Happy 2016! I just love a new year. It’s like a blank sheet of paper. I can do anything with it. Recently, more and more people have decided to shun resolutions in favor of choosing a word. The more and more I’ve thought about the more I’ve come around to the idea. Unlike choosing a resolution that can be too lofty or hard to fulfill for the entire year, a word or a theme can carry you through three hundred sixty-five days (in this year’s case three hundred sixty-six days).
I’ve been giving my choice a lot of thought over the last two months and the one that keeps coming back to me is “completion”. I’m a good person for starting things and then setting them aside when I reach an impasse or life distracts me. It’s always difficult for me to pick the project back up when I have more time or finding a way through the road block. When I completed NaNoWriMo in November, I learned that I can tackle projects, big and small, and complete them if I put a little thought and effort into making it happen.
There’s also an added benefit to choosing this word for my year. One of the triggers for my anxiety is the feeling of being overwhelmed with the things that I’m responsible for. When things get crazy and I start thinking about all of the things I need to get done I end up paralyzed. When it gets really bad, I struggle to complete even the most menial tasks like doing a load of laundry or cooking dinner; getting bigger projects done like writing for work seems insurmountable.
So what do I plan on completing in 2016? And how do I plan on completing these things?
I’ve given these two questions a lot of thought as well. Sure, I can say “yes, I’m going to do X, Y, and Z” but without a plan in place it’s not much different than a resolution. So what am I going to complete and how do I plan to do it? I will finish my novel and edit it. I’m so close to an end but the holidays have really put a strain on my time and I haven’t put as much time into it which means I’m struggling to get the words going. I want to have it finished by the beginning of February and start in on the editing process immediately after. At home, I want to finish decorating and settling in to our home. I need to print out some photos, frame and hang other prints, and work on personal touches in each of our bedrooms. This could get expensive quickly, which has been part of my hesitation in completing these projects, but I’m going to pick up pieces once or twice a month until it’s finished which should be by the end of the year. Personally, I’d like to pass the Army physical fitness test. No, I’m not thinking of enlisting but it’s a measurable way to see my improvements. I’m going to give myself the entire year to complete this because it’s the area I’m weakest. I’ve cobbled together a workout routine to help me with my running and work on my upper body strength.
Choosing this word also reminds me that I can tackle tasks and mark off my to-do list, whether it’s things for the house or personal items. There will be some days that I need to push myself past my discomfort to get things done. I don’t plan on writing out this to-do list and letting myself loose. Instead, I’ll be checking in with myself at the end of every month to evaluate where I’m at and what I’ve accomplished towards me goals and what needs to be adjusted or prioritized.
So there you have it. Completion. My word of the year.
Do you choose a word of the year instead of a resolution? What’s your word for 2016?