by kristendom on December 31, 2012

Thanks to some pretty awesome folks on Twitter, I have gotten into the habit of defining my new year’s resolutions in a new way: one word. As a rule, I generally don’t buy into resolutions, although I’ve been known to make a few, but I really love the idea of the one word resolution – a word you will live during that year. Last year, my one word resolution was “jailbreak.” Okay, sure, I was in the hospital at the time, so it had some very specific meanings to me then, but it also fit a lot of aspects of my life – my bad health, my stress level, my fear of taking risks. And the beauty of a one word resolution for me is that I don’t have to remember some long thing I promised myself I’d do – I just have to keep the one word in mind when I’m faced with something that is a challenge. For example, when I came down with pneumonia in May, I vowed that I was going to break out of the jail of my asthma issues. I went to the doctor and asked for a referral to an allergist, I checked out every book on asthma I could find at the library, and I signed up to do the aspirin desensitization process that has made a big difference in my asthma issues. All by reminding myself of the word “jailbreak.”

In addition, I decided it was time for me to look for a different career path, since the one I was currently on included a level of stress that was obviously affecting my health. I managed to “jailbreak” my career just in time for the new year. And I signed on to do a couple of speaking engagements this year that were definitely outside of my risk-averse comfort zone – and they went really well. I can only hope I’ve started myself on a path to continue exploring those passions. I’ve also managed to surround myself with some pretty amazing people who continually encourage me to quit thinking so much and inspire me to do, do, do! This has pushed me in some areas that I needed pushing – especially in writing – and will continue to provide some great support in the future.

So that’s what my year of jailbreak looked like in 2012. What’s next? Well, as my title suggests: simplify.

I have been trying to find ways to simplify our lives for awhile now. We don’t have cable, I’ve cleaned out my closet (several times), I try to use the library instead of buying books, etc. But this year, I really want to make a commitment to living in simplicity, to enjoying experiences more than things, to paring down our house to what we really need or what we really want, and not a lot of extraneous things that we just wanted in a fleeting moment. I think Sean’s on the right path to this by getting into triathlon training and buying himself really nice gear for this instead of buying lots of little, cheaper things. Since I’d like to travel more, I need to find ways to cut back in other areas to save money to do that. So I am going to remind myself whenever I am in Target and tempted by the five million things I feel the need to purchase to simplify. When I feel like going out to lunch instead of eating the lunch I packed, I’ll remind myself to simplify. And when I hesitate over getting rid of that dress that I’ve never worn because maybe suddenly I’ll want to wear it this year, I’ll remember to simplify.

What is your one word for 2013?

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