A few years ago, when I began blogging, people started asking me about my word for the year. The idea behind it was genius. Rather than a long list of resolutions, that I'd probably give up on rather quickly, I was to pick one word to guide me through the year. I immediately fell in love with the idea and for three years, I happily played along.
Listing my overall intention worked very well for me. It certainly was much less intimidating than looking at a whole list of things I needed to accomplish and overall, I was pretty successful.
However, this year, I couldn't quite nail down one word to represent what I needed to do to progress.
In the past, I have chosen the words work and change.
And I would still like to focus on those things, but that was the thing.
That word "still" nagged at me.
You see, some of the things I wanted to change about my diet, my health habits, my relationships and my work have been on that annoying New Year's list for three years now. Probably longer and for some inexplicable reason, I just couldn't cross them off.
Obviously, they were the toughest changes and the ones I wanted to finally conquer this year.
I made plans to do them, thought about different ways to make them fit into my day, drew up schedules, lists and timetables.
Yet, no matter how I mapped it all out, nothing stuck.
Then today, as I was wracking my brain for that word again, that perfect, elusive singular thought that said do all that stuff you keep putting off, I ran across three from William Wordsworth.
To begin, begin.
And there it was.
What I needed to do, what I should've been doing and what I never did when it came to the toughest line items on my "not really a resolution resolution list".
I had conceptualized, planned, dreamed, organized, journaled about and intentionally stated what I wanted to do as the year turned over, and over again, but I did not, as Nike has so eloquently put it, just do a lot of it.
Oh, I'd start and then once I ran into a roadblock or fell off the new behavior bandwagon, I'd give up. It was hard. Change always is and the solid formation of new habits takes much longer than the 21 days that the internet would like us to believe.
It takes perseverance, determination, a strong will and repetition of behavior to reach a difficult goal - without them, success is rarely achieved.
I knew all this of course, but Wordsworth's three words prompted my epiphany.
Instead of plotting and planning, what I should've done was simply begin, and then begin again.
Every month throughout the year.
And so that's the new plan.
Do the work until I achieve change.
Huh. Right back where I started.
Ironic isn't it?
Do you have a word for the year?
Want to peek back at my other years?