There’s something a bit pedestrian about my One Little Word for 2017. In the past, I’ve chosen big, inspiring words. Words that invite action and change. Words that celebrate meaning, wonder, connection.
Good words. Fine words.
But in 2017, I want to shift my focus away from those big things to the little ones.
How I spend the minutes of my life. What I prioritize. What I do. What I practice.
I believe in the practice school of living. Writing practice. Reading practice. Yoga practice. Gratitude practice. Meditation practice.
There is power in what we repeat. There is power in what we practice.
We become what we do daily.
I chose “daily” as my One Little Word to remind me that this day is what I have. It’s easy to plan to do more or to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll take care of myself. Tomorrow I’ll make more of an effort. I’ll open my notebook tomorrow. I’ll read more tomorrow. Whatever it is, I’ll start tomorrow.
But today is what I have.
In 2016, I became a once-or-twice-a-weeker. I’d exercise once or twice a week. Get a good night’s sleep once or twice a week. Write once or twice a week. Finish a book once or twice a week.
Once or twice a week is not the practice school of living. One surprise lesson of adulting: it’s harder to do things once or twice a week than it is to have a set time and routine to do those things daily. Exercising every day is easier for me than exercising once or twice a week. Writing every day is infinitely easier than opening my notebook and sitting down to write once a week. Once a week becomes once a month becomes once every few months becomes never.
In 2017, I want to focus on the small actions, routines, and rituals that give structure and shape to a life when they are repeated daily.
Movement. Words. Wonder. Gratitude.
I am attracted to daily challenges, to making the commitment to do a thing every day for a period of time. Write a poem a day. Practice yoga every day. Read a picture book every morning. Meditate for five minutes a day. But then I feel bad when I inevitably skip a day of practice. The chain has been broken. The magic feels lost.
“Daily” reminds me that well-being is a lifelong practice, not a monthlong challenge.
And so with my One Little Word for 2017, I set my intention to live within the space of each day, to practice well-being not once in awhile, not when I remember it, but now. Today.