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.