This year is the first year I’m trying a word of the year, and so I wanted to spend a while making sure that the word I chose was the right word for me and my family. I thought about choosing something like “rest” or “refresh,” but those words didn’t seem quite right.
Last year was a rough year, for many reasons. And in my conversations with Dustin, I kept coming back to the idea that I just wanted this year to be better. I want this year to be better. And so we continued to talk about what we meant when we said we wanted our year to be better. We wanted to take better care of our finances, our relationship, our bodies. We wanted to nourish our minds, declutter our house, and be a force for good in the world. And I was having trouble coming up with a word that summarized all the things we wanted to make better in our lives, homes, and hearts. And then I realized I was inadvertently repeating my word of the year. This year, my word is “better.”
During one of our conversations, Dustin told me that the key for our family was to not try to improve everything all at once. That would be doomed to failure, because inevitably we would miss a few things one day, and then slump back into our old habits. So every month, I’ll be focusing on a few habits every month, trying to slowly build them into our routine. This month, I’m recommitting to our budget (I know. You’re shocked), trying to read for just ten minutes every day, and drinking a glass of water first thing every morning. I’ve written down a few things for next month, but I think the best way to stay focused on these goals is to look at them a few days before the next month starts, and look at where our family is, to see what changes need to be made right then.
I think breaking this into small, bite-sized pieces I’ll more likely to succeed than if I simply said, “I’m gonna work out more and do better” on January 1st. I’m also really glad I wrote down an action plan for the months to come.
A few of the things I know Dustin and I are going to be working on is consistently working out, reorganizing and decluttering our home, spending less time on our devices and more time doing things that we love, and recommiting to prayer/journaling/meditation (we each have done a combination of these things, and would like to find a way to do all of them more consistently).
And how has it worked so far? With the month more than halfway over, and me committing to drinking water, reading, and budgeting, I’ve
-read two books (and half of another one!) which is already one more book than I completed in the whole of 2016. I can’t wait to see my grand total for this year.
-I’m drinking a glass of water every morning, which has helped my energy level considerably and made me a less crabby person.
-I’ve started using a new app to help track our finances. I’ll be sharing that with you on Friday, provided I can figure out how to take screenshots of it without giving away our personal finance information.
– Practiced piano consistently (and put on a concert in my living room!)
– Written something every day, because I’ve had more energy and haven’t needed to nap when the kids go down.
– Decluttered various cabinets and drawers in my house, and made a plan to continue these efforts throughout the year.
– Woken up earlier than I have since my youngest was born, so that I can journal and drink that water and pray before the kids get up.
And while I haven’t been as consistent with those habits, those aren’t the ones I’m really focusing on this month, so I don’t beat myself up if I sleep in a little later or don’t get to declutter anything one day. Those are just a few things I know I will want to add in consistently as the year goes on.
So my word of the year for 2017 is “better,” and I am looking forward to seeing what “better” looks like a year from now. Did you pick a word this year? I’d love to hear what you picked, and how your implementing it as the year goes on. I’ll do occasional updates as 2017 goes on, to stay focused.
P.S: The photos used in this post were taken by the fabulous Tif Holmes, who came to our house over the summer and shot these. I love them all, and really loved working with Tif (she’s taken some of my favorite pictures of my family). To book a session with her, visit her website. She’s wonderful. 🙂