Around the first of the year, I (along with 2/3 of the civilized world) usually feel compelled to write a list of resolutions. A couple of years back, just to be different, I started making that list into a graphic poster and calling it my bucket list.
As a rule, two or three things on the list gets accomplished. I am not sure whether the actual act of writing it down, or just putting it up where I can see it is to credit (or blame) or if the things that got accomplished were just the things that I concentrated on the most.
In 2013 I did exactly two things on that list: Got my passport, and planted a garden. OK, we also had a pretty cool 25th anniversary celebration, even though it wasn’t the “extravaganza” I was envisioning. No, I think I got a little over-zealous in the annual making-of-the-list. What I learned from this though, was that you can’t really give 15+ items the full concentration they need, nor can you foretell the opportunities and setbacks that affect whether or not you even want to accomplish some of those things.
I had one stellar accomplishment in 2013 – Decorating a float for the Rose Parade – and that one wasn’t even on the list! So, when I started thinking about what I wanted to concentrate on this year, I thought about it differently. What one thing did I want to do, or accomplish that I would be able to focus on all year? And then I read a Facebook post from my inspirational friend Jodee Bock, about One Word.
One Word is a book that basically professes narrowing your focus for the year to concentrate on just one word. This, say authors Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page, allows us to experience “mission and meaning; purpose and passion; strength and significance.” So instead of trying to focus on 15 concepts, or goals, you choose one word – or as the book suggests, one word chooses you – to become your North Star for 365 days.
I got the book, and read it in the 45 minutes the authors said it would take, and then set about the process of opening myself up so the Universe could deliver my One Word unto me. I waited, and waited, and waited… and waited.
While I was waiting, I made a list of cool words I wanted to associate with throughout 2014. Words filled with anticipation and mystery like “AND” “STORY” “RIPPLE” “MAGIC.” Words with purpose like “DETOX” “ACCEPT” “SIMPLIFY” “CONNECT.” Open ended words with more than one meaning like “ALOHA” “NAMASTE” “EFFECT.” But I felt like I was bending the Universe to my own will. My One Word wasn’t finding me – I was picking it, I was cheating.
So then I started thinking about what concepts I would realistically concentrate on, and as silly as it sounds, it came to me. No, not my word, but a scene from The Big Bang Theory.
In this scene, Penny is giving Sheldon acting lessons, and they start off with Improvisation which she tells him is all about saying YES. This makes perfect sense, and strikes a chord in me. Tina Fey in her book Bossypants, further elaborates, saying Improv is all about saying YES, AND…
I’m all about that, but I’m not going to choose IMPROV as my word. Nor am I going to choose YES, because I’d have to choose YES, AND… and that’s two words. But I felt like I was getting somewhere, I had a direction, I could feel the momentum. The big idea, the concept behind IMPROV was what I wanted, but the word… what was my word?
- Improvisation is to make things up. Yes… and…
- I wanted this word to help me make a difference. Yes, and?
- Make some changes, make advances… yes, and…
Wait a minute!!! My mother’s answer to anything that was bothering me, whether I was bored, or sad, or confused was to make something – Make a list; make a mess; make a promise; It’s got anticipation, purpose and it’s open ended! There it is! My word is MAKE! So, I made a little button – right there in the sidebar.
I’m going to make 2014 the year of MAKE, or of MAKING. Did you make resolutions this year, or what do you think of having one little word be your focus for 2014?