We are nearing the end of the first month of 2018. January. The month where every year we vow to make a change. January. The month where most of us spend more time visualizing the future than taking in the here and now. We make plans to recharge, refine good habits, drop bad ones, or perhaps altogether adopt new ideals with the use of a resolution. The month of January can sometimes carry a lot of weight to ensure that plans are upheld so that they can be continued on through the rest of the year. But a lot of times as we all know those well-intentioned resolutions fall by the wayside. So in an effort to avoid the feeling of having to face yet another failed resolution, this year I planned to take on a new approach which was to adopt a word that would carry me through all of 2018. This word would serve as my anchor through all of my thoughts, encounters, adventures, daydreams, musings, and experiences that 2018 has in store for me. I began to think of the words that could handle the responsibility of encapsulating the hope that an entire year could bring.
The first word that came to me was “choices“. It’s an interesting word because in one sense it can relate to variety, as in a range of diversity. In another sense, the word relates to the act of making a selection from a realm of opportunities you may be faced with. I like to think of the word in the hopeful sense of what possibility may bring. Every day we are encountered with an overwhelming amount of choices. I find this to be true whether you’re dealing with weighing the pros and cons of considering a new life path or just walking the aisles of the grocery store – there are choices all around us. This can be a liberating feeling or sometimes it can feel downright stressful. As of late, I am surrounded by stories of people who are weighing the cost of choices that could change the course of their lives as they know it. I know that the process of considering choices can feel daunting, but for me, my hope for 2018 is that I face choices with bravery, excitement, and a clear head.
The second word that has resonated with me is “purpose“. This word found its way into my life after reading Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden. The poignant message this book sends across is to live your life filled with purpose. Two years ago Joe Biden’s son, Beau, passed away from a highly dangerous form of brain cancer. When he delivered the diagnosis to his father Beau made him promise to never worry, maintain a positive attitude, and above all always keep going as dire as the situation could become. The book displays the authenticity and humanity of a person who is faced with the heart-wrenching pain of seeing a loved one suffer but being able to maintain a promise to be strong and not lose sight of the dreams and potential for change to make the world a better place. We may not yet know what our future holds for us but with hope, perseverance, and humility, we may be a little closer to finding our purpose.
I know that armed with these two words, choices, and purpose, I won’t just have a great month filled with resolutions, but a great year filled with enriching experiences, fulfilling relationships, and memorable lessons. Here’s to 2018.