Every year I pick a word. A word to focus on as I move through the year. It's not a resolution. It's not a goal. The word is my north star for the next 365 days. A positive idea or concept. Something I want more of in my life.
It's a practice I learned from Ali Edwards and last year was the first year I chose a word with great intention and focused on it throughout 2013. My word was simplicity. I know some of you who know me well will chuckle at the thought of me and simplicity inhabiting the same sentence.
I tend to complicate my life at every turn. I tend to say yes at every opportunity. I tend to add instead of subtract. However, despite all that, I do feel like focusing on simplicity last year was beneficial to me. I'm never going to be a different person. No word can change who I am but focusing on simplicity helped me to see the basic foundation of happiness in my life. It helped me to strip away the complications in several areas until I was left with the simple things that make my life so wonderful.
This year my word is growth.
I had already been thinking about this word a lot when I read this passage in Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.
Although I’d initially underrated its value, the true significance of the fourth element— the atmosphere of growth—had become clearer to me over time. As William Butler Yeats wrote, “Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” Research supports his observation: It’s not goal attainment, but the process of striving after goals— that is, growth— that brings happiness. I wanted an atmosphere of growth to pervade my home: I’d make it more beautiful and functional, fix broken things, clear clutter, enlarge its scope, and become master of my own stuff.
That's exactly what I wanted. I want to grow our family. I want to grow my business. I want to grow this blog. I want this to be smart growth. I don't want to be bigger just to be bigger.
That's why my word isn't bigger.
I want growth as an individual, as a writer, as a mother, as a wife. I want to keep striving towards betterment in all areas of my life. I want to keep growing, even when things feel safe and comfortable and good.
What is your word for 2014?