In 2013, a yoga instructor suggested I pick a word or phrase to be my mantra for the new year, something that would help promote personal growth and keep focus on what is important to my life in that moment. She said “set your purpose”.
I had the word engraved and wore it on a leather bracelet every day. That word not only mattered then, but it matters today. It is something I have to remind myself to seek when the alarm goes off at the crack of dawn, when the dog shits in the living room for the hundredth time, when my son leaves gum in his pocket and I find it after it goes through the dryer or when I accidentally back into my husband’s car in our own driveway.
Some days I wear that bracelet because it matches my outfit. Most days, though, I wear it because I need the reminder.
In 2014 I chose the phrase BE PRESENT and saw a marked increase in my ability to leave the dinner dishes (without guilt at least) and spend more time connecting with my kids in the evenings. I worried less about how clean the house was but more about creating memories with my family. I did a poor job though balancing being present for everyone else with being present for myself. In 2015 and 2016 I didn’t officially pick anything but just tried my best to take one day at a time, but that was ineffective at challenging myself to set a real purpose. So in 2017 I chose BREATHE.
It probably goes without saying that I desire a peace centered life. A life that is lived in the moment. A life that looks for all that is good in the world and also a desire to leave it a better place. I worry too much. I let anxiety, perfectionism and fear cloud my judgment more times than not. So I re-set my purpose everyday with the hope of not forgetting to look for the joy in all things, to be fully present in my life and the life of my family. I don’t want to miss out on the little and the big stuff. And in the moments when I feel desperately out of control, I remind myself to just slow down and breathe until I find the joy again.
This year I got lazy and decided to use the word Breathe again. I had set it as my purpose last year but never really put it right in front of my face. I didn’t even come across the I.D. bracelet with the word already engraved on it until last October in an airport mall of all places. The original purpose was to remind me to take a step back in times of panic, to breathe through my quick temper until I could regain my composure, and to stop talking all the time and really listen, to others and to myself. The problem with that idea though, was that I had lost the intent of the word.
I’ve been sitting and breathing for months.
Listening but not doing.
Then I came across this quote from author and life coach Tony Robbins,
“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
And there it is, my word for 2018, MOMENTUM.
The thing about momentum though, is that motion is required in order to create that domino effect. Nothing will happen if nothing happens. I fail more times than not because I stop moving, usually because I set the goal too high. I want to lost weight? I set the goal at 30 lbs and say I’ll work out 5 days a week. I want to get back to running? I set a goal of running another half-marathon by the end of the year. I want to blog again? So I set a goal of posting 4-5 times a week. Foolish and unrealistic. The burnout happens before the end of the first day and I feel defeated before I’ve had a chance to create any momentum.
Small successes will eventually turn into big successes.
This week’s goal was to post on Friday.