I don’t believe in resolutions. In my twenties and thirties, I wrote down a typical list of generalized goals I wanted to accomplish during a given year. Within a few weeks, I abandoned these resolutions and it only fueled a sense of not being good enough. Since 2012, I’ve adopted a word – a single focus – on where I’d like to direct my attention. Some of my past words include compassion, gratitude, laughter, quiet, pause, and consistency.

Last year’s word presented challenges. I realized I am only consistent with a few habits/goals. Consistency is a virtue which deserves to extend beyond a season and I will likely try to keep this word in the backdrop every year.

In 2018, I struggled to find the right word. There are so many facets of my life that need work. I thought about these words – breathe, ease, contentment, and simplify – but couldn’t settle into these choices. One word, though, kept percolating in my mind. Waste. How much time do I waste? How many times do I let fruit bruise and ultimately throw it away? How many moments were spent worrying about scenarios that didn’t come true? How many months did I devote to a path that was a distraction? How many hours did I waste on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, instead of writing? I started making a mental note of the ways I continued to waste energy, emotions and time and decided that in 2018, I need to work toward purposefully utilizing most of my moments with mindfulness. I read several definitions of this word and this version resonated: “Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.”

Actively spending time on paying attention to the present task, emotion, and energy will allow me (I hope) to sit with time and eliminate what I cannot change and perhaps do away with worrying about those things that don’t matter. The passage of time creates personal consternation and I am determined in 2018 to focus on the present and move toward being mindful of how I think, work and act.

Happy 2018. The year of being mindful.

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