To Begin, Begin

January 3, 2017


To begin, begin and make those new year's resolutions


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 day.

Every week.

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?



Change is not easy, you have to work and change them for yourself



Don't mess with things that are good, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.



Henry Ford says there can be joy in work and I believe that too.





65 comments:

  1. I don't make resolutions or words or any kind of promises at the new year. I think it's silly and,as everone who does them finds out very seldom succeed and then they feel they have failed. I believe in making changes when they are needed whatever time of the year not waiting for the new year. Every day is a new day why wait for a new year.

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    1. Exactly, Pam. I totally agree! I think for most people (myself included) that fresh page on the calendar provides the motivation to start, but like you said, every day is a new day and a new chance to make changes that may be desired...regardless of the date. Thanks so much for weighing in! I really appreciate it when people take the time to comment. :)

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  2. I'm going to echo Pam. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You can start a "new year" at any given time in a year. Doesn't have to be January 1st.
    I also like the one word idea although I always seem to have two or three that I focus on rather than just one. Currently my words ARE ORGANIZE, CREATE, RENEW.

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    1. Great words, Kim! I would love to do a little of all three this year...or today! ;) Happy New Year!

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    2. I think I may have to borrow your phrase as well. Begin....and then begin again. Or perhaps I'll use that computer term "reboot", lol!

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  3. I don't make resolutions - stopped doing that years ago instead I try to use the word focus. But then the months prior to 2017 arriving I decided on something different, I decided to just look towards living a Great Life, where experiences inspire and continue to help me grow as a person. I figure everything else will just get figured out. Enjoyed this post a lot thanks for sharing.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

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    1. Love that idea, Carole! I think that's what we're all really striving for when we do make resolutions, so why not just cut to the chase! Fabulous! :)

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  4. Kim I love your word for 2017. Begin is a good one. Each day is a new beginning of what will be so this is a perfect word. Begin each day new and fresh and see where the day takes you. Happy New "Begin" for the new year.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! I spend a lot of time planning certain things and not as much doing...off to begin! ;) Happy New Year!

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  5. A thought-provoking post, Kim. Lots of food for thought in the comments, as well. Women are so smart, don't you think? I like Carole's contribution: "look towards living a Great Life, where experiences inspire and continue to help me grow as a person." I don't have a word for this year, which is the first time in a long time. I think last year I wrote all I have to share on the subject in my "Finish Well" piece. It was true then, it's true today, and it will I'm sure be true until the Lord call me home. But, of course, to "finish" one must actually "begin". ;) Hugs, Nancy

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    1. I love what people share in the comments, Nancy. My thoughts become the seed that sprouts great conversation. Isn't that what all writers hope their words will do? Thank you for always contributing in such a thoughtful way. I value it so... :) Hugs to you!

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  6. Happy New Year Kim! I like your thinking. I have not ever done the word thing but I have read about it on blogs and thought it was a great idea. I have not done resolutions successfully ever. I too have been giving a lot of thought to ways to improve my life and lifestyle. I think that happens more often after a disappointing or challenging stretch than if everything has been wonderful. I remember reading that it takes a period of time to develop new habits so I think that I am going to have an ongoing list of new habits to cultivate and chose one or two to work on 'daily' until they become a habit and then add a some new ones to focus on and perhaps by the end of the year I will have made some progress. Kind of a baby steps kind of approach. So, if I was doing a word, DAILY would be my word.

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    1. Daily is a great word, Lorri. I feel that it’s very similar to Begin. I find myself sort of combining the two in these early days of the new year. I have things I need to focus on and I have to do it all day by day and begin the journey again each morning…and sometimes, several times a day after I fall off the proverbial wagon. Baby steps for sure!! Here’s to the journey!! xoxo

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  7. I did the WORD thing for a few years . . .
    By mid January I had lost focus . . .
    My new thing is a THEME . . . sounds good to me.
    Wordsworth's, To Begin, begin . . .
    Sounds theme like . . . begin, begin again!
    Cutting back is my 2017 theme . . .
    In every way I can think of . . .
    Day three of the New Year and I am amazed at myself.
    Candles, spices, food, scarves, hats, clothing,
    lunches out, eating out, iPad . . . words too . . .
    Next thing I will cut back on might be, dot, dot, dot . . .
    I will stop right now!

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    1. Cutting back sounds like a great theme, Lynne!! I need to do the same...treats, stress, computer time, saying yes to things that should be no...but...I'm not sure I could ever cut back on the dot, dot, dot!! I am an addict as well!! Great minds and all!! ;)

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  8. beautifully said kim. as your words usually ALWAYS ARE!
    if i have a word to live by this year i think it will be "now."
    i think i'm living in the now. but i'm usually not.
    when really now is all any of us have.
    or... the present.
    somehow the word now resonates more with me than the present.

    and to live in the now brings its own peculiar contentment.
    and I do love that. a wonderful by product! so yes. NOW is my word.

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    1. Now...mindfulness in every moment...the present...ah, the concept is one I adore and have been trying to master for too many years to count. Yet, I try...every day. I wish you luck in your pursuit, Tammy and hope you enjoying the now right now! ;)

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  9. I have never had a resolution or a word for the year, but this year for some reason, the word "Faith" has been on my mind. I have been asking God to help me with my faith level in him and to be a better person for my family, friends, co-workers and even for those I do not yet know. Thanks for this post Kim, it is truly something to think about! Happy New Year :)

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    1. Faith is a great word, Karen. It is also included in my plan for the new year. I wish you luck on your journey and a wonderful new year!!

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  10. I haven't made resolutions for many years, but I do take the time at the beginning of a new year to journal about changes I'd like to make in my life. I also have never picked a word to focus on - always seemed silly to me - but this year I actually might do it. A particular word has not come to me, so I'm going through Susannah Conway's daily prompts (I believe there are 5 of them) to help you realize your word for the year (by answering questions and journaling). If it still doesn't come to me, then forget it! I think "begin" is a great word for the year.

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    1. I haven’t journaled in so long, Melanie. I used to love it and did it often, but once the kids came along, I found it hard to find the time, then when they were older I started blogging and well, you know! ;) Maybe it’s time to pick it up again…thanks for the idea!

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  11. Hi Kim, Love your word for 2017. To Begin can apply to so many directions. Each day can be a time to begin again. Love it and wishing you a wonderful new year! xo

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    1. That is exactly what I am thinking CelestinaMarie…no judgement or frustration for days when things didn’t go according to plan, just begin again! I wish you a wonderful new year, too!! :) Thanks for weighing in!

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  12. Great post, my friend! Mine is two words: Cozy minimalism.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks and love your words, Brenda! I can relate! ;)

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  13. I always have a burst of motivation to exercise in January, mainly because I keep a log for our insurance. If we keep a log for 12 weeks we get a big chunk of change added to our health savings account..first a discount from our insurance then a matching amount from my husband's employer.

    So, the motivation to earn some money gets me started. Some years, it's enough to keep me going through the year...some years I lose steam. Last year I made it to September. :( Most years I've made it through to the end.

    I always have plans to organize & declutter as well.

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    1. Wow...that's awesome, Jenny. I think if there were a financial reward involved for what I needed to change, I might be a lot more motivated. Of course, good health and a more relaxed life overall should be enough of a motivator for me, but alas...no. ;) As my brother always says, cash is king! Good luck with your quest and Happy New Year!!

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  14. Post this again...and again...ok? We all need the reminder. :)

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    1. Haha!! Ok!! And I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one who needs to be reminded of this! ;) Happy New Year!

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  15. A truly inspirational post ~ thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much, Bobbie!! I really appreciate the comment and I wish you a wonderful 2017!! :)

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  16. I love those three words! They are simple, encouraging and common sense! I did not set out to find a word but one just came to me. Kindness is a word I am going to try and show others this year. Of course I mean kindness to the gnarly, irritating people we all have in our lives. I have to just begin being kind and just do it :-)

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    1. Kindness is a great word, AnnMarie. And I know exactly what you mean! ;)

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  17. Hi Kim,
    I like your word, I think it is a great word, because yes, we begin new each day. :-)
    Happy New Year and looking forward to reading about your new adventures this year.
    xx oo
    Carla

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    1. Begin and begin again. I suppose it’s like one foot in front of the other… ;) Happy New Year, Carla!

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  18. I like the quote. No word here except something I'd dreamed about two weeks ago...it was one of those dreams that you remember intensely. I was in an old fashioned church..the kind that still had the wooden pews. Opened a hymnal or bible...a red book at any rate and I woke hearing "Beauty for Ashes". This was a vaguely familiar phrase but I couldn't recall from where. Was it a song, a poem, a play or movie? I Googled it and it is in Isaiah. Is. 61

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    1. Came to you in dream, huh? Well, then I say it sounds like a keeper!! :)

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  19. Kim, I have never been one to set resolutions in place. I know myself too well and know that soon I would forget about them. There are some things I would like to change about my world, but have no control over, so I like the idea of one word. It doesn't seem like too large a task to take on and easy enough to remember when I need a little kick in the pants! Actually I am going for two words now, happy and patience. If I have patience things that need to be put right will eventually be and happy is such a good place to be in that who would want to forget it? At this stage of my life I think these two words will fit me just fine and thanks for putting the idea out there. See, I knew if I was just patient, the Pollyanna side of me would take wings..Happy New Year, my friend..Judy

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    1. I like your words, Judy. I think Happy is a wonderful sentiment, feeling, state of being and patience, well, I need a lot more of that!! Maybe in 2017!! Maybe! ;)

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  20. Last year I chose "mindful" but this year....I don't know. Hasn't hit me yet. Happy new year, sweet friend!! :) xoxo

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    1. It's a long year...plenty of time to come up with something new if the mood strikes you...and if not, well, 2016's mindful sounds pretty good to me! ;)

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  21. Great words, Kim! I do have a word, but plan on writing a post about it, so you will just have to wait....heehee! I have a different view of how I see this "one word" thing and will try to convey that in my post. I don't do resolutions, but look at January as a chance to have a "do-over." I hope I can express my feelings about this as well as you have done.

    Warm hugs,
    Carol

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    1. Sounds wonderful, Carol!! I can't wait to peek at your post! Happy New Year!

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  22. I've done words each year and I love to do that. I love making resolutions as well. Let's keep the bases covered! "Begin" is so perfect, Kim. Long ago I read some advice somewhere that was monumental and I still adhere to it today. You can't accomplish anything waiting for the motivation. You have to 'begin', and the motivation will follow. Works like a charm!

    Happy New Year to you, Kim, and looking for more great posts like this from you! :)

    Jane x

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    1. Perfect Jane!! That sort of sums it all up doesn't it? Thanks for sharing that bit of wisdom. I need to print it out and post it on my desk!! :)

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  23. Hi Kim, and Happy New Year. You have chosen a good word for 2017!
    I hope you had a nice holiday. I hope you enjoy the rest of the week.
    Julie

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  24. This is the second time this New Year that I have heard of a "word" for the year. As old as I am it is just ironic I've never heard of it before. On that note, my word for the year is "learn"!

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    1. Learn is a great word, Nancy!! I hope to do some of that this year, too!! Thanks for the comment! Happy New Year! :)

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  25. I'm with you...I would pick a word or two but not this year. I'm just going to take each day as it comes, do my best. But I do love the word begin...so if you don't mind I'm going to use it too. Today I begin...

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    1. Day by day, Cathy, after all, that's really the only way. :)

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  26. Yes, this is the second time I've heard about a single word for the year too (seeing Nancy's comment above.) I never thought of a word for the year, but it's a good idea. I can't come up with a single one though, and I don't do resolutions anymore. I have certain goals every year. Mine right now are to lose weight & exercise, which I was already doing. Just keeping on...keeping on.

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    1. Sounds an awful lot like mine, Florence!! :)

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  27. I love your word Kim, and if I was the type, I'd steal it, but alas, I'm not. No resolutions for this gal. No words either. I am operetta sure I'd forget what I picked faster than a NY minute anyway :/.

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    1. That's why I write about it, Doreen, so I can go back and look it up when I forget! ;)

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  28. Great Word for the year... Begin. I have heard of the Word thing, tried it once, didn't work for me, kept forgetting my Word. *LOL* Oh well, I Began... and will Begin again and again to improve upon those things in 2017 that I want Changed. Whether it all gets accomplished within the span of 12 months, who knows, who Cares really... so long as whatever Progress I'm making brings me a level of Contentment and at least a small sense of Accomplishment. Happy New Year from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Love it!! Yes!! Progress really should be my word as that is what I am looking for. Like you so eloquently stated, I just need to begin to make progress...Happy New Year, Dawn!!

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  29. Well said Kim! I have stopped making new years resolution just because of the reasons you pointed out, but yes to "just begin" means everything no matter what you want changed! Cheers to 2017 dear!

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  30. Today, Kim. Today is my word. Keep yesterday's good memories, let go of the bad. Eagerly welcome today and see where it takes me. Possibly plan for tomorrow, but no worries of what's to come. Mostly, just be in "today" and let it show me the way.

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    1. I am printing your comment out, Cheryl. Wise words indeed. Thank you for sharing them with me...us!! :)

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  31. So very eloquently put Kim! You need perseverance above all else otherwise nothing gets done. My word for the year is "patience" and boy am I gonna need a lot of that. I am looking ahead to some major changes this year since we will be moving permanently back to the States. Just thinking about the logistics of it is wearing me out... and so to begin, begin!! Very fitting indeed. Happy New Year dear friend!

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    1. Oh boy, that is a lot to think about Mary. Sounds like you really are going to be beginning and then beginning again. Good luck, my friend!

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  32. Mine is content....as in: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."
    and He does give me strength to face EVERYTHING!
    Blessings,
    J

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    1. Content is a great word. It’s a state I would love to reside in permanently! :) Blessings J!!

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