My 2014 Word of the Year is…

For the past three years, I’ve come up with one-word-themes as part of my New Year’s resolutions routine.  The one-word acts as a guiding force, throughout the year, to direct my decisions and focus.  The words, for the past three years, have been the following:

2011 – Staying Connected (cheated a little with two words!) – Focused on trying to stay connected to friends and family members who I previously lost touch with.

2012 – Evolution – Focused on grounding myself in my core beliefs and passions / hobbies and evolving from that foundation.

2013 – Creativity! – Focused on allowing myself to explore my creative tendencies.

— On a funny side note, as I read back through my Creativity theme for 2013, I noticed that I also posted that article on January 3rd.  It appears that I cannot break the habit of delayed resolutions.  For me, I’m lucky to complete my list by January 31st!  Perhaps, my one word theme for 2014 should be Productivity, Early Bird, or Getting Shii Done. —

one word theme

But, alas, it’s not.

One-word-themes are not unique in the blogging world.  In fact, I read a couple of other blog posts before coming up with mine.

But, it wasn’t until I read this article on the Huffington Post website, the other day, titled “There is Only One New Year’s Resolution You Need… Kindness,” that I found my word. KINDNESS!  Why, of course, one of my favorite projects from 2013 was the 31 Random Acts I performed in October (and early November).

In 2014, I want to continue the trend of giving to others.

In 2014, I want to remember all the good things in the world as opposed to all the tragedies.

So, here’s to a new year: the year of Kindness.  May it be simple, may it be humbling and may it be the exact direction my life needs.

*What is your one-word-theme for 2014?  One of my favorite sources of inspiration was reading back through the comments from last year.

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Day 28: Three Resolutions I’m Surprisingly Not Making This Year

Each year, I conduct an Annual Review on my life and personal goals and then set new goals for the next 365 days.  (For more info, I previously wrote about the entire process here.)  It sounds funny, but the Annual Review is actually one of the most rewarding and satisfying activities that I conduct in my life.  What is even funnier is that I often always document all the goals in January and then I never even look at them until the following December.  It’s as if something within me just knows what to do after I write them down.

One of my weaknesses is that I often don’t look at the opposite of something.  I know I need to do more of ‘this’ but what ‘that’ should I be limiting in return?  It is with this question that I decided for 2013 I would not only focus on what goals I want to set, but the goals that I don’t want to set.

lake erie

In 2013, I’m not planning on:

1. Accomplishing anything big

In 2012, I purchased a condo, adopted a dog and switched jobs.  Even though the new job was not part of the original planned goals, the mere fact that all three of those things occurred throughout only 12 months is overwhelming.

In 2013, I’m planning the exact opposite.  I would like to make small incremental changes to the really big life changing events that occurred last year.  And who knows, maybe I’ll even surprise myself by what I consider ‘small’ ;)

2. Following a ‘diet’

I’ve always been a petite person, but in years past, I’ve had room to lose a few pounds and definitely had some room to eat healthier meals.  I’ve also never been one to follow a diet per se.  Last year, I stumbled upon paleo as I tackled my crossfit workouts.  I spent an entire month only eating paleo foods and never deviating from that ‘way of eating.’  It was important because it helped me start realizing how different foods affect me including my moods, my digestive system and my energy towards living, sleeping and staying fit.

This year, I don’t plan on eating strict paleo 30-days in a row.  I want to eat a lot of the foods that work for me (meat, veggies, fruit, etc.), but also sometimes test for the ones that don’t (eggs, artichoke dip, donuts –> so far).  And by golly if I want to crush a Five Guys double bacon cheeseburger and fries after three workouts in one day, I will!

3. Being more like “_______”

It’s a common human characteristic to compare ourselves to others.  I think that often times we look to people as role models, but then end up comparing every single thing we do to their performance.  “I want to lift weights like her.”  “I want to dress like that model.” “I want to write like his novel.”

I won’t be the first to tell you that we are each unique with our own set of strengths and weaknesses.  My writing will never feel the same as his.  My performance in the gym will never be the same as hers.  Nor, will it be the same as tomorrow.  Because the one thing I can do is be more of myself — an improved and better version each day — and that is the one thing that I am focusing on in the new year.

*What resolutions are you not making in 2013?

*I’m participating in a 31 Days series with numerous other writers.  To read my entire series, please view this page.