Is it too late for a post about goals for this year?
I am a big fan of making lists (you’ve maybe figured that out?), and that includes a list of goals each year. Sometimes these lists fall by the wayside (again, you’ve maybe figured that out?), and I’m moderately successful achieving all the goals I set for myself. I read a lot of blogs where posts about resolutions or annual goals are a regular part of the early January posting, although I don’t know where it was that I first read about One Little Word*, or when it was for that matter, but after seeing mention of it a few times the idea started to grow on me. I’d find single words floating through my mind and catch myself thinking “maybe this is my One Little Word?”. I think it took me at least another year before I actually picked a word and made a note of it.
That was 2012: Intentional. As in act with intention – be more thoughtful of the decisions I made and the long term effects of them. I’m not someone with a 5- and 10-year plan, and part of the idea behind picking the word intention was that I would be thinking more long range…about everything! Don’t just buy the cheapo fast fashion top that will look dated and worn out after a year, but instead save and spend a bit more on something that is better quality and will look good for the long haul. But also be more intentional in my interactions with others, and when making plans (or not making plans, as the case may be). I did a pretty decent job of thinking about my word throughout the year, although I’m not entirely sure that I was acting on it all year.
In 2013 I realized that I actually like two words better: Get Strong. As in I had finally found a strength training routine to add to my running and wanted to get more consistent with it. I wanted to get stronger financially (saving has never been my strong point, much to the dismay of my banker father I’m sure). I wanted to get myself to a stronger place work-wise, too: halfway through 2012 the manager I had worked with for five years had left the company, and I was left in both a state of shock (it’s crazy how much that felt like going through a breakup) and feeling incredibly unstable job-wise…I needed to get to a stronger work position somehow. There were so many ways that I wanted to get stronger – strengthening relationships, getting stronger physically, emotionally, and financially. I loved that I had a list of goals for the year, but that you could boil all of them down to getting strong in one way or another. By the end of the year I certainly felt liked I’d nailed this one – maybe I wasn’t as strong as I could possibly be, but that wasn’t the point…I did get stronger, and that progress felt good, I wanted to keep it going.
In 2014 I was obviously hooked on this exercise: Be Brave. 2013 was both really great and really tough, and it left me wanting to make some pretty big changes…scary changes! Being brave was the way to make them happen, right? I had picked this word before the year even started, in part inspired when I came across Bravelets and had bought one (with a portion of proceeds to support Melanoma research). I put it on my wrist when I opened the package and it has since come off only for surgical procedures and massages. Truth be told, I didn’t do a good job on my word last year. Maybe for the first six months I was on track? But it was very downhill for the second half of the year (this is a theme you may have caught in my 2014 Year in Running recap?), which was something that happened pretty quickly, and even though I saw it happening I couldn’t seem to stop it from continuing. Brave was definitely not how I was feeling by the end of the year.
This month I came close to sticking with Be Brave because I feel so strongly that I’m not finished with it. But I also feel strongly that brave wasn’t the right word and that I need a new one. I made a quick note of the words I had chosen over the last few years and stuck it inside the front cover of my planner, then over the course of a few days I would jot down word(s) that popped into my mind on a sticky note and let it sit there for a while. There were at least half a dozen words I had scribbled, and in the meantime I was also thinking over a few scraps of paper where I had been jotting down ideas for my 2015 goals (since we’re being honest here, there are more than a few goals that I didn’t achieve in 2014 and have been carried right over to my 2015 list). Some of those words lasted longer than others, but in the end there was one word that just felt so right once I saw it on my little green sticky note.
As in get comfortable being uncomfortable (see also). As in drop kick your comfort zone. These are what I came back to as I started digging into this word, wanting to be sure that it was the one. I knew it was right as I peeled the other words away, one by one and over the course of a few days.
So there it is: 2015 is the year I get uncomfortable.
*Elise Blaha Cripe is one of my favorite bloggers and goal setters (and her house is amazing – can I be her when I grow up?). She recently talked with Ali Edwards all about One Little Word on her podcast, and it’s worth a listen!