Just one word to focus on during the upcoming year.
It’s been a trend every January and I’ve always found it interesting to read how other people have come up with their one word.
I chose a word back in 2014 and by the end of that year I forgot what the word was!
So will 2019 be any different for me?
Choosing one word is so popular that even our pastor talked about the practice in his sermon on Sunday, 12/30. He suggested we choose a word to preview the upcoming year. My husband and I decided that every one in my family must pick a word. Personally, I wanted a word that would encompass many of the things I’d like to accomplish this year.
My word for 2019 is REDUCE.
1. I want to reduce our debt by paying off our last non-mortgage loan.
Our main financial goal is to pay off our last non-mortgage loan. It was a goal in 2018, but high medical bills and other financial challenges hindered our progress. My plan is for 2019 to be different.
2. I want to reduce our clutter/stuff by getting rid of the things that cramp our small home and aren’t really that important to our quality of life.
3. I want to reduce distractions by limiting my screen time and social media.
I LOVE Instagram and Facebook, but spend way too much time on both platforms. I follow all sorts of celebrities and athletes on Instagram and I’m sure a fair amount of what they post is staged, but I still get sucked into their world. I recently just put a 30 minute screen limit on my phone for social media and hopefully that will help me reduce my time spent on a daily basis.
4. I want to reduce my impact on the environment.
Two things have happened recently that encouraged me to think about environmental changes I can make in my life. Back in December, I read the book, Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste. (This is my referral Amazon link, but I found the book at the library.)
The author, Bea Johnson, chronicles her journey of zero waste living through 5 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot. She has a very clear line in the sand about her family’s waste and doesn’t even own a trash can. She is quite extreme, but I found her lifestyle so interesting. She made me think a lot about things I can do to reduce unnecessary waste in my life and home from changing how I grocery shop to rethinking one-use plastics and other non-recyclables that I encounter.
Around the same time I was reading this book, my family and I watched a segment on 60 Minutes about cleaning up the plastic that is devastating the coastlines of the Earth’s oceans. It was a heartbreaking segment and I felt it was more than coincidental that I was reading Zero Waste Home at the same time. Plastic can damage our environment when it is not recycled. It can end up on our pristine coastlines and in the bellies of marine life. The problem with plastic at the moment is that there isn’t a market for the recyclables. Previously, our plastic recyclables were being sent to China and they no longer want it, so our country’s plastic is piling up at recycling centers and most likely ending up in the regular trash heap.
5. I want to reduce my consumption of sweets and desserts.
I have a very serious problem with sugar. For the month of January, I am eliminating foods where sugar is the primary ingredient, such as desserts, sugary drinks, pastries, etc. I asked a friend to join me and we text each other daily to support one another’s struggles.
I spent most of the holidays baking cookies, eating cookies that others gave us, and dreaming of cookies that I’d like to try. However, I made it through the ice cream aisle yesterday at GIANT with nothing falling into my cart. It was a good day!!
This will be a challenge for me.
6. I want to reduce my half marathon time to less than 2 hours.
I ran my 10th half marathon in 2018 and have 2 more races planned for 2019. My average time for half marathons is about 2:05. However, I ran a half marathon in less than 2 hours once back in 2013 with a time of 1:57.
It’s been a few years and I’m no spring chicken anymore. In fact, I turn 50 in 2019. In the past, I’ve trained just enough to get through the 13.1 miles. Now I will need to add speed drills and workouts to my routine to hit this time. The physical and mental challenge will be good for me.
REDUCE is my word for 2019. I made a sign to hang on my closet door as a daily reminder that I have a big year planned. I don’t want to get to December 2019 and wonder where the year went and have forgotten all about everything I was trying to accomplish. Did you pick a word for the year? Share it in the comments.