I have three major themes for this year, and then a few other things I am really wanting to fill my year with. This is a rebuilding year for me- starting with small actions, lots of thinking, planning, contemplating, meditating- more on this later. As you read this, think about your themes for 2013. What do you intend to bring more fully into your life. You may be capping something off that you have been working on, or like me, you may be at the start of some new things and getting yourself in the perfect place to build and bring big things to fruition in a few years. It’s a lot of fun to think about, and it is also necessary in designing the life you want to live, and not just letting life happen to you.
1. Resourcefullness- As I lay a new foundation in my life, I find that making things less complicated is fundamental. Having too much stuff, being wasteful in any way, buying things I don’t need, acting impulsively and being in the act of immediate gratification- these are things that do not feel good to me at this time, and that do not support me in my goals, values and ideals. I ask myself each day, and with each action I think of taking- is this choice resourceful? Is there another choice that would be more resourceful? This really shows up for me in the area of money- what I choose to spend my money on and what I choose to do with my money, and with my time- I am really looking at spending my time with the best use in mind at all times. I know I have plenty of time to do all of the things that I want to do, if I plan it and follow through by making the right choices.
2. Joy - I am intentionally bringing joy into all areas of my life this year. I said intentionally because this is something that does not just happen. The definition of joy from dictionary.com is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. When I remember to ask myself- how is this delightful?, or how could this be delightful?, I invite joy into that moment. Gratitude is a huge part of this for me, for as I focus on what I am grateful for in any moment, I can not keep joy away if I tried!
3. Self-Control- For people with whom I have shared this with this has been a tough one to understand. They think it sounds harsh and not good in some way. This tells me a lot about our society today (and I include myself in this, which is why it is in my top 3!) that we want complete freedom and anything that sounds like control in anyway we are going to run the other way. What I am starting to get a glimpse of and what I intend to get the full picture of this year is that self control brings complete freedom. When I can get ahold of my actions and behaviors by shedding the ones that are hurting me and stopping me from living my greatest life and making a habit of the ones that will lead me to where I want to do, that is self control. If I can not control myself, than I am lost. Again, a focus of this for me is in the area of money and instant gratification. Keeping focused on the big picture of what I want- not succumbing to the short term gain and forfeiting the long term super gain. This also shows up for me around food. I am very healthy and I do not need to lose weight due to some excellent habits and self control in this area, but I have learned over the past year that there are certain foods that keep me from feeling optimally. They aren’t so bad that I can’t function, but they stop me from being my best. Which is how I think we operate in a lot of areas. It’s not that bad and it’s not really hurting me that much, so why not? To add a spiritual note here, if you read about the Holy Spirit you will read that self control is one of the gifts of the spirit. Why wouldn’t I want to accept that gift?
I will spend less time on the rest, but all are very important to me:
4. Beauty- my intention is to surround myself with beauty each day somehow, on purpose. I will achieve this by putting myself in places I find beautiful, by doing things like lighting candles in my office and at home, by having fresh flowers around, my keeping my environments organized and comfortable- including my car, by wearing perfume each day, by dressing up more than usual, by writing in beautiful journals with nice pens, by going around looking for beauty everywhere and taking the time to stop and recognize it- to behold it! I am not missing the beauty in my life this year!
5. Resilience- The ability to bounce back, switch gears, move forward even when things do not go as planned. Recognizing that it is not the thing that did not go as planned, but my reaction to it that is the key. I plan on conserving lots of previously wasted energy by being resilient and going on to plan b smoothly and as quickly as possible. I get stuck when I am not resilient- so no holes for me this year!
6. Self love- This one snuck up on me this past year, and I started paying attention. I noticed I was being really hard on myself, and not giving myself a lot of recognition. I learned a lot of skills in this area (and no this is not selfish, when you really understand this dimension) to help to build myself up in a non-egotistical way. I did some self study, and even took a class called Inner Mean Girl’s Reform School! I learned to use that beating up on myself that I might do in a more productive way. This year I just plain vow to recognize that I am truly doing my best each day and to see all of the good I am doing, and not to focus on what isn’t perfect about me at any given time. (I also learned that depending upon emotions, and other things, this is a moving target.)
7. Grace- This gives me the power to put it all together. I don’t think I could possibly be resilient without it. Grace has forgiveness in it (of self and others), grace allows for flow and gives me the ability to be kind and thoughtful. Grace allows me to keep my emotions in their most productive place. Grace is magic- and I don’t think I am in charge of grace. Grace comes from a higher place (God for me) and is something that I believe I can ask for, think about, and see it operating in my life. And when I do, I can be grateful.
8. Reflection- This is a biggie for me this year- a crucial skill I expanded last year and now am expanding yet again. Taking time to pause, think, plan, meditate, pray, review the day, the past week. Reflection allows for the space to ask myself questions and to learn from what went well and what did not. It allows me to plan the days and weeks I want to have. Reflection gives time and space for those great ideas trapped in my head to come out into the light of day. I love my reflection time, which would not exist if not for my carefully planning it into my life. A true gift!
9. Intentional personal growth- Again, another planning must- putting this into my schedule guarantees it will happen. There are certain things I want to study, learn, people I want to learn from, classes I want to take this year. It is exciting to think about what is possible when I settle down to expand my thinking and my mind and my knowledge in certain areas that interest me. Where will I be a year from now?!
10. Excellence- This is my measuring stick. Is it excellent? That is the question I will be asking myself when I am going to be making the aforementioned choices. We each have our own definition, and for me, sometimes it is just a gut feeling. I know when it is and when it isn’t. Appreciation of beauty and excellence is my top character strength, so I am going to celebrate my ability zero in on those things and my ability to see what could make anything so.
Please comment with your theme or themes for the year- why you chose it and what you plan to do with it. Happy 2013!