I’ve been putting off writing this post (great to start the New Year procrastinating, I know), because I’ve been mulling over the words I want to use to explain how I feel.
I’ll start with this: I’m not a big fan of the word “resolution.”
A resolution seems so hard to achieve. That could just be me taking it to the extreme, but that’s always been part of my nature. I’m down with goals, desires, etc. and I’ll gladly use those synonyms all day long, but resolutions? No thanks. I’d rather not have one.
Now, that being said, I was thinking about realistic goals I could set for myself this year. This may be cheating, but I decided to set monthly goals for myself with, not just writing, but living my life. I want to do more adventurous things, read more books, spend more money on tea without feeling guilty about it when I have plenty at home. I want to look back on my life twenty years from now and tell my kids, hey, when I was 23, this is what I did.
But this year will have one overarching theme connecting all of my monthly goals. On the morning of January 1st, while sitting around a breakfast table with some close friends, we each came up with a single word to define our year. What are we going to focus on daily? How are we going to approach life? Yes, we are a bunch of Christians, so it was mostly geared spiritually, but what is writing if not a passion I believe I was given by my Creator.
As cliche as it may sound, the word I decided to focus on was patience. I have always been a very hot-headed, stubborn person. I naturally incline toward lashing out, and often speak before thinking of the consequences. It’s pretty common for all humans to do this, regardless of their beliefs, but it is something I’ve struggled with changing for a long time.
So this year, in both my personal life, as well as my writing career, my goal is to be patient. If I have a writing goal of 3,000 words that week (I’m a slow writer, and that is a lot for me), I will not beat myself up to get there. My first thoughts, if I fail, will not be self-depricating, and I will not allow my high anxiety to reign when I am waiting for agent’s responses. This is going to be extremely challenging for me, and will essentially require me to rewire a brain that is used to acting and reacting a certain way, but if it makes me better in the end, it’s worth the pain to get there.
Overall, I want to have a life worth remembering. A life that my future grandchildren will ask me to share stories of, and one that I am proud to tell them about. If I can start that life through patience, then all the better.
If you so chose, what one word would you dedicate yourself to this year?