One Word 2013

“In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s all about the choices we make.

Over the past two years, I’ve chosen a word to think about, focus on and live out via the One Word challenge.  Last year, my one word was PERSIST- which was appropriate given the many changes in my life (new job, moving to a new city, and all sorts of new challenges along the way).  However, this year, I needed something different.  I needed something that could truly – and wonderfully – change me for the better.

For some time now, I’ve been thinking about control, direction, planning and all sorts of other things that help shape and frame our lives.  I’ve read some things posted by colleagues and friends that are positive and affirming – but then talked to them and found their true philosophies to be counter to how they represent themselves on-line.  I’ve heard some people express concern about behavior of others – and yet they say nothing to the people about which they are concerned.  And finally, I’ve reflected upon my actions and decisions over the past twelve months – those things of which I’m both proud and ashamed (sometimes simultaneously).

After all of this reflection – I realized that the common denominator among all of these issues was very simple – it’s a matter of choice.

People choose to live out their values – or not.  They choose to make healthy choices – or they don’t.  They even choose to let bullies or racism or poverty or sexism continue right in front of them – or they don’t.  

The power lies in the choice itself.  We all have free will, and if we are to truly change our lives, ourselves and our world – we have to use the power to its fullest. We have to choose.

So – for my one word for 2013 – I am selecting (or choosing) CHOOSE.  In doing so – I will reflect on the following questions:

  • What actions would I choose if I am to truly live my values?
  • Are my reactions – my chosen responses to situations at work, home and elsewhere – positive and affirming?  If not – what do I need to do differently?
  • Are my choices healthy – and will they serve me well for long-term physical and emotional well-being?
  • Are my financial habits (a.k.a. choices) supportive of my values and goals?
  • Are my chosen actions and words supporting and encouraging a socially just world?
  • Am I choosing to be involved and engaged in positive relationships, and am I choosing actions, thoughts and words that are nurturing to these relationships?  

There you have it – my focus for 2013.  I am choosing to accept the challenge.  I know this will not be easy – no choice of consequence really ever is.  Consider this:

“There are always (at least) two choices.  Two paths to take.  One is easy – and it’s only reward is that it’s easy.” – unknown

So 2013 – I choose – and I will choose wisely.

Happy New Year!