Around this time last year I decided to do a Happier Podcast “try this at home” tip. That tip was to choose a one word theme for the year. My 2018 word was Balance.
It was meant as a reminder and a goal for the year but that didn’t pan out so well. My year was really quite unbalanced, as was my life in general. But that’s life, isn’t it? A box of chocolates where sometimes you get the gooey centres and sometimes the hard nuts. And you just have to hope that you don’t break a tooth.
I don’t consider it a failure though. Balance was always on my mind. It just took me most of the year to figure out how and what I was going to do in order to get some balance back. And it’s taken even longer to get that plan up and running. That’s the other thing about life – some things you have control over, other things you have to let run their course.
This brings me to my choice for 2019.
My theme for 2019 is “Mindful”.
It’s a pretty self-explanatory word, but here’s what it means to me in this context.
I want to make more thoughtful decisions in my life. I want to pay far more attention to everyday things in my life. I don’t want to drift, spin or fritter away my life on autopilot. I want to be more appreciative of my life, while actively crafting what my life will look like.
I’ve realised that I have slipped into patterns of behaving, thinking, doing and saying things that are largely unchosen. Once upon a time I would have decided that they were fitting for me, but not recently and not by the person I currently am. Let me provide you with a gratuitous analogy.
Imagine, if you will, a person who continues to wear their favourite knitted outfit from the 1970s throughout their life.
<< Shudder >>
It could be a totally unconscious decision. They liked that poncho when they bought it. They looked trendy and gorgeous. It still fits. It still keeps them warm, so why change it?
Then a friend who loves them drops some badly needed fashion advice, or they suddenly notice what they look like in the latest family picture – stuck in the 1970s while the rest of the family looks normal.
This is the point where they realise that hanging on to their earlier choices is not so great. It’s time to review, revise and kick out any 1970s nonsense and bring their wardrobe up to date.
This is what 2019 is for me, metaphorically speaking.
Out with the old, unconscious choices, and in with more awareness and mindfulness.
It’s time to “Mind the Gap” – the gap between where I’ve drifted to and where I actually want to be.
How about you? Do you choose a one word theme for your year? If so, what did you choose for this year?
For those crazy enough, here’s a link to some examples of those metaphorical 1970s knitwear items.
Fair warning: you cannot unsee what you are about to look at.