Are you a “New Year’s Resolution” kind of person? Did you start this new year with a list of goals to strive for, or do you prefer to take things as they come?
Personally, I know I accomplish more with a framework of goals as a guide, but like most people, I can lose focus and enthusiasm if my list is too long or it feels too overwhelming. Or if fear holds me back.
And what if you think goal setting is too “woo woo” or a waste of time?
I think whichever camp you fall into, there is one small thing that every single one of us can do to help set ourselves up for success in the year ahead. You’ve maybe heard this idea before. It’s really very simple.
In fact, it can be as simple as three little letters. Or maybe a few more. Focus by picking just one specific word and let it be the driving force behind how you live your daily life.
I tried this for the first time a few years ago. I feared the year ahead would bring the most difficult challenges I’d ever faced, but I didn’t want that ugly truth to dictate how I felt every single day. I needed to try something, anything, that would help me get through the dark days ahead.
My word that year was “JOY.” It was the screensaver on my phone (and we all know how often we glance at our phones every day…). When hard things threatened to sweep all hints of happiness away, I’d remind myself to search for something, however small, that would help me feel joy.
Honestly, it helped. Was it the perfect antidote to the loss and sadness? Of course not. But it did help. Every single day there was something in my life that could give me joy. I just had to look a little harder some days for that “thing.”
As I’d suspected, it was a year of highs and lows, and not one I’d want to relive, but it wasn’t nearly as devoid of joy as I’d feared it might be at the beginning.
More recently, we had a last-minute opportunity to attend a Celine Dion concert. A friend had tickets he wasn’t able to use, so he offered them to my husband. I jumped at the chance to go but we laughed as we waited for the music to start, my husband pointing out how few men were in the audience. Was this the reason his friend had passed the tickets on to us?
I hadn’t even noticed the disparity. There was something else I couldn’t ignore. A bright neon sign sporting one single word kept drawing my eye to the still quiet stage: Courage.
I’ve never considered myself to be an especially courageous person. I tend to worry about lots of things (if you know me, you might be snickering right now because this is probably a tad bit of an understatement). I know worry and fear hold me back.
That bright sign spoke to me. As I stared at the word courage, I came to the realization that I want to finally learn to live without the fear of failure holding me back.
This year, as we all enter this new decade together, I need a different word to guide me. I will dig deep and find the courage I know we all possess. I vow to step through, over, under, or around my fear and pursue those things I’ve been dreaming of incorporating into my life.
How about you? Is this the year, this beginning of a new decade, when you’ll fight your fear and do that thing you’ve always wanted to do, too? I’d love to have you on this journey with me.
If not now, when? Life is too short to wait.
And as so often happens, the universe provided me with yet another reminder that we all face the same circle of life. Our time is not unlimited. As I was putting the final touches on today’s post, I googled Celine to be sure I spelled her name correctly. I was saddened to discover that the singer, who brought tears to my eyes with her amazing talent during her concert, is mourning the recent loss of her own mother. You see, the year I had to specifically chose to focus on joy was the year I lost my beautiful mother to a terrible illness.
We all battle through similar losses in life, and we can all lift each other up in some way with our own innate talents. So let’s get on with it.
Cheering alongside you and excited to see how high we can help each other climb. Let’s make this a year, and a decade, to remember. Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!