I stopped creating New Year’s resolutions a few years ago and not just because I rarely stuck to them. New Year’s resolutions strike me as trying to fix myself and I no longer think I need to be fixed. Instead, I think of each day in terms of what my internal compass looks like and how that impacts the choices I make. So, I choose a word or words to guide my focus for the year.
I’ve been waiting for my word for the year 2021 to come to me. I try not to force it. Rather than it being a brainstorming exercise, the choice is an exercise is remaining open. In 2019, I chose courage and it served me well. In 2020, I chose willing, authentic, and grateful. It was a challenge to live through 2020 with those intentions, but I believe that’s why they fell in my lap at the end of last year.
patiently I have waited. I definitely had some preconceived notions about what I wanted the word to be. I dreamt of words the way children dream of presents at Christmas. Words like strength, love, peace, and perspective swirled in my head. But those were not my words. Instead, the word that returned to me over and over again was health. My word for the year 2021 is health and it makes sense to me. If I learned nothing else in 2020, I learned that my health is a priority and that I cannot take it for granted.
Using health as my internal compass for 2021 sits well with my soul. Every choice this year will always have an added question attached to the decision-making:
Will this choice serve my health?
What does having a word for the year mean?
My decisions in 2021 will be evaluated based on how they affect my overall health, not only my physical health. Health serves as a roomy umbrella; it includes physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and financial health. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I am sober and have been since 2010. During 2020, I realized that simply not drinking or doing drugs wasn’t all I wanted out of my sobriety. I didn’t realize how much I was holding myself back. Trapped by fear of failure and success, I have been existing rather than thriving. That, my friends, is not healthy.
I took some steps in 2020 that likely led me to this word. I joined Project Healthy Body and have learned more about my own health struggles than I knew I needed to learn. I expanded my program of recovery to include more meetings and more perspectives. I put down the credit cards and began the painful process of doing a budget. I started living. I don’t know what 2021 will bring us, but I’m going to keep an eye on my health through it all. I hope you do too!