It’s been several months since I have posted here. I took a break to focus on completing my degree – which I finally have, thank God – and then the chaos that has been 2020 kept me focused elsewhere. There have been times when I have jotted down blog ideas, but I find that when I am not intentional about life, it tends to run me over, so those blog posts were never written.

This morning a friend of mine shared a blog post about the word she has been focusing on this year, and it reminded me that I had intended to do the same. I couldn’t remember what word I had chosen, or even if I had chosen a word for this year. I didn’t have time to look into it at that moment, but then a couple hours later something else entirely had me revisiting this blog that I temporarily abandoned earlier this year. Ironically, the last post I wrote was regarding my word for the year.

Although I wish I would have prioritized remembering this word; I wish I had been intentional (there’s that word again) about living it this year, I find that regrets aren’t good for much of anything. So instead of beating myself up and living in frustration, I choose to refocus my life for the remainder of this year. We may already be halfway through November, but it’s neither too late nor too early to do the right thing.

My word for 2020 is “shift.” It makes a lot of sense as I think back over the events of this year. 2020 has been remarkably difficult for many, and the thought of adding one more thing can be overwhelming. Change is hard in the best of times, but a shift is less so.

Isn’t a shift a change? Yes, it most definitely is. But for many of us, change is more immediate and complete: I will run a mile every morning and never touch sugar ever again. A shift is gentler, more gradual: I will walk an additional 500 steps today and eat more vegetables at dinner tonight. Both are change, but a shift is less intimidating and easier to maintain.

Writing this blog post is a shift for me. I could decide that I must write three hours a day, six days a week, and then beat myself up every time life gets in the way. Realistically, attempting a commitment like that in this stage of my life would be setting myself up for failure. Instead, I am going to shift – I will commit to dusting off this blog and writing a new post a minimum of a couple times a month. If I write more often, fantastic! And if I don’t, at least I am back. I am taking baby steps that will eventually lead to bigger steps. Someday I may even find myself running.

What do you need to shift today?

New Year, Not New Me

Today is the last day of 2019. In less than three hours, we will cross the boundary between this year and the next. Many people will get on social media to proclaim things like “New year, new me” and make lists of their New Year’s Resolutions.

I have nothing against making goals, but to me, goals and resolutions are different things. Very similar, but different. To me, a goal is is something you plan to accomplish over the course of time, whether or not emotions are involved. Resolutions are emotion-driven and last only as long as the motivation that inspired them lasts. Maybe they didn’t start that way, but that’s what they seem to be now – for most people anyway. It’s why the gyms are full to overflowing in January but are back to normal in February.

I like myself, so I don’t need a “new me”, but I don’t want to stagnate either. I choose to grow. So here are my goals for this new year:

  1. Become more consistent in my daily time reading the Bible and praying.
  2. Actually use my planner to make my life less stressful and easier to keep track of.
  3. Write more – here, in my novels, in my idea notebook, etc.

I plan to write another post tomorrow about my word for the new year. Last year I chose a word for the year for the first time, and I decided I wanted to do it again. But more on that tomorrow.

See you next year!