I like this idea that’s come about of choosing a word for the year. I did this for the first time at the start of 2014, choosing the word story. I thought that I would purposefully consider this word but instead I just let it linger in the background of my life, informing me throughout the months. I didn’t focus specifically on finding or telling or revising my story but I consistently remembered to think about my story during different activities of my days. I feel like it taught me a lot, informed me in ways that I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t set attention on it at the beginning of the year.
And so, as we wrap up 2014, I’ve been thinking about my word for the new year. At first I was thinking “breath” because so much of 2014 felt like I was trying to catch my breath. Then I thought of looking up the synonyms of breath because that word didn’t feel quite right. But I sat with that, gave it some space, let it breathe so to speak.
Ultimately, what I determined was that focusing on my breath is an important thing right now but it’s not the focus of 2015. Instead, I have chosen the word “intentional” because I really just want to have more intention around everything that I’m doing in my life. I don’t want to continue to be swept along by the randomness of life and the habits I’ve rutted into. I want to think about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, to consider it without judgment but to make choices intentionally. Maybe I’ll watch TV for 12 hours a day but I want to do so consciously, conscientiously, with awareness, with intention.
While I was still in the middle of deciding between “breath” and “intentional”, I realized that I could focus my intentional energy on specific areas such as breath. I’ve literally been having trouble breathing and I’ve figuratively felt breathless as well. Giving intentionality to my days will help, I hope, with the latter. Intentionally working to attend to my physical respiration is important for the former. I don’t want breath to be my only focus but I do want it to be a focus this year.
So then I was thinking that it could be a quarterly thing … intention around breathing for the first quarter, for example. That didn’t feel quite right but the focus on four different areas of intentionality does feel right, so here’s what I’ve determined. In 2015, I want to intentionally consider:
With breath, I include all aspects of health, starting with the breath. I want to explore and examine some of my history with asthma, medically but also holistically.
With time, I want to increase my awareness of what I’m doing with my time. I want to make intentional choices instead of just letting it slip by, instead of just letting things slip into my calendar that I don’t actually want there. A lot of my struggle to catch up this year was because I agreed haphazardly to things that were fine but weren’t juicy, rich, meaningful.
I want to intentionally consume – food, yes, with attention to its impact on me but also media and anything else that goes into me. I want to select the things that are filtering through my body and mind and not just mindlessly allow them to enter.
In reverse, I want to be more intentional with what I produce, particularly in terms of creativity. I’ve got a lot of habitual writing patterns and some of them are out of date and need to be revisited. I need to look at them with intentionality. I seek to make choices around them so that I feel more fulfilled in what I’m sending out into the world around me.
These things all go hand-in-hand … what I choose to consume and produce is related to how I spend my time, for example. That’s why breaking it down into quarters doesn’t feel right but still having these four focal areas of intention does feel right. So there it is. My 2015 word is “intentional” with a subtitle of Breath, Time, Consumption and Production.
What is your word for 2015?