- Word of the Year : Disengage, Fear and Plan

Several years ago, I began choosing a word for my year. I love reading stories of other bloggers’ lives …. their focus … their intent for the year. Here, Dawn shared that she wanted to FLOURISH in 2013!! What a lovely word! I can’t even picture the word in print without clean, lean brushstrokes. And Rebecca Sower wanted to GIVE.  She used her thread and needle to create an image to hang in my memory. This is a fabulous post by Mary who wants to Rewrite the upcoming year.

In 2011, my word was Fellowship. I wrote about it here.  I chose a words for 2012 and 2013, but
honestly
I’ve struggled with vulnerability
and have not been brave enough to write about my Words in detail.
But, I thought I would share a little bit today.

There are many reasons to set goals and many reasons to avoid them. I think personality has a great deal to do with whether setting them is healthy for you or not. If you’re more of a perfectionist and you want to get things “right,” (whatever THAT means!), you may be one who is better on focusing on a word for the year
rather than a list of “things to do.”
But, if you’re really laid back, specific goals might be helpful.

I spoke with a friend the other day that set 60 goals for this past year. I was amazed!! 60 goals sounds lofty to me!! As we talked, I noticed that the goals that she set that were measurable (like lose a specific amount of weight and save a specific amount of money) were not reached …. BUT, she was REALLY close, had made progress and could count that progress. A number of her goals were not as “measurable” …  like “be more happy.” The problem with vague goals is that there is  no way to truly measure your success and you are then left to emotions when “counting time” arrives (the end of the year).

Last year, I wrote a little bit about my word  (here  “A year of …..”   ) …. but didn’t follow up. It took me  a few months to really know that I had chosen the right word.  Last year, my word for the year was FEAR. When I shared the word with a friend, she said, “Why don’t you use the word “courage.” And I had already thought the same thought. But, courage is such a broad word. For me, it wasn’t about being brave and courageous all over my life, it was about facing some very specific fears.

I began to think about fear as the days went by and I realized that, for the most part, I’m not a fearful person. In fact, my fears are very specific. I am afraid of physical injury, especially from a fall (like the roof) or from traveling very fast and losing control (like on my bike, on skis or as skateboard). And I am afraid of what people think … more specifically, what men think … and most specifically, men whom I care deeply about.

And honestly, it was a really good year. I looked fear in the face. I listened to my words and noticed when I used the phrase, “I’m afraid.” I considered what I was afraid of and whether it was a good thing to fear.

In fact, I’ve considered focusing on fear for another year, but I think that I have exposed enough of it that I am now in the practice of looking at it, calling it what it is and facing it. It’s a very good thing and I think I will carry this with me as I move on to another focus.

Fear was a second step after my focus word for 2011. 2011 was a slow year for my word coming, as well. It was in February or March of that year that I realized how deeply I allow others to influence my actions (again, specifically: men).  It was in 2011 that I chose the word “Disengage.”  I decided to begin to truly push back when I felt the nudge to do something because someone else wanted me to do it rather than doing it because it was something that I wanted to do it. I began to become fully aware of how often my decisions are based almost fully on whether they will make a man in my life upset or pleased.

It was when I was talking to my brave, encouraging friend, Della, that I realized just how far I have come. Some time ago, I found myself telling her the story of my getting dressed. As I pulled my socks up over my calves, I thought about a particular man who wouldn’t like my sock and shoe choice. She asked, “Did you wear them anyway?” I confessed that I did. She said, “Well, good for you. I remember a time not so long ago when you would have changed your mind and changed your socks and shoes. You are making progress.” I hadn’t thought of it that way. And she was right.

So, after a year of disengaging
and a year of facing fear,
I am ready to “plan.”

I see that when I don’t PLAN for action, I don’t act. I mean, I do the things that have to be done. I pay bills. I cook and wash dishes. I clean and vacuum. But, when I don’t make a decision to paint, sew or create ….
when I don’t carve out time to read my Bible (like I used to) ….
when I don’t make myself exercise because I have made the decision to do that ….
I don’t “act.”
And it makes sense.  Without a plan, there is no follow through.

While I use my calendar well and often,
My menu boardthere are so many planning devicesMy calendar

that sit idle in my world right now.
I think it’s time to do a little better in this area.

In a way, “plan” sounds very goal oriented … but it’s more of a focus on my actions. I want to think ahead and carve out time to do the things that I say and think are important … but that I allow myself to get away with NOT doing. I want to think ahead for the week and plan for activities, rather than just letting life happen.

So, this afternoon, I plan to spend some time thinking about life goals
by participating in the event “100 Life Goals.”  (There is still time to join, if you’re interested!)
And I plan to figure out some sort of plan for making some of my dreams
become a reality.
This past year was full of beautiful, exciting changes.
I’m praying that next year brings more of the same.
I think, by focusing on planning, I will be able to see those dreams come to fruition.

What about you? Do you have a word to share?
Share here in the comment section below OR
go here and share at One Word 365! 

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Categories: Health & Fitness, School & Learning | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “- Word of the Year : Disengage, Fear and Plan

  1. Susan Elliott

    It’s interesting that you post this today. Normally, I wouldn’t have a word. But, I just told Michael this morning that I want to be INTENTIONAL this year. Intentional with reading my Bible, in becoming more healthy and more focused in my business. So that’s my word!

  2. Jessica

    We have a tradition in my family. Years ago my mother received a deck of small angel cards. Each has a tiny illustration and one word written upon it. Every year since I was a little girl we have pulled angel cards on New Year’s Day as a family. We keep a list of the angels each person pulls for each year. We usually revisit the previous year’s list before we pull new ones. We talk a little about how we saw each other’s words manifest in their lives or spend a few moments thinking about how our word may have manifest in our own lives. Then we each take turns pulling a new word.
    Several years ago I pulled ‘strength’ two years in a row. I needed it both times.
    As I listened today to all the words that each of us have been given as a sort of talisman over the last several years I noticed that out of all 42 angels in the deck, my family, all dozen or so of us, have pulled fewer than half of them over the last five years. I found it interesting that the energy in the meaning of each could keep getting passed back and forth and handed around for others to learn from and grow with. And that for some of us, we could repeat a word to carry with us if we aren’t quite done with it yet.
    My oldest daughter pulled ‘power’. It is so fitting. She is just beginning to understand the power she has available to her to tap into and draw from as she works toward her goals and begins to understand empowerment.
    My nephew, Eli, got ‘freedom’. And he has just recently begun to stretch out a little to see how freedom fits for him.
    Each person’s word is, of course, somehow fitting. Some yet unseen by the beholder, others glaringly obvious to everyone.
    As I sat with these people that I hold so dear today, listening, weaving these words through our group and experiencing these beautiful interconnections, I felt so inspired to be part of such an amazing group. A group that feels each other’s pains, celebrates each other’s successes and supports each other through everything in between. A group brought together by many things and held gently together by love’s strong embrace.
    And then I pulled my beautiful little angel card for the year 2014. Inspiration!
    !!!!!
    Come on in and take over sweet angel of Inspiration!
    After several hours of reflection and some sweet one on one daughter time I’m feeling it already. I feel inspired to put my best foot forward and go the extra mile because each of us represents the collective us. Inspired to be a better example to each of the children in our lovely family. Inspired to be a partner that my partner is proud of. Inspired to honor my parents in the decisions and actions in this coming year. I’m excited to see where inspiration dwells for me this year and how I choose to respect it and move with it.
    And I’m going to set out the intention of telling those around me who have been sources of inspiration that I have learned from them or been somehow affected by their journey.
    You, friend, are one such source of inspiration. I’ve quietly read blogposts and watched pictures come up on Facebook and I applaud the creativity and bravery you show. You inspire me to face things head on and to claim the time for my own personal creative moments (and to trust that the contents of my wallet will be sufficient at the store cause I’ve been there too). Thank you for putting yourself out there and for sharing your life and for being an inspiration! Keep on keeping on, planned or not, you’re inspiring people!

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