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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Word of the Year 2014

It's become a tradition for me to choose a guiding word each year. It's less of a resolution and more of a quality or goal or something I want to bring into my life.

Some years the word has worked out better than others. Last year I chose "balance" and in a minute you'll see that this year's word isn't unrelated. I didn't really achieve balance last year, although I made steps in that direction. I would say the idea did guide some of my decisions as I ended a work contract that was causing a lot of stress. I filled that void with more work, but it was work I enjoyed. I suppose ideally I would've filled that void with some of the personal projects I never took time for but I'll have to work on that this year.

In 2014, my word will be refine.

Main Entry: re·fine
Pronunciation: \ri-ˈfīn\
Function: verb

1: to remove the unwanted substances in (something)
2: to improve something ( an idea, method, system, etc.) by making small changes

related words: purge, simplify

Let me explain.

My goal is to refine my life by refining my priorities, my schedule, my things.

Priorities need to be narrowed down first, and I've already made some solid progress on that front: my writing/creative outlets, my health, my relationships, my freelancing. I've refined my priorities, deciding which things are most important and need to come first.

Next, I can work on fitting those priorities into my schedule, which is where I failed miserably last year. I knew what was important in 2013 but I never quite managed to reflect that in my daily activities. I need to refine my working habits and use of time. It wasn't that I didn't have enough time last year or that I needed to do fewer things. It was that I didn't use my time wisely.

As for my things, this one is about refining through organizing, simplifying, and purging. There may be more about this in future posts (!!!) but I'm in a place right now where I'm very motivated to get rid of all of our extra stuff. I want to keep the things we value, the things we need. The extra things are just clutter, both in our home and in our mind. Eventually, in a moving truck and in a possibly smaller living space. So it's a huge priority to make regular progress in refining my things.

So 2014 is about refinement for me as I attempt to focus on the things that matter most and not get caught up in the things that aren't as important or I can't do anything about.

And before you think that sounds like all work and no play? It's precisely so I can play. I'm looking forward to writing and I have another creative project I've been trying to fit in since last Fall. I'm also hoping to get in a nice trip this year, maybe to Europe. Time nomming my nieces and nephew is a priority as well and that's always a blast for Aunt Cate as long as she doesn't break the baby (I've only broken one out of three - I think those are good odds).

What's ahead for you in 2014? It could turn into quite the year here. Wishing you happiness and health, whatever else 2014 has in store for you!

4 comments:

TMC said...

I could definitely use some work in the refinement area as well. It always feels like there are big obstacles to what we want to be and do but with a little fine tuning, we can see the problems broken into pieces and as more manage-able. But since my word is Begin, I can admit that even 7 days into the new year, I'm back to procrastinating. Meh.

Karen S. said...

Gosh, I know my life could use a whole lot of refining too! Perfect choice.

Eloquent Obi said...

nice word! i am sure you will live up to it this year!

Nessaa E. said...

Great word! That's something I need to start doing in my life as well.

The word I chose this year was trust, I wrote about it on my blog if you'd like to check it out! :)
xo,
http://iwriteaboutyou.blogspot.ca/2014/01/my-2014-word-of-year.html