By: pattihenderson

Jan 07 2018

tags: ,

Category: Weekend Adventures

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A new year is upon us. If you are like me, this reset of the calendar provides a chance to reflect on the year that has passed.What did I learn? What worked? What didn’t? How can I do better? Be better? Last year I decided to focus on adopting a healthier lifestyle. I then made (more often than not) decisions daily based on what “healthier” could look like. Each Saturday I would go on a nature hike to breathe in the fresh air, listen to the quiet sounds of the natural world and appreciate my surroundings. I located the gym in the bowels of my apartment building and visited it each evening for a half hour of cardio and twenty minutes or so of strength training. I walked down different aisles in the grocery store and chose healthier foods. It wasn’t long before I sensed a transformation happening in how I felt. Stronger! More capable on my hikes. And I slept better each night. A fractured elbow and sprained ankle in August put an unexpected pin in my daily physical activity plans but I’m now back in the groove and appreciating the positive effects of choosing that one word to bring clarity to my daily life. “Healthier” was my one word for 2017 and it remains a focus for this year.

Little did I know that focusing on one word was actually a “thing.” Each day when I take a wander through Twitter I learn lots of new things and over the holidays I noticed two hash tags popping up in my feed: #OneWord and #OneWord2018. When I followed that topic I learned about a movement based on a book that supports the notion that picking one word or intention to focus on each year is more powerful and lasting than our typical “resolutions.” My experience last year with this laser sharp focus on one word DID lead to a change in habits that is now lasting. So I have spent some time thinking about what my one word will be for this new year.

I have chosen “Grateful”. I took the photo above of some items that are on my parent’s farm hutch in my new apartment – my circle of gratitude if you will. I brought plants back to Toronto with me that had thrived in my apartment in BC. For the first time in my life I have experienced a green thumb moment and luckily these hardy plants survived the move east. I’m grateful for that! A good friend gave me lovely birch candle holders that I light each evening that represent some light on a dark night. And my dear cousin Marian sent me a hand-made Christmas card that brightens my hutch now that I have taken down my festive decorations for another year. This one will stay. Lastly, you can see a pretty pink journal that usually sits on my work desk in my home office. It is a gratitude journal. There is no special structure; I don’t have “5 things I’m grateful for each day”. I just sit at my desk each morning, take a deep breath and think about all the things in my life for which I’m grateful. I’ve been at it for a week and I find that I’m grateful for the simplest of things. A good cup of coffee. A work meeting that is creatively satisfying. Arriving at the gym and finding no one using my favourite piece of equipment :). But I’m also grateful for bigger things. My health. A much shorter drive to see my family. Good friends to spend time with. A job that stretches me.

In this hectic life, it is so easy to forget to say thank you yet it is such an simple, gratifying act. This year I intend to count my blessings and say thank you more often. One week in and my heart is fuller each day. I am endlessly grateful!

What will your one word be?