Last year I noticed that a popular theme in the Bullet Journal community is to select a 'Word of the Year' to work towards. As someone who likes setting challenges for themselves, but struggles to stick with resolutions, this seemed like a good idea.
It's kind of tricky to find a word which you want to inspire you throughout the year. I wanted something which would resonate with me and I knew I wanted one which had a positive sort of feeling, but other than that, I wasn't sure which word would be the right one for me.
As it happened, my word came to me quite easily. I thought about the sorts of things that I wanted to happen in the coming year. The big one was the IVF treatment, I wanted that to be successful, obviously. I wanted to achieve certain things at work. I had some personal stuff I wanted to work on, like taking care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally.
The immediate word which sprang to mind for all of this was Success; since I wanted success in all these areas. It was after rolling this word around in my brain a little that I realised that perhaps Success was a little too passive, that's what happens afterwards rather than what I was working on.
Succeed seemed like the natural, active, version to work towards. Succeed felt like something I could do, rather than just sit and wait for. So that became my word for the year.
I've blurred out some of the text on the page above because some of the stuff I'm working on is kind of personal (ironic, I know, considering some of the stuff I share on this blog).
While I've not given myself any specific resolutions, I've highlighted some of the things I'm hoping to succeed in and made some notes on what that might look like, for example for IVF my notes look like this:
Healthy baby in 2017
Frozen embryos for the future
Three months into the year and I've already succeeded in one and a half of those! So far, so good.
I've set myself a couple of targets for work, but these just take the form of:
Set achievable targets at work
That's mainly because I'm using a similar approach in my work diary. I've put a big quote on the front page of my work diary and under January 1st I wrote down a similar list of areas I'd like to succeed in at work. I don't take my bullet journal into work so it seemed kind of pointless to duplicate those in this one.
I'm enjoying this approach because it's giving me measurable goals but they're a lot more flexible than a hard resolution. The most concrete targets are the ones I set for the IVF, others are a lot more general, like using colouring in to relax, or finish some knitting projects.
But you're probably wondering how just picking a word is going to change anything, well it's pretty simple.
Whenever I'm considering something, I try to ask myself 'will this help me succeed in [whatever area it would be classed as]?' It's not a foolproof method, but I do feel like it's changing the way I think about things.
So for example, when I was waiting to find out how our embryos were doing, I basically spend the full five days doing nothing but knitting. This probably wasn't the best way to spend my time, but in terms of my emotions and physical state at the time, this was exactly what I needed. I asked myself 'will this help me succeed in healing?' and the answer was most definitely yes!
Asking whether all that knitting was going to help me succeed with work or household stuff or my blog, the answer would probably have been no, but at that time the priority was focusing on myself so in the future I would be well enough to focus on all the other stuff.
And that's why it's helped change the way I think about things. Because whenever I'm considering my options in different areas I'm having to think about my priorities. And sometimes I'm coming to the realisation that something I thought was high on my list of priorities just isn't, and that's useful too.
Do you pick a word for the year? What's your focus this year?