Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In A Word


Last January Danielle took a different approach to resolution-making. We loved it so much that we asked her to share some thoughts about it at Bloom as resolution-making season is upon us. As always, it was a treat to get a little taste of what's rolling around in that exceptionally creative mind of hers...


To say that I am not a list maker would be incorrect.

I make lots of lists…mostly as a way to quiet my buzzing, helter-skelter, mind.

My lists rarely get check-marked. I am a goal finisher, but not a list finisher. And, when it comes to self-improvement, I tend to think and work in ebbing and flowing ideals rather than easily checkable lists.

So at New Year’s resolution time, rather than making big lists of things like: “Run a marathon”, or “Lose 10 pounds”, I focus instead on a single word that represents the ideal I’d like to be the overall theme for my year.

I got this idea from my clever mother in law.

It works well for me.

Mindful. Last January I’d had my first baby. I was trying to soak up every ounce of her baby-ness that I could. I wanted to just be with her, with my husband, in my home. I wanted quiet, and my own thoughts. I wanted to be un-swayed, unaffected by the outside world. I just wanted to focus on things that mattered for us. I wanted less mindless busyness, and more purposeful living.

And so the word I chose for my theme was, “mindful”.

It set the tone for 2009 beautifully. Focusing on that single word helped me really accomplish my overall goal for that time in my life, which was to simplify and be tuned in to our needs.

And now…despite my best efforts to keep her unchanged, my baby is one year older. She has grown from a tiny helpless being, to the walking, talking toddler who is sitting next to me eating pizza in bed as I type this.

She’s grown and so have I.

And this year will bring new things to our family. I can feel it.

Gumption. When I really consider the women I most admire and want to emulate, it's not their collective creativeness or intelligence or talent that inspires me most. Nope its something else…something more.

It’s their willingness to do hard things, to not complain, to make things happen, to use tools, to not be a victim, to replace the toilet valve without a man, to fear not, to try something new, to fail and try again, to take initiative, and to find a way.

It's their courage. It's their gumption.

So, as I face 2010, it's gumption I need…

Gumption I want.

If 2009 was a year of introspection and quietly residing within myself, then 2010 will be a year of breaking out, trying hard things, letting go of fear, and making things happen.

I can feel it.

2010…I am coming at you…with gumption.

What will 2010 bring for you?


Rachael said...

beautiful, Danielle. I loved this idea when you blogged about it last year...I'll have to be thinking in the next few days about my theme for the year.

Natalie said...

I love this idea too Danielle. Last year, for our family, there was a scripture that I felt like we needed as our family "goal" for the year. I typed it out and posted it on the fridge, it really helped me focus on the goal, as an overall theme, for the whole year. Thanks for the great idea. :)

eyecon said...

I wish you lived closer for lots of reasons. But especially now, that I have a leaky toilet valve. :)

Valerie said...

Great idea! I always make lists lists lists! I think one word would simplify everything and not be too overwhelming like most my lists tend to be. Now, where is a dictionary so I can find a fitting word ;) said...

Happy New year 2010.

Bloom said...

I've been thinking about mine. And I think I've decided on CONSISTENCY. I need that in pretty much every aspect of my life. In sewing straight lines and not being sloppy, in responding to my kids in a mellow tone every time(even when I feel like yelling), in starting my day off with prayer...

yep. consistency.

thanks for the inspiration, Danielle!


Nikki Douglas said...

Beautiful. Inspiring. Thanks for your words.

On a funny note, my husband said the other day, "You know what the best way is to make sure a new year's resolution happens? Start before the new year." I was once again talking about exercise. I have one more day to start to make it easier to start the new year right. So I don't end up saying until March "maybe I'll start tomorrow" before I eventually give up thinking I let myself down. Start before the new year. I can do it. Positive thinking. Maybe my word for the year will be Optimism.

Katrina said...

this is such a great idea. and i love the word gumption. can't wait to see what you accomplish this year!

Sally said...

Love your word choice for this year! I'm always in need of a little gumption.

Melissa said...

This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you. I make lists as well, but not everything gets checked off. It's more to remind me of things that need to get done in case I forget. I find my lists here and there with most things crossed off, but rarely everything. For the past several months I have focused on "choosing the better part", and it has worked well for me. I like this idea of having a word (or phrase). I have been able to navigate more easily knowing that I wanted to choose the things that would be most important in the long term. My husband laughs at me, but I have been so at peace with mantra. I am thinking less "responsibly" or "rationally" like he does and listening more to my heart. I have never enjoyed my kids more or been more aware of blessings and the beauty around me. He can make fun of me all he wants! I am definitely going to keep it going. Thank you so much for writing about this so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

i needed that word too! I'm challenging everyone to join me in my Project 52: Date Nights. Here's the link to check it out and sign up

We live in a Zoo! said...

That is cool :D

little mama said...

Wow, I decided to do this earlier this week and I had no idea others were doing it, but now I keep coming across more and more people! For me, I realized I slipped into a few bad habits with my attitude in 2009, and have declared 2010 The Year of Happy. I even just started a tiny and happy blog to document my adventures in happiness.
I love this! I think this kind of purposeful living is so wonderful, in so many ways. Good luck with your gumption (I might keep that one in mind for next year).

LJ said...

Brilliant! I love the idea of a one-word theme. You've totally inspired me to create one of my own, so thank you and may your 2010 be filled with gumption!

Joan said...

You are so clever, Danielle. What a grand idea. Unfortunately, I am a list freak and I tend to like quantifiable goals...but I've decided to try both: 1. the classic, quantifiable goal list AND 2. the one worded theme as an over-all goal.
Happy 2010, dear :)