The past few years I’ve seen people set “One Word Themes” for the year ahead. A one word theme can be in addition to (or a replacement for) traditional New Year’s Resolutions, but they are a way to set a broader overall theme or tone that you’d like to focus on in the year ahead. Gretchen Rubin has shared hers for the past several years, and I loved reading about Kerry’s One Little Word project in 2015. This year I decided to formally (I.E. declaring it in this post) set a one word theme for the year.
For 2017, my word is intention.
Late in 2016, I went to a mediation session that focused on intentions. It’s one of Buddhism’s core concepts, but for some reason the word really stuck with me that day.
In his post about living an intentional life, Leo Babauta says:
A simple practice of intentionality: before you do the next action online or at work, pause a moment, close your eyes, and mentally say your intention. Why are you doing this? Is it out of compassion for others, or yourself? Is it to make someone happier? To improve the world? Out of gratitude for the work and kindness of others?
This concept has always really appealed to me, but during that meditation session the concept of “intentions” took on a broader meaning for me. I didn’t just want to focus on the intention behind every action. I realized that I wanted to spend time every morning thinking about my intentions for the day: What do I want to achieve? How do I want to spend my time? How do I want to feel today? How can I feel healthy and energetic?
I quickly realized that spending time each morning reflecting on my intentions dramatically improved each day. It’s helped to keep the things that are important to me in the front of my mind throughout the day.
So in 2017 – I want to live each day of the year with intention. In a way, it feels like living every day with a bit of the motivation & excitement I always feel on New Year’s Day – the fresh slate, the planning, the determination. The excitement for what I’d like to achieve. This year it’s taking on a special meaning for me, as I want to get more politically involved and help serve the issues and causes I care about. Adding these new ambitions to my regularly recurring goals (that place a priority on family / friends, health, work, books) will require consistent intention and reflection.
None of these concepts are new, but sometimes it takes a lightning bolt realization to help me apply well worn truths into my daily life in meaningful ways. In 2017, I hope to keep focused on my intentions. I’m sure I’ll still fall short of all the lofty goals and ideas that spin around in my brain, but by reflecting on my intentions more I hope I can land at a higher height than I would have otherwise.
Readers, have you ever set a one word theme for the year? What would you choose as your word for 2017?