How’s that for alliteration?
How’s that for an opening line?
This year, I have been a lot more open about my personal New Year tradition of goal-setting. I’ve never liked resolutions because they feel like they’re just out of the blue ideals with no real meat to them. I do, however, want something to help me focus. Focus on all the things. And each year, there are more things to focus on. Usually, I would consider this a bad thing, and try to cut back. However, the things that are growing right now are necessary things. Callings, even. I can no more cut them back than I could cut out a kidney. The Lord keeps making it very clear through confirmation after confirmation that I’m on the right track, and I cannot veer from it in the slightest.
That said, focus.
How do I focus?
Well, for the past few years, I have joined the “One Word” movement. I choose a word that guides my goals, actions, and plans for the coming year. I like this approach, because it is more focused on becoming than on doing. It allows me the flexibility to change my goals if they are bad goals, and to give more energy to the worthwhile goals. Yes, there are such things as bad goals, even if they are good in and of themselves. Losing 25 pounds might be a bad goal for some people, even if they actually need to lose the weight. Choosing a word that encompasses what they want to be, say, “Healthy,” might lead them to search for ways to focus on their whole self, rather than just their body. What if a better goal is to get therapy for their depression? Or to finally wean off of their addiction to sugar? Or to cook from scratch three times a week? Aren’t those a little more daily, nitty gritty, and practical sounding?
Well, that’s why I like choosing One Word for the year. It gives me a direction to go in.
This year, my word is WORK.
Yep. You read that right.
I’m as surprised as you are, since it’s much more a “Do” word than a “Be” word. I can’t exactly “be work,” can I? However, I can be characterized by work.
And, while I’m posting this on my work blog, this word encompasses my whole life, not just my professional work. Last year, my word was “Action,” because I wanted to stop talking about doing things, and do them. So, I did. As I reflected on my notes from last year’s “One Word” worksheet, I discovered that I achieved about 50-60% of what I intended to this past year!
I was thrilled. And surprised I had done so much. I didn’t hit it out of the park, but I played a decent game, and I grew. I took action, and I think that leads very naturally into this year’s word.
As I moved on from the One Word worksheets, I filled out my New Year’s Questions in light of Work, and what it means to all areas of my life: Personal Growth, Physical Health, Marriage & Family Life, Goals for My Children, Money Matters, and Relationships Outside the Family. I was surprised to see how easily most of the answers have come. (There are a few questions I can’t really answer without my husband, so I’ll get to those later.)
This year, I will work. And, as a good friend pointed out, it could also be that the Lord wants me to let Him work in me and through me. WORK is starting to grow on me. Speaking of which, he also gave me a verse to go with it. Rather, it’s the verse that turned me on to the fact that this year is all about WORK. I was thinking maybe it was courage, but nope. It’s work.
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” ~1 Chronicles 28:20 (NIV-emphasis mine)
It’s going to require organization, boundaries, and a clear head.
To help me with it, I totally splurged and bought a brand spanking new planner unlike anything I’ve seen in any store. I thought planners were just for scheduling, which Google calendar does just fine. However, I miss the feel of a paper planner, and the satisfaction of slashing a list, one item at a time. This planner’s focus is project management and goal-tracking. I could use it for scheduling if I wanted to, but I’m not going to. I’m going to use it to WORK. And, I thought I would show it to you, rather than just write about it, because it’s awesome!
So, watch this video, and share my nerdy joy! Then, scroll down to see the links to the planner, and to my One Word and New Year’s worksheets.
Christine Kane’s Word of the Year Tool: I’m not so much into the manifesting and the attracting thing, but I serve a great God, and I like the way her worksheet is laid out. There are others out there if you search.
The Art of Simple New Year’s Eve Worksheets: These were put together by Tsh Oxenreider, and I’ve used them long before I discovered the One Word thing. There is even a worksheet for kids. Just scroll down a bit on the page to see them.
Get To Work Book:Buy the awesome planner!