Friday, December 28, 2018

Resolutions and "One Word" for the New Year

Every year, I feel excited about a fresh start with a new year. Some years I've set a lot of goals and resolutions. Sometimes I've been pretty good about keeping my resolutions and really moving towards my goals. But for many years now, I've done a quite a bit of thinking about resolutions and things I'd like to change but haven't really set very concrete resolutions or followed through. I've tried the "one word" resolutions my sister Shawni does and while I really like the simplicity of that, I think I've chosen the wrong words and/or haven't pondered on and acted on that one word very much so it hasn't been very meaningful for me.

One year I chose "Peace" and it didn't turn out to be a very peaceful year - it was actually a year full of anxiety and stress and I didn't seem to be able to create peace in my heart and mind very well. By the end of that year, I realized that I couldn't get to peace without first learning to relax.

So "Relax" was my word for the next year. But as the year went on, I didn't relax. I realized I was really terrible at relaxing. I'm way too fixated on getting things done and being sure I meet my goals to be very good at relaxing. I couldn't relax because I was always worried about something or working on something or thinking about something I might need to worry about or work on. So I didn't relax very much.

By the end of that year, I realized that before I could relax, I need to let go of a lot of things. So last year my word was sort of two words - "Let Go." And I did let go of a whole lot of things last year - I let go of a lot of expectations of myself, my kids, and my husband. I often let go of my focus on maximizing and trying so hard to make things perfect. I cut myself and everyone around me a lot more slack than before. Sometimes I got to pat myself on the back as I really let go in situations where I would usually have been very worried, opinionated, and insistant.

But I still have a long ways to go when it comes to letting go. There are always so many things to care about! And I have a hard time not being tenatious with my caring. I have ideas about so many things - I can't seem to control that. And once I have an idea about something and it seems like a really good exciting idea, I have a hard time not getting attached to that idea. It's really hard for me to sort out what to let go of and then actually go through the process of letting go. Then it's hard to really relinquish that idea or hope and not pick it up again and get attached and excited and hopeful about it all over again.

I've realized that one of the biggest things that we need to learn in this life is when to hold on and when to let go, what to hope for and what to accept will never happen, what to insist on and what to back off about, what to cherish and what to cast out.

I've also toyed with having different mantras from time to time. I have several that have helped me quite a bit (when I remember them):
- There's always enough.
- Life is long,
- It's supposed to be hard and that's OK
- It always works out in the end.
- I'm so blessed.
- Everything is working out the way it should.
- Let go and let God.
- I don't need to be in charge of this.
- Will this matter in 10 years? Tomorrow? In 10 minutes?

I'm not sure what my word will be for 2019 but I'll figure it out. I'd also like to have a mantra(s) and resolutions that fleshes out my word. I'll let you know when I figure out what it should be!


Anonymous said...

I think it would be extremely stressful to be an Eyre...lots of love for sure but the sheer pressure of doing hard things all the time and the constant, never ending pressures of your dad’s and family expectations most likely create huge anxiety.

Unknown said...

Yep, being an Eyre is hard stuff. But it's amazingly wonderful as well. Most great things have their hard sides. And a lot of my issues are due to my own personality - I was a born worrier and so much of what I've required of myself has been very separate from what my parents and family may have wanted/expected for/from me.

kms said...

Why not just pick maximize?

Wendy said...

Saren, I learned in seminary about an old Christian meditation practice called "contemplation of place" and wanted to share one I created to help women in this window before New Year's more fully discover the gifts that Heavenly Father is calling them to bring into the world in 2019. It's an 8-minute guided meditation to music that takes you through scenes from the Annunciation, Nativity and Epiphany. You can use it, if you like, to ponder more deeply your word for 2019--it's on my podcast (Episode 21):

I do the "one word" and have for many years... some years they seem to fit perfectly ("synergy," "well-being" and "consistent" were all great fits for their seasons), but others fell flat ("momentum" seemed to go in the opposite direction I had hoped the year I picked it-ha!). Even so, I love the focus this practice creates.

Also, just wanted to say I see a lot of love and joy in your family. You all inspire me to be a better parent, to help my kids experience more of life, and to do hard things--and I'm grateful for the inspiration. Cheers, Wendy (MoJo For Moms Podcast)

Jenny (also) said...

Super interesting how this is so similar to the issues your sisters have all shared on their blogs. Nature + Nurture is powerful indeed.

As I read this I couldn't help but wonder if turning one the often used slogans around could be helpful. Maybe instead of "We do Hard things." it could be "we do small things?" I think there is such joy, grace, and gratitude in doing small things really well. And it ends up making a big impact on family, friends, and self. Maybe this would be a good antidote to your issue of getting to invested in big, exciting, time consuming projects.

Or instead of "life is long" something like "this moment is my life now" or "this moment is important:


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