I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions for a couple years (at least). It just seemed like they were pointless – make outlandish (or not) resolutions that were blown in less than 1 month. Last year, I tried something else I had learned about previously – choosing a word to focus on for the year. My 2017 word was “transform”, and I can see now that there was a lot of transformation. Not necessarily all happy stuff, but definitely stuff for growth.
This year, I picked two words – grace and abundance. They were safe words, filled me with happy thoughts, and promised lots of “feel goods”. Still, they just didn’t feel right. For at least a week before the New Year, another word kept appearing in the oddest places – like it was chasing me, or trying to get noticed – you know – like the kid in the back of the classroom wildly waving both arms in the air for attention? “Pick me, pick me”! The word is “brave”. Something I was fond of using in the statement “I’m not that brave” or “my brave isn’t that big”. To be honest, the thought of focusing on brave for a whole year was pretty scary. (Hint – it’s like a goal – if it’s scary, it’s probably worth checking out!) I did a pretty good job of ignoring it, even substituted the word discipline for grace (I guess I thought it was a good compromise) but BRAVE did a better job of getting my attention. So, brave it is.
What does that mean? I’m not going around looking for opportunities to be brave. I looked up the definitions of brave, and was delighted to find some of the very things I have been wanting to grow and/or develop in my life. Brave is synonymous with some behaviors I would like to cultivate. It also means facing some less than pleasant things that may come my way. Brave means changing “I can’t”, “I’ve never tried that before”, and “I just don’t feel like it” to “I will find a way to do that”, “I can”, “Let me try”, and “I will start”. Brave doesn’t mean trying to demonstrate to others what I can do. It means showing me what I am capable of, having faith in myself, and acting on that faith. Brave is going to help me push my boundaries, step out of the CZ, and really see what I am capable of.
Words are powerful. I have a friend who does an excellent job of drumming this message into your very psyche. Words and thoughts can be your biggest ally, or a wicked, powerful enemy. It also helps to have a coach who asks questions that require brave answers-and teaches things like reframing. I am blessed to have Bill – he always knows the right words – even when they are the challenging ones.
Part of my brave plan is to choose my words and thoughts carefully. So far, it has far surpassed what I thought would happen. It’s more than a Pollyanna approach, it is so powerful that I can easily see that it will be life-changing. This brave stuff is going to be a lot of tough work, and it will be worth it. Already it is creating joy, abundance, and excitement.
How about you? Resolutions? How is that going for you? Want to try the “word” thing? If you’re interested, I will point you in the direction that I found for starting this stuff. It’s not my idea, I won’t take any credit for it – but am happy to share my resources! Choose a word – or if you’re really adventurous – let your word choose you!