This post is as much (perhaps more) for me as it is for you, the reader. It’s a way to keep myself accountable by sharing my goals publicly. It’s also a look into my thought process for anyone who may be looking for inspiration this month as we all tackle this brand new year. Since my birthday is on December 31st, it’s not only a new year in the Gregorian calendar, it’s a new year for me as a person every Dec 31/Jan 1. January 1st is a fresh start for me more because of my birthday than the calendar year.
I abstained from having a word for 2018. (I actually did choose a word at the end of 2017..ironically it was progress, however I abandoned it completely by the second week of January.)
Life was hectic; a wedding, a marriage, and a ton of new relationships by association were looming ahead (read my 2018 annual review). As predicted, 2018 was consumed with renewing old and forging new relationships and the wedding was at the forefront of my mind. I coasted (and on some occasions slid down) in the career department and health department and felt forcibly consumed by matters that I usually don’t deeply care about.
But now I’m married, the wedding is over, and I’ve been navigating my new relationships and roles for nearly 5 months and I’m starting to get a handle on them. It’s time to refocus and get back to building the life I want to lead more actively.
My one little word for 2019 is craft.
Here is the definition of craft when used as a verb:
to make or produce with care, skill, or ingenuity
When I think of craft, I feel it embodies perseverance, risk, creativity, practice, routine, and the pursuit of excellence.
Those are all things I want in my year. In light of that, I have a few goals for the year.
- Health – I did an awful job of taking care of myself in 2018, and it resulted in feeling not-so-great a lot. I want to make sure I do some sort of focussed physical activity twice a week. It’s so easy to fall off the wagon, especially during winter, so I will strive to persevere. I also want to eat less processed food and limit my soda consumption.
- Career – I’d like to hone my Gutenberg skills for WordPress and reach a specific personal income goal. There are a couple projects I’d really like to create and launch this year and doing so will require consistency and hard work.
- Travel – I’m hoping to take at least 4 trips (a mixture of short and long, local and International) in 2019, including one to Pakistan (hopefully) to meet family on my side and on my husband’s side. Adventure, new experiences, and getting out of my day-to-day for small periods of time is really important to me. It fuels creativity and inspiration.
- Relationships – I’d like to forge some local friendships that have some longevity. This is an arena I’m not always great at paying attention to, but it’s important to have local friends, so I’d like to make it a real goal.
These goals are fairly broad and I know the best way to accomplish them is to have specific plans to achieve them. I have an initial outline of those plans but I’ll continue to refine them this month, with craft in mind as the focus for each plan.
Arriving at Craft
For anyone new here, I’ve been choosing one little word to guide my goals and year off and on for the past 6 years. I believe choosing a theme or guiding word for the year provides subconscious focus and inspiration as you live your life day to day. My word is not always at the forefront of my mind, instead it lingers in the back, unassuming and patient. I remember it occasionally, and when I feel off track, it can help me refocus.
I’ve unwittingly been reading and listening to things that led to craft as my word for 2019, perhaps because the lack of progress I made (or more accurately the stagnation I felt) in 2018 was weighing heavy on me both unconsciously and consciously.
I read Atomic Habits, finally finished reading the entertaining and thought-provoking Daily Rituals, and began reading Deep Work on my honeymoon. I’ve also felt the increasing urge to reread The Creative Habit – a book I’ve reread multiple times that always has a strong impact on me.
Some years I agonize over my one little word and start thinking about it as early as November. Other years, I’ve spontaneously chosen one on the very last day of the year – intuitively, and it turned out to be just right. This year, I spent a couple days thinking about it and played around with a few different words that were close to craft, but ultimately settled into craft just after Christmas.
Craft feels right, empowering, inspirational, and almost devotional. I want to practice my craft, to craft my life with care and skill, to craft a healthy, happy, wholesome routine, to embody the spirit of craft in my endeavours.
I’ve queued up a few more books to reread that will keep me focused and fuel my desire to bring the spirit of craft into my life. If you’re interested, you can follow along on GoodReads, I’ll be actively recording the books I read (old and new both). (You can also check out my 2018 Books Report if you want non-work-related book recommendations.)
I started roughly outlining and brainstorming these goals and my plans in Asana and finalized them while I was on my honeymoon in Hawaii in December 2018. The list-based nature of Asana (with infinite child tasks) was super helpful when I was brainstorming ideas.
So onwards I go, crafting my 2019 with perseverance and creativity. I’m dreaming up ideas and plans and can’t wait to get going on them.
Do you have a theme or one little word for 2019?