We all have our favorite quotes, phrases, and sayings that we recall when situations warrant. These can range from words our parents used to utter when we were growing up, to familiar quotes from famous people, or even words of Scripture. They offer comfort, encouragement, and familiarity in our busy, ever-changing lives.
Instead of a quote, have you ever considered being motivated by a single word? At the end of 2011 I was looking back on the passing year, as well as subsequent years, in order to gain perspective as I considered how I wanted 2012 to take shape. My reflections on 2011 revealed that I was often going through my days on auto pilot. The majority of my responses to events and people were automatic and required little thought on my part. That’s no way to live an exciting, fulfilling life. I knew I wanted to do better in 2012. I wanted to live more intentional than automatic.
As I was thinking about this, the word “mindful” sprang into my thoughts. I my decision making, planning, and interactions with people I want to be mindful of my actions and responses. Being on autopilot was no longer good enough. I needed to mindfully decide how I would live my life in 2012. That meant giving thought out answers to questions for others instead of knee-jerk, cliché responses. It also means taking an active role in building existing relationships with family and friends, instead of waiting for others to take the initiative to do so.
Being mindful also reminded me to “be there” no matter what I was involved in. Be present in the current situation whether it’s a meeting at work, a conversation with a friend, reading the Bible or praying, or just doing life with my wife Mickey. Value the present moment, and be there.
I enjoyed the focus and positive attitude the word “mindful” created in my life in 2012 that I decided to make it my word for 2013 too.
So what’s your word for the year? What’s that one word that will remind you how you want to live life as you continually cause something to happen this year? Spend some time thinking about what your word will be and then apply that word to all facets of your life as you live out this year.