’t; in fact, I’m going to add a few more that I’ve come up with since making my original list.
Here’s to a great 2011!!!
Lisa D. Liguori
I really like your one-word theme for the year. Lists of resoloutions are often forgotten, but a theme summed up with one word can be focused on through out the year. I think mine could be ‘challenge’. The tasks for me this year, that I could view as difficult, I will view as a ‘challenge’ that I can achieve.
I like it. Thanks!
Wow, you chose an awesome word! So many things in life that we could all improve on….I can be such a slacker at times.
And yoga mats also make good head rests when watching TV. If you leave them all rolled up.
Happy New Year to you, and best of luck on your quest!
I don’t do resolutions but I like your idea of a yearly “theme” word. So many great words have been bouncing around in my head since I first read this post. Risk… Open… Create… Be… Focus… Discover… Complete… Maybe my word should be: Decide. Ha ha 🙂
Eep! I’ve gone with a theme the last couple of years, too! And I was a total coaster in high school (and still am).
I love your site Crunchy Betty 🙂 It makes me feel like I have company in weird land (actually I don’t think I’m weird but since I moved to the South that is the message I have consistently gotten).
I did One Little Word last year and this year. Love it and can’t see NOT doing it.
My word? focus
It’s in my last blog post.
Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
No resolutions here. But a big to do list. My word is DO. Take action.
I think you should decide the night before what your hour should be. Write it down before bed.
I’ve been thinking about my word for a while – inspired by Ali Edwards “One Simple Word” – great inspiration!