Yesterday I stopped by Chani’s blog, Finding My Way Home. She had an excellent post on New Year’s resolutions. Instead of the usual list of promises to be kept in the upcoming year, Chani opted for a “Word of the Year” plan. She chose a word that would set a theme for the upcoming year.
I thought it a most admirable idea especially for those of us who are chronically bad at following through long term on resolutions. While I don’t see why you can’t do both, some will undoubtedly find this a more promising exercise than “I resolve to lose 40 pounds by June 1.” May 15 arrives and we begin scrambling to fulfill the resolution, which was soon forgotten after about two weeks in the gym in January.
Anyway, I spent some time thinking about what my word theme would be for the new year, and came up with my choice. At first blush it seems a bit negative and mean, but really it speaks more clearly my need than other words like “perseverance” might. The word is discipline.
Yes, I know that sounds jack boots and whips, but really it doesn’t have to be so sinister. My problem, plain and simple is a lack of stick-to-it-tiveness. I can start lots of things, but I have a badly demented lack of interest quite soon in, and little by little, I slide into inactivity. I’m usually on to another project with the same initial gusto, only to, you guessed it, lay it aside after a few weeks.
This means I have lots of afghans that have been started, and none finished. I have yarn for a new sweater, and have had it for about 6 weeks, but have not done more than cast on the initial stitches. I have paint, brushes and the like, but still have not started painting the office. The list could go on, but I won’t bore you with my procrastinations.
Either I have a very poor attention span, or I’m flat lazy. In either case, it doesn’t bode well for getting a lot of things done. As some of you know, I did manage to stick with it and clean my house from top to bottom this spring. It took a long time, but I did finish. What I need is that same kind of determination to finish other things.
I’ve been very devoted in my spiritual practice, praying the Office daily, morning and night. The only failing I had there was during the recent flu illness. But I’m back at it and truly have made it a part of my day. I’ve also been a bit more successful with knitting by setting aside a specific time when I engage in the pursuit. I’m well on my way to completely a second scarf, though again, the flu slowed this process for a couple of weeks.
My main concern now is the treadmill. The Contrarian spent weeks checking Craig’s list every night, looking for that lovely person who just wanted to get rid of a treadmill and didn’t care to make much money. I got a fine one for $75 that was nearly brand new, and measures distance, speed and heart rate and a variety of other things. Of course the flu stopped that too, but I am back at it, into my second day. I find it boring, sadly, but I have my CD’s and headphones and I manage.
So, I chose the word discipline as a way of reminding me that I must follow through on things I start. It will be the theme of my year. I will apply it here and there to various projects I start. I’m grateful for Chani’s idea, and think that it will be worth more to me than the usual list of resolutions.
So, if you find resolutions just depressing, think about designating the year with a theme word. You can incorporate it into your devotionals each day as a reflection on how you are doing. Use a sticky note on the bathroom mirror or in some other convenient place you visit every day. Think about ways you can give action to your theme.
Discipline is a good thing. Too much is not. But too little makes life chaotic and well, it makes you feel unaccomplished over time. So get some discipline and choose that word! LOL. Happy New Years to all of you!