Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Word for 2015: Today!

It's time to think about the new year. Reflecting on my 2014 journal entries, I noted a negative pattern: too much emphasis on trying to manage my future.

Four months before the event, I fretted about summer vacation plans.

I catastrophized during an up and down business negotiation.

I dreamed about a teacher training that wouldn't happen for another two months!

But how to change it?

I don't believe resolutions work.   Newton told us a body at rest (or perchance an entrenched attitude) tends to remain in that state unless an external force causes it to change. And even then, the body at rest (me) exerts a counter-force, kick-back. So it doesn't look promising that I can expect to change myself by my will.

Instead, this year I'm going to try the "one word" approach.  I will focus on one word throughout the year, making it a constant prayer: Teach me to concentrate on today.

I have a plan. I'll study what other bloggers say about practicing being present. I'll read what the Bible has to say about this day, versus tomorrow and yesterday. Before bed I plan to review my waking hours and be grateful, instead of fretful. I thus hope to preempt my mental wandering through the future and the adrenaline-producing anxiety it causes.

The theory is that concentrating on a theme, like today, will heighten my awareness and begin a gentle process of change.

You know how it is when you hear about about a hot new book. Reviews show up in every newspaper and magazine you read. Or you look up an unfamiliar word and suddenly you hear it used everywhere.

I'm going to tune my antenna for a focus on the present, turning it toward the strongest signal, like the old metal contraptions that sat on our rooftops and had to be adjusted to bring in a good picture.

How would you like to be different next year? What one word would sum it up?

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