Last year, using an idea from blogger Amy Parmenter, I chose three words that represented the growth I wanted to achieve in 2012. They were enjoy, reminding me to focus on the 80% of my life that was good; calm, because I’m naturally anxious and wanted to cultivate more inner peace; and health, because in my middle age feeling good doesn’t come automatically anymore.
I used these themes day to day as I made decisions in 2012. I deliberately made more time to visit with friends and family, even if it meant long car trips, because I so enjoy their company. I deliberately took up (and wish I’d kept up with) meditation and yoga to cultivate a calm mind. I deliberately visited my doctor more to deal with a niggling health issue, which has led to reduced symptoms and better functioning.
Keeping to these themes led to 2012’s brightest spots! So I knew I’d want to choose new watchwords to guide me in 2013. I started thinking about it at Thanksgiving, and by Christmas my new themes were set. They are:
- Joy – I want to cultivate greater joy in my life. I think this will have two components: finding it in the good things already present, and looking to add good things that will bring more of it. I have found that I find joy most readily when I am with people I love and when I am exploring and learning.
- Freedom – While I will consider this theme broadly in 2013, it made this list because of my work situation. In early 2011, a larger company bought us. The company has become less and less a fit for me since then. There have been periods of crushing stress where, frankly, I wanted to simply walk away, but couldn’t afford to. I have good skills and know plenty of people in my line of work in my city, so in due time I can always find a different job. What I want now is to have enough money in the bank that I can always live for a few months with no income if need be, and to live well below my means so that I can take a job that pays less if it means I will be happier.
- Courage – I have never lived my life to value joy and freedom. It will take courage for me to keep choosing them this year, and not retreat into old patterns of behavior.
What three words might you choose as your focus for 2013?