Every year I pick a word that will be my theme for that year. My past words have included reading, simplicity and storytelling. This year I have chosen the word mindfulness. According to Psychology Today mindfulness is defined as “present moment awareness.”
As a mom I could use more present moment awareness. I work part-time, homeschool full-time, go to school full time, and manage my home. I feel pulled in many different directions constantly.
I am not a natural type A personality. Structure and organization help me feel calm, but are not things that come naturally. My brain often feels overloaded with all the things I am juggling and keeping track of. I am often trying to do too many things at the same time. I try working on my own projects while my children need or want me. They are demanding my attention while I am focused on something else. The end result is I feel overwhelmed and do not fully focus on either my children or my projects.
I do not want to miss the important things in life because I’m focusing on the urgent (a Stephen Covey reference if you are unfamiliar with his work.) I want to focus on the things that really matter and use my time wisely. I am at my best when I am making conscious choices in how to use my time wisely.
I am a greater starter but a terrible finisher. I find using just a word for my theme of the year helps me to keep focused the whole year. God brings things into my path throughout the year to keep my focus fresh. I also make goals at the beginning of each year, but I have trouble keeping the goals in my mind once I’m past the initial excitement of creating the goals. My word of the year sticks with me the whole year because of its simplicity.
There are some exciting experiments I am planning on doing to help me focus on mindfulness. I want to improve my mindfulness in all the areas of my life that are important to me (i.e., faith, marriage, parenting, career, writing, etc.) Each month I am going to focus on a different area of my life as I practice being mindful in that area. The January focus will be on my health.
I know it’s cliché to focus on health in January, but I am a living testimony to how important it is to focus on your health. I have struggled with hormone imbalances, adrenal fatigue, and low vitamin stores since my first pregnancy nine years ago. I ended up being so depleted that I had to take a step back from my life for a while in order to heal. Even now, I still struggle with keeping my body functioning because I get busy and forget to care for myself the way that I know I should.
I plan to continue sharing with you my journey to practice mindfulness. I hope that you will consider joining me in my quest. Let’s focus on being fully present in our lives in 2016.
Are you using a theme word this year? What word have you chosen?