Last year I came across a blog that discussed the concept of selecting a word as your theme for the coming year. I loved the idea and decided to embrace it – my word for 2012 was give. I realized how blessed I was (and at that time I couldn’t even imagine the blessing-to-come in our daughter) and wanted to share that with others, both in resources and in time. It’s also vitally important to my husband and I that we teach our children to be givers as a natural instinct (something that can feel impossible with a 3- & 5-year-old). I’ve certainly still got room for improvement in that arena, and giving will be something I strive to continue, but I felt like it was a fitting word for the year. An unexpected lesson learned was to also be a gracious receiver. Sometimes I can be so enthusiastic to give that I might inadvertently rob someone else of the joy of giving, and I learned that receiving things wholeheartedly and joyfully can be a gift to others, too.
So, now I’m on the cusp of 2013 – it’s literally about an hour before it reaches us here in Texas – and I was struck today with my word for 2013. Honestly, up until this point I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d pick a word for the coming year, because nothing really spoke to me. Then, as I was thinking about a project I am hoping to tackle this year, I realized what my word should be:
It’s very easy for me – with family commitments, work commitments, and blogging commitments, among other things – to fall into autopilot mode. I rush through the morning to get us out the door on time. I mindlessly snack on things, sometimes without really even being hungry. In spare time, it’s quickly sucked away by aimlessly surfing Facebook or Pinterest. With regard to budget, it’s all-too-easy to fall off track and make impulse purchases that are, frankly, idiotic for our long-term goals.
So, I want to live with purpose this year. I want to keep my faith at my forefront. I want to think about what I say to those that mean most to me – especially my husband and kids – and make sure words are uplifting and encouraging. I want to think about what I say to those I don’t know, remembering that my interaction with them could very well make a difference in their day.
I want to be purposeful in what I eat and make healthier choices. I want to really think about items we purchase and decide if they’re worthwhile. I want us to spend our money in a way that benefits others that need it more than we do.
I want to be a more purposeful blogger, and write posts that really reflect what I think and what is going on with my life. I want to tackle a project I’m really excited about and act with purpose to follow through on bringing it to fruition.
My hope is that keeping purpose as my theme for this year will cause it to trickle down through every aspect of my life, so that I can live more fully, be there for others more often, love more deeply, be a better example of Christ, and become a better person as a result.
I almost finished this post with the sentence above, but realized that I ought to decide on a few specific actions to start implementing purpose from the start, since January 1 is looming.
- Go to bed earlier. I tend to stay up too late, making me tired and less effective. This will mean making better use of my time in the evenings, too.
- Get up earlier in the morning – early enough to allow time for a decent devotional and a brief workout, and to really focus on each of the kids without just rushing out the door. I want the start to their day to send them out the door feeling loved, valuable, and happy.
- Perform one purposeful, conscious act of kindness each day, whether big or small.
- Make, and stick to, a budget. Set a couple of goals for things to save toward for motivation. Set aside money specifically for giving, and let the kids help us think of creative ways to use that money to help others.
- Make a monthly meal plan and be better about shopping sales again to save money. Have a variety of meals (no more food ruts!) and incorporate plenty of veggies & fruits, even if I have to sneak them in for our five-year-old.
What is your word for 2013? And do you have any advice for me on really committing to purpose?
Whatever your word, or your goals, or your hopes and dreams for 2013 are, I hope it’s a year of blessings and growth for you. For safety and happiness, for joy, and for memories made with those you love.