Each year I choose a word to focus on for the next 365 days. Last year I sort of dropped the ball and completely forgot about choosing a word to live by. Funny thing was I felt the absence of that intention. It is nice to be dedicated and to work towards something. So, instead of repeating last year's mistake, I decided mid-December on a word for this year instead of . "COMMIT." It was a word that kept coming to my mind as I looked back on some of my disappointments from the previous year.
To me this word represents how much I am willing to invest in myself. Instead of waffling back and forth on decisions, I will commit. Instead of fudging the deadlines on my work and my play, I am going to commit. Instead of just saying I will do something, I am going to...yeah, you probably get the picture. There are five specific areas I want to zero on in this year. I commit to my craft, my body, my mind, my faith, and my family. Now, down to the specifics.
5 Ways I Commit to 2016
Here are the exact goals I have outlined for this year to work in tandem with my word:
1. Commit to my Craft: I am going to write 500 words every single day.
This is something I heard said by a college professor back in the day. "If you want to be a serious writer, then you have to write. You have to write every single day." I heard them, but I didn't act upon the council. Then, just the other day on my Facebook, another writer friend posted a page that listed out the daily word count for several famous authors. I took it as a sign, looked it over, and decided 500 words a day was something I could actually, and should actually do. So, I plotted out a chart on my Google Drive and will mark off the days I hit the 500 word mark. I will not miss a day!
2. Commit to my Body: I am going to do another Triathlon Sprint.
I did one about five years ago (was it really that long?) and loved it so much. I loved the training, and the working out. I loved the time I had to just focus on myself. I loved how in shape I was. There was just so much to like about it. So, I am going to do it again. There are several of them I could do over the course of the summer, and I might do those, but the one I am aiming for is the Turkey Triathlon in November. It is the one I did the last time, and seems like a fitting choice for a repeat. I don't necessarily want to improve on a certain time or do anything better than I did the last time. I just want to do it again and feel confident in my physical ability.
3. Commit to my Mind: I am going to meditate once a week.
I have several friends who think meditation is the end-all when it comes to health and sanity. It helps them manage stress, depression, anxiety, and numerous other plagues brought on by too much busy-ness. Admittedly, the last time I meditated, truly meditated, was just before the State competition my senior year of high school. I had a bunch of the swimmers sleep over at my house and one of them had a meditation tape we listened to right before bed. I remember the soothing man's voice helping us focus on goals, flex and relax certain muscle quadrants, etc. Then I totally zonked off. It was super relaxing and helped me let go of the anxious feeling that might have kept me from a good night's rest. So I am going to read a few more articles and books, download an app, and make sure to meditate once a week. I want to use the time to center myself, focus on what matters most, and maybe ease a little tension that has me snapping at my kids all too often.
4. Commit to my Faith: I am going to read scripture every night before bed.
...not exactly something I have excelled at as of late. A few years ago, when my husband was working nights and I was left to my own fears and devices, I read scripture every night before bed. It was my way to let go of my fears that something might happen to me, you know, while I was alone in the house at night--when all the scary things happen. We also got a dog! But honestly, I remember feeling so full of God's love and light when I read from scripture. I knew things and felt things so clearly. Now I get promptings and messages, but only a fraction of what it should be. I want to feel that way again, renew my testimony, and increase my faith. The best way I know how to do that is to read from the best books.
5. Commit to my Family: I am going to give time to my children and my spouse each month.
This will not be easy. I get so wrapped up in my own things that I often find my attention divided. I am on my phone while having a conversation with my son. Or I am working on my freelance while also trying to make sure my daughter doesn't get into the cleaning supplies under the sink. I am not saying those things will never happen, because they absolutely will. I will be simultaneously working and watching my kids more often than not. However, I will also specifically set aside time each month this year just for them--one on one. No phone, no television, no computer to get between us. I am going to put it in my calendar and make it happen in the form of dates with my spouse, late dates with my son, and playtime with my daughter.
A Few Other Commitments
In addition to these top five, there are a few other commitments I want to make this year. My husband and I are going to focus on paying down debt and getting our house in order so we can potentially sell, when the right time and opportunity comes. I also want to commit to keeping a cleaner house, making healthier meals, and spending more time outside this next year. These are pretty typical though, of every new year. And hopefully I do a little better and a little better--then one day I will be a little better too.