Monday, 27 January 2014


At the start of every new year social media fills up with resolutions, goals and plans for the coming year. I too have been guilty of sharing my hopes, dreams and goals before the dawning of a new year only to have to shamefully admit a month down the line that nothing was achieved.

This year I noticed a different trend amongst some of my friends. They chose a word for 2014 or in some cases two or three words. I turned to Google to see what this new trend was all about. Guess, what it is not a new trend at all.  It seems that choosing a word instead of making resolutions has been around for some time.

For many, myself included making new year’s resolutions or setting goals for a new year is a way to reflect on the year which was and take charge of the approaching year. I tend to make lists of the things I would like to change in my life, the things I would like to achieve both in my personal life as well as my career. Ok and let’s be honest a lot of the goals and changes are tied into healthy eating (aka weight loss) and exercise.  But like so many I have great intentions but no follow through. I am not sure if it is because I have so many or if it’s because I tend to be a little vague but I get to the end of the year not having achieved a damn thing.  Oh I have plenty of excuses such as my work schedule being gruelling or my asthma has been a problem.  The thing with excuses is….they are like armpits, everyone has a couple and they stink!!!

I read a lot of articles, blogs and websites on choosing one word instead of goals/resolutions for the year. It became a little bit of an obsession because it felt like this was something doable I just did not know how to go about picking a work. And what a lot of pressure to put on a singular word.  This word would have to be my theme, it would have to force me to focus, it would have to be a summary of all my goals, hopes and dreams.  One word that would essentially summarise how I want to live my life, manage my career and one word that would explain how I want to be. This word would have to be something I can focus on every day for the next 365 days.  A word that I could not only take to heart but one that I could commit to.  This word would be responsible for essentially shaping my year and being my guide…my compass if you will that will govern the decisions I make and lead me to a brighter more wonderful dawn.

Talk about a daunting task! In my almost 40 years I have spoken and learnt millions of words so how do I just pick one. I scoured dictionary’s and thesauruses for a word but found the task completely overwhelming.  And right there is when I had my AHA moment.  

When I was lying in bed trying to sort through words like commitment, courage, persevere, dream, encourage, consistency, grace, steadfast and joy. I was feeling so overcome by something that should be so simple.  My heart started beating faster and my ears started to ring, my mouth went dry and I knew… word for 2014 is SIMPLIFY!!
I woke up the next morning (which happened to be New Year’s day) to write down what this word meant and what it entailed for me.


The stress in my life is caused by:

  • Financial pressure
  • Time management

To simplify I need to work towards becoming financially free.  That means cutting costs, limiting retail therapy and re-looking at my budget.
To simplify I need to drastically improve my time management.  Being late always freaks me out so by setting alarms and working on less procrastination I can improve my time keeping.

The drama in my life caused by:

  • Myself
  • Other people
  • Blogging

To simplify I need to be proactive and not find myself in situations which lead to drama.  Also I need to put a guard at my mouth because often it is the source of my drama.
To simplify I need to “delete” people from my life who do not add value, those who bring their drama to the table. This means revisiting my FB, Twitter and IG accounts and doing an emotionless clean up.  It also means working through my friends and seeing who adds value and who does not.
To simplify I need to regulate my blogging posts and find a happy medium between what brings me joy and what stresses me out. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to blogging because I add so much unnecessary pressure to a pretty awesome thing!

Being unhealthy causes me to:

  • To eat badly
  • To drink badly
  • Feel bad about myself and my self-worth
  • Not exercise

To simplify I need to stick to my meds even though I don’t like the side effects.  I need to formulate and stick to a healthy eating plan and that includes quitting my cola addiction. 
To simplify I need to find new ways of seeing myself and my place in the world.
To simplify I need to find what works for me in terms of exercise.  I hate the smell of gym, I hate the feel of a gym and I hate touching gym equipment. I don’t like swimming with a cap on at gym so let me categorically state that gym is never ever gonna work for me!!! I need to find something else!!

Reading over this now it seems to easy but in reality it has been tough. I have made some drastic changes in that:

I am on a financial diet.  I am working towards using cash instead of credit.  I have done well and have started seeing some results in my bank account at the end of the month.
I am battling with my time management but I am getting up earlier and am braving hectic traffic to be at work earlier. I have put alarms on my phone so that I have warnings 15 minutes before meetings.  It’s a start!!

I am putting up boundaries. I never really had them before and I think that lead to a lot of the drama in my life.  I have also done an initial clean-up of all my social media accounts but they can use another round to be sure.  I have also slowly started to withdraw from friendships that are really no more than acquaintances and am working on strengthening those that add value to my life. I have decided that I will only be blogging three times a week.  If I am able to blog more it will purely be incidental.

My asthma is not going away and I need to change my lifestyle to accommodate it.  I have embarked on a healthy eating plan…not a diet but something that I can sustain.  I have also not had a drink of coke cola in ten days (withdrawal sucks!!!). I am drinking water and a friend found a product that you scoop into your water that gives it a cherry sort of taste and makes it far more palatable for those of us who struggle. I am working hard on using positive words when talking about myself instead of the negative I usually use.  Finally, I am looking for a yoga studio which offers various styles of yoga.  I am hoping that combining the strengthening movements with the breathing will help my breathing.

I have done a couple of other things like de-cluttering my bedroom.  I have so many books and with kindle I often end up only read a “real” book maybe once a month so I sorted through what I wanted to keep and gave the rest away to a charity store.  I did the same with my dad’s books which was much much harder. I have cleaned out my jewellery, make up and toiletries too. I have a chest of draws next to my bed which has five draws….three of which are filled with junk.  These have been sorted and reorganised.  I am now moving onto my clothing and shoe cupboards….that may take a while!!

As we approach the end of the first month of the year I am pretty happy with the progress I have made. I have connected to one word which encompasses a wealth of goals but inspires and challenges me to live a purpose driven life.

I hope that you have stuck to the goals that you have set yourself for 2014 and that as we head into February you will remain inspired and encouraged to achieve what you have set out to!!

Be blessed!

1 comment:

Chantel Klassen said...

I love this word! I am on a mission right now to let go of 50-75% of my personal possessions. Right now I've got myself on a purchasing freeze and when I am off of it I am going to go one for one, every time I buy something new, I get rid of one thing. I'm hoping I can stick to it because I am sick of being bogged down by so much STUFF!