I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. I do like setting goals and dreaming about what the coming year could look like. But even setting goals has been a bit discouraging lately, mostly because I’m horrible in the area of follow through.
I will still set some goals, but I recently came across this idea of prayerfully choosing a word to focus on for the year. Here’s the blog post I read about it. At first, I couldn’t imagine how I could choose JUST ONE word to encapsulate everything I hoped to accomplish in a year, whether it be writing, homeschooling, personal, or spiritual. But I followed the advice in the blog and began praying and brainstorming about what word might fit some of the things I had been thinking about.
The word I’ve come up with is DELIBERATE. I want to do things on purpose, whether it’s how I parent my kids, how I spend my time, what I eat, how I treat my husband, how I treat a stranger in Target, what I think about and pray about, what I write, and how I spend time with God. For starters.
I multitask all the time. I don’t see how a mom, much less a homeschooling mom, could function otherwise. I have to always have an ear to what the crazy 4 year old is doing while I’m cooking dinner or teaching the older ones. I give spelling tests while switching over the laundry. I “listen” to my kids while I’m surfing facebook. Some of that is OK, I think, but some of it isn’t. I’m finding that all my multitasking, made even easier with the arrival of the smartphone that provides me with instant everything, is making me feel scattered and irritable. It’s as if I’m not actually anywhere. I’m everywhere all at once but really nowhere completely. I exist in this weird mental fog half the time.
Instead, I want to multitask less (while still keeping the youngest from burning down the house) and be present fully. Make more eye contact with my kids. Smile more just because. Put away the phone, close the computer, and BE where I am. Deliberately.
I want to walk with God deliberately, moment by moment. Not stressing about future moments, but being with Him in this moment. Each and every “this moment” that He chooses to give me.
I want to use my time deliberately. So many times I find myself drifting into activities (like surfing facebook, reading the horrifying news stories online, etc) instead of consciously deciding what I should be doing. I’m not planning on becoming a workaholic. That time might be best spent reading a book, crocheting, or working on a jigsaw puzzle. Whatever it is, I want it to be on purpose. Deliberate.
Food can fall into the same category. I’m bored. I want to eat. How about something yummy and sweet? For me, being deliberate means stopping and asking myself if I’m actually hungry. If not, what real hunger am I feeling and how can I feed it in a more appropriate and ultimately fulfilling manner?
One other area of personal struggle that this word addresses for me is that I tend to put things in front of people. Tasks before relationships. I want to be more people-centered and be willing to set aside my tasks to focus on relationships. I want to be deliberate in my relationships.
How about you? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What do you think about picking one word for the year?