The Gift of a New Year

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A present from J

Why is it that I always think that somehow overnight between New Year’s Eve and the dawn of the next year, I’ll be more organized, thinner, and overall just have it all together already?   Does not happen.  Especially does not happen if I’m still in my December funk and since December 31st is still in the month of December, I usually am not in the best of spirits.  January always brings hope though doesn’t it?   This year I’ve decided to focus on improving things for the year month by month in ways that add up to resolutions (please, don’t tell me that amounts to breaking down a goal into small pieces…I’m not ready to admit THAT is what I’m doing).  I’m also breaking down my resolutions or goals if I must use that word into categories.  And just because I can be a bit of an overachiever (no, not really), I picked a word for the year.  Actually I’ve done this for a couple of years now and I find it more helpful than the resolutions except for you know I tend to still be a mess at the end of the year in regard to the specific categories.  Crystal over at Money Saving Mom wrote a very detailed post on the what is entailed in picking a word for the year here if you want more background about it.  I’ll share my word for 2013 in minute but if you can’t wait there may be a clue in the picture up there!  First though I want to talk about my word from 2012 and how it worked for me. 

My word for 2012 was No.  I know that seems a bit negative but I have a tendency to say yes to many things I think I should do without thinking whether they are the best things for myself personally or for our family.  I vowed to KNOW (see the double meaning of my word?) when to say no to things.  So did I get better at saying no in 2012?  I’d like to think I did.  Did I perfect my skill?  Certainly not.  I still said yes many times when I probably should have said no.  However, I learned to step back and think before I answered requests.   I learned it is okay to step back and let others step forward as scary as that can be and to remind myself that their way is not going to be MY way and that is okay.  I learned an amazing fact that many of probably already know:  life goes on when you say NO to someone or something.   I know myself better after working on my No’s and I know I will continue to work on making this word a bigger part of my vocabulary.  Clearly I still need to do so because just yesterday I committed to serving on 2 PTA boards at the same time.  Perhaps I should move on to discussing this year’s word.

I actually found much of my inspiration for this year’s word in this post by Diane over at An Extraordinary Day.  I read her post about the Joy Dare and while I loved the idea in general, I felt quite overwhelmed by the whole thing.  I knew I would be pressuring myself if I attempted it and probably end up finding more frustration than joy each day which I’m pretty sure would have run counter to the whole idea.  However, it did give me an idea to branch out on my own with more open parameters.  My word for 2013 is….drum roll, please…PRESENT!  I plan to look for the small gifts in each day even if I only think of one like J rating my chicken an 8 of 10 the other night (actually that should count as a HUGE gift!).  Sometimes I might share the gifts of the day or previous days on my blog but not always.  I also plan to focus on the alternate meaning of the word and work on being more focused and aware of what I’m doing.   I fully admit to daydreaming and not being as present as I should be many times.  I’m also guilty of trying to do too many things at once instead of remaining present and focused on the one task before me.  I actually checked my e-mail while I was working on this post–I was waiting for the picture to load but still…I didn’t really NEED to run over and check my e-mail.   Hopefully, by the end of 2013 I’ll be a bit better at doing one thing at a time. 

The categories and my resolutions will come in another post later this week as I’m still trying to get them sorted in a way to share.  However, right now I’m just focusing on the gifts the new year will bring.  I’m sure they will be good ones for all of us!  Do you ever pick a word for the year?  How do you incorporate it into your life?

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5 thoughts on “The Gift of a New Year

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