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Happy New Year

Starting a new year can be exhilarating. It's a chance to say goodbye to all the troubles and woes of the previous year in hopes things will be better. Or ringing in the new calendar can be terrifying if there are upcoming changes that we aren't looking forward to. No matter the case, 2024 presents us with an empty calendar and it is up to us to make it exciting or scary.

Several weeks before saying good-bye to the current year, I begin thinking about what I want to do in the next. In previous New Year posts I have mentioned how I quit doing resolutions. They don't work for me. I get all amped up with high hopes and even higher aspirations only to fall short a week or so into January. Then I revert back to the same old bad behaviors and thinking. I'm kind of an all or nothing gal. So I figured if I failed, why bother start again. So wrong.

Instead of hard and fast pronouncements that can be broken, I switched to choosing a single word. Sure, I could still make a resolution, break it, dust myself off, and start again; but I like to set myself up for success. And doing the same thing year after year with the same results just wasn't working. Choosing a keyword is a simple concept that I can use for all areas I want to improve in. The word chosen helps me stay on task. When deciding on the word of choice, I look back over the previous year to see what went well and what didn't. Then I contemplate what word will help me be the best version of myself in the coming year.

This year I first picked health as my word for the year. Yes, I am still struggling in that department. Then I heard a great sermon from our priest and said, "Yes, that's my word." By the time I got home I forgot the word. Just this past week, I met with a wonderful lady who I will mention in the future. We were chatting about my writing and other related stuff. I commented how I wanted to be more productive in 2024. Ah hah! That was it, that was my word for the new year or a form of it. Productivity slapped me in the head harder than I smack Bruce at night when he snores. I had been thinking of that word but hadn't seriously considered it until that moment.

Of course I still want health at the top of my game, but rather than narrow my scope to one area, the word productivity allows me to broaden my improvement. My goal is with every decision I make, every action I do or don't do, every conversion I add to or refrain from, and every activity I participate in or not, is to ask myself if what I am about to do will be productive towards reaching my goals. Not every time will be a yes. Sometimes I know I will make the wrong decision, because I am far from perfect. And sometimes it's just fun to let loose - and often times in doing the later, that can be very productive in the long run.

So let's bring on 2024! Here's to new and exciting adventures - because life all by itself is an adventure. I have big and little plans for personal and professional goals. I also have a lot of nothing purposefully planned. We will see how that goes - I don't do well with nothing on my plate for too long. Just like embarking on a long distance hike, I will take it one step at a time, building up slowly to get my trail legs. It's been awhile since I have truly been focused. In order for me to do that I need to say yes to things that will help me accomplish my agenda more times than not. But also say no to those things more often than not that will keep me from my goals. The later is harder for me. I can easily get side tracked. I love to help out and give of myself to others. It's usually when I do so I feel the best. But like I said earlier, I tend to be all or nothing and lots of times I go all in and forget to hold some reserve for myself.

My wish for you is that you too will have a wonderful 2024 filled with everything that makes your heart smile. As you are filling your days, weeks, and months being productive - or not - remember to give of yourself where you can but also take care of yourself too.

Happy New Year!!! 🎆



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