I can’t believe it is already mid-January. After I reflected back on 2016 and pondered over what I wanted 2017 to look like, I shared with Leo on choosing a word to represent the year 2017. I was incredibly inspired by Megan and Mike at The Fresh Exchange. Their blog continues to be a source of inspiration to live a simple, beautiful life of intentions. Thank you! Here is their post on 2017 The Year of Quality. I love the idea of not having resolutions as it can turn into a “to do” list. Instead think about how you want to LIVE as a whole.
After conversations and hearing each other out, we decided on our word for this year to be COMMITMENT. At times this word can sound negative as it can be associated with the feeling of “must do this” or obligations. For us, we want to make this a positive word, with positive experiences. Whatever we say we are going to do this year, individually and together, we are going ALL-OUT. This is going to make us really be mindful of our commitments as it is easy to over-commit.
It will mean committing to LESS things to actually commit MORE WHOLE-HEARTEDLY. This is about being intentional, being all there, and it’s a year where we examine what’s important and what is not. Obviously it changes with circumstances and seasons of life. In the year 2017, what is important to us? What do we want our year to look like, as a couple and individually? What do I need to say no to? What are my values?
Here are my values-based commitments on the various aspects of my life: I will commit to…
1. COMMUNITY – doing life together with family & friends. My parents only live an hour away and we don’t see them nearly enough as we want to. When weekend comes around, sometimes all we want to do is sit at home and do house stuff. Certainly there are times when this is much needed, but being around family is always a refreshing time. We also want to grow in our relationships with our friends. This can be so simple as sharing a meal together at each others’ homes. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It’s about the company and living life together. I personally want to be more intentional with recent friendships that’s developed at work.
2. MARRIAGE – dating my spouse
Not too long ago, I heard a marriage talk on the radio and this particular statement still gets to me, “You don’t date to marry, you marry to date.” I think the truth behind this statement is that many of us stop trying once we are married. There are definitely many aspects of our marriage that is in constant need of work and grace, but this is what we are focusing on this year: dating each other. We commit to taking time aside and be in each others’ presence and date weekly. We are very happy with having a simple movie night at home, but sometimes going out is fun too. Whatever the activity, we hope to make new experiences together, laugh more, and make our marriage a priority – no matter how busy we get.
3. HEALTH – reclaiming my physical, mental, and spiritual health
Being physically active is who I am as a person. I love to run, practice yoga, hike, bike, and just be outdoors. When work gets a hold of me though, I feel completely drained and even depressed, I don’t make it a priority. In December, we renewed our yoga membership as a way to hold us accountable (and save money). I think what helps me the most is reminding myself how I FEEL after a yoga class/run/a long hike. I feel amazing. I feel strong. I feel energized and relaxed. I feel happy. Leo always tells me that I look the happiest after a sweaty yoga session.
In terms of mental and spiritual health, it really helps me to have some alone time in the morning before heading to work. My mind is the most clear in the morning and I enjoy its beauty and quietness. In the past years, I have wake up 30 minutes earlier to journal, read the Bible and pray. It has given me the strength and peace throughout the day. Year 2016 was not good. I would get up with just enough time to get ready and rush out the door. I know this is totally fine for many people and I wish it was for me, but it isn’t. Feeling of rushing to get to work has never worked for my mental health. This is also true for having some downtime before going to bed.
4. FINANCES – Finding freedom.
After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year, we had donated bags and bags of clothing, books, and dvds. The amount of clothing I was buying just because it was on sale was pretty embarrassing. Since then, I bought less than 10 pieces of clothing this past year. We plan to save more and be much more mindful about what we spend our money on. “What value will this add to our lives” and “what purpose will this serve” are the question we will ask to keep us in check with our intentions.
5. Work – Where Purpose, Passion, Skill comes together.
This is one of the many beautiful poems in milk and honey . I’m kind of having this on the back of my mind as I go to work each day. I know I am a skilled teacher and there is purpose to what I do, but there is no passion. It’s not a good feeling when you go into the office or wherever you work, and have this gut feeling this is not it. I am committed to spending this year figuring out my next steps. But, for the time being, I pray that I will give my 100% because it does matter, even if you intend to leave.
The Year of Commitment will keep us in check with our values and intentions. It is not about the list of thing we must do. It’s not about perfection. Rather, it’s about our efforts into doing more of what gives us purpose, and less of things that don’t align with our values. Also, I am learning and realizing that the most important commitment I will make this year is COMMITMENT TO THE NOW, even if this is a season I wish to rush through.