Instead of resolutions, I’ve opted to select a word of the year. By settling on a single theme, I stay on track and excavate how one word carves out depth in my life. My past word of the years include compassion, gratitude, laughter and quiet.

In 2016, I wrote extensively about my choice pause and how I found the meaning mindful – the act of stopping for a few seconds, a minute or even a day to add a slow tempo to my words or actions. In my year-end thoughts about pausing, I said this, Pausing created a purposeful way of thinking or acting – the assumption is to linger in a moment, letting it be, without rushing to the next second. It encourages sinking into the present, without turning to the past or hurrying toward the future. The momentary act of stopping enhances the happier moments, but also exaggerates the melancholy of despair. It’s unforgiving, consistent and unrelenting in its intention.

Pausing paved the way for narrowing down my word of the year. It allowed me to focus on what mattered the most and helped to identify where I needed to pay attention, which included places of goodness, struggle and melancholy. I didn’t meet important milestones last year because I tended to stumble when a certain endeavor became too hard or I sacrificed personal goals for a lesser pursuit. When I failed, it’s because I didn’t stay the course – I’ve always gravitated toward immediate gratification and its become detrimental in achieving goals which require a longer commitment. This reflection reminded me of Gretchen Rubin’s quote, “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”  I realize this is truer than ever in midlife.

A combination of pausing and contemplating gave birth to my 2017 word the year. I choose consistency. 

In midlife, the unraveling of time taunts, the reminders that there are more years I’ve left behind than are ahead. That means I don’t have the luxury of eating well once in a while or working on my manuscript when I feel like it or paying attention when it is convenient or meditating when it is easy. The persistent push is what makes those daunting goals achievable and provides accountability.

I am choosing this year to be a more consistent person, writer, reader and runner. This might mean writing when I am upset with the process or running when I’ve had a late night the day before or paying attention to my mothering when a million other tasks are on my mind. Will I falter in trying to forge consistent pathways? I am certain of it, but I hope to arrive at answers on how to quickly regain momentum when this does happen.

Here is to a year with one word in mind – consistency.

Do you choose a word of the year? What do you think about the word, consistency? Please share your thoughts. 

Image: ~ Spider Web ~ by Stuart Williams via Flickr.