I love the fresh start associated with a new year. I love lists and goals and plans, and I love the idea of choosing a word to choose as a theme of sorts for presiding over the coming months.
Last year I chose the word lean. It was twofold: on the one hand, I wanted to lean into my work, into the redesign of my personal website, and into the ideas I had for some consulting projects, all of which ultimately took shape in 2017. On the other hand, I wanted the word to be a reminder of my goal to live in a way that felt a little leaner, with less stuff and less spending and less social media and the like. Of course there were days when I didn't lean into anything but my comfy bed, but on the whole, I'd like to think I achieved the objectives I set for myself. I finished the year feeling a peace descend over me, with a sense of accomplishment. My work, my goals, my closet, my refrigerator: they all reflected the idea of living leanly.
And yet as I dove into 2018 there was still a bit of a stirring within me, a rumbling that reminded me that while I had achieved so much, there was still so much left to learn, especially when it comes to control. For someone who adores list-making and goal-setting, it should come as no surprise that I strive to constantly be in control of all areas of my life, including the aforementioned work, goals, closet, and refrigerator. And while this mentality can help me in a myriad of ways, it can also be a major detriment. I can so desperately want to control a situation that I lose sight of what's really important in life. When my goals and dreams don't come to pass, I get disappointed easily, especially in myself. I struggle to remain content when things don't go as planned, and I forget where my true help comes from (hint: it's not from myself.)
So this year my word is going to be trust. I am going to trust in God, first and foremost, and I am going to meditate heavily on my favorite verse of all time, which is by no coincidence related entirely to trust:
"He had made everything beautiful in his time. " — Ecclesiastes 3:11 (boom.)
I am going to trust that when things don't go my way, there's a reason for that. Or, you know, maybe there's not, but things will work out how they're meant to regardless. I'm going to trust that I definitely don't know it all, that the plans that are laid out for me in the future are so much better than I could ever dare to dream them to be—but only if I'm willing to let go of control and trust the process.