It is the first week of 2018.
New Year Resolutions are fresh on everyone’s minds.
We know the routine of setting resolutions at the New Year, committing to be a newer and better person in the upcoming year. Some people see their resolutions through but most people don’t. It’s just the nature of the beast of Resolutions. We have these awesome and lofty plans to make ourselves better people and a fresh new year is the perfect companion to becoming a fresh new person.
I get it….totally. I used to make loooooong lists at the start of the year of all the Resolutions for the year. And guess what? I would never get any of the items done in the year. NEVER is a rather strong and absolute word but it is true in this situation. I don’t think I have ever hit any of my resolutions by the end of the year.
Then I learned about setting habits into place instead of resolutions or goals. Each day I focus on the habit I want to improve that year or quarter or whatever. Last year, I wanted to read more. I did set a goal to read 12 books and slew that goal with 22 books in 2017 . But, the cool thing is that I didn’t focus on meeting the book goal. I focused on making time each night to sit down and read instead of watching TV or scrolling social media.
Then I heard about setting a focus word for the year. You have probably seen people already writing about their WORD for the year. This is when you choose a theme for the year for a characteristic you want to exemplify or live out or grow in your life. You can learn more about this practice by reading the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life I have especially noticed words such as BOLD, SIMPLIFY, GRATITUDE, FOCUS, HEALTH, FOCUS, and PRAISE.
I confess I hadn’t really been thinking about my goals or habits for 2018 nor had I picked a word for the year. I knew I wanted to keep up the reading and writing and I have a marathon coming in November 2018. But, other than those things I hadn’t thought very hard about it.
All the while I’ve been learning about the word, GRIT.
I remember watching a TED Talk by Angela Duckworth about how she has found that talent is not necessarily the indicator of success but rather it is GRIT. It is the people who stick to a goal through to the end come Hell or High water. That is Grit. Those are the people who don’t give up when it gets hard and the passion is gone. Those are the people who are willing to give up comfort in the short term so that an amazing goal can be achieved in the long term.
GRIT: Being willing to give up short-term comfort so that a big goal can be achieved in the future. Click To Tweet
Then I heard a podcast by Trail Runner Nation on Grit. I listened to world-class ultrarunners discuss what it takes to run 100 + mile races. The consensus was that it wasn’t exactly all about having the perfect athletic body. While training and some degree of athleticism are required, it is GRIT that gets people to the finish line of such long races. It is the runners who can puke in the bushes and keep going. It is the runners who can turn off the thoughts that say, “QUIT! GIVE UP NOW!” over and over and over and over. It is the runners who are willing to run in just about any weather condition. It is the runners who show GRIT on the course who finish the races. And it is the runners who especially appreciate the tough races because those races prove what they are truly made of.
And then I learn from some of the great writers of the past that it was GRIT that got their first book published and it was GRIT that got every book after that published. The main quality that I see in the writers of the past that I consider my mentors is the HABIT of writing every single day whether inspiration strikes or not. They also showed the GRIT to keep writing even when their words went unnoticed. It is the GRIT of putting out quality content over a long period time that makes for successful writers. It is a passion for the art and the willingness to give up comfort now for the reward of success in the future.
2018 One Word = GRIT Click To Tweet
As I was learning about GRIT I came to the realization that I have pursued comfort for much of my adult life. Sure, I would do hard things like running two half marathons, swimming a mile in a lake, and sweating it out in the gym. The truth, though, is that those were phases that would come and go. Ultimately, I wanted comfort. When any pursuit got seemingly difficult I would stop and move on to the next. I did not exhibit GRIT in any of my pursuits be it a career or reading or fitness. Comfort was far more important to me than any goal achieved.
Where did that get me, though?
It got me with a tall list of careers I’ve started and quit. It got me starting and stopping my passion for writing more times than I can count. And it got me almost 40 years old with a long list of goals and dreams I’ve never thought possible.
The truth is that comfort was killing me slowly.
I’m tired of comfort.
Comfort feels good and comfy now but that feeling is not sustaining.
Comfort does not offer that sustaining feeling that says, ‘Well done. You did not give up. Look at what you did!”
I’m done with comfort.
It is time to go after GRIT.
I have learned a lot about how to grow muscles over the years and it is time to grow the GRIT muscles.
So, my ONE WORD for 2018 is GRIT.
Growing my GRIT is what’s going to get me to the finish line of a full marathon in November 2018 and GRIT will be what grows my dream of being a writer. GRIT will also be what gets me to my goal of reading 30 books this year. Grit will stop me from being the one who runs away from difficult conversations. It is GRIT that will make all my dreams come true.
I am excited about the next year. It will be an uncomfortable year but I know I will be a much better and stronger person for it. And I’m even more excited to have my sister-in-law joining me in adopting her ONE WORD as GRIT. She wrote about choosing GRIT as her ONE WORD over at her blog.
I would LOVE to hear what your ONE WORD will be this year!! Please share in the comments so I can cheer you on!
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