Last year, in place of resolutions (but not goals, I love me some goals) I decided to set a word that would guide my year. In case you have not run across this practice before, there are a number of great essays on the reasons for it, including this one from Elise, and this one from Rachel (and a recap). There’s also a workshop done by Ali Edwards, which I sort-of took part in over the last year. (Eventually I realized it wasn’t the route for me, but your mileage may vary.)
My word for 2014 was build. And so, I built. I continued building my role at A Practical Wedding, Ivana and I relaunched Good Dogs & Co. in February and worked hard to get a solid foundation in our first year.
In the end, what I wanted out of 2014 was stability. After years (and years) of ups and downs, job losses and changes and jumping from apartment to apartment, I just needed some time to breathe, and take stock. The word build was a chance to keep the ball rolling, but at a pace that didn’t feel so…manic. It was a good year—a year to enjoy a sudden influx of vacation time, a year to settle into job roles instead of railing against them. I’ve spent the last 365 days feeling very content, quietly and calmly fitting together the proverbial Lego pieces of my life, and then sitting back and being pleased by the progress.
For a little while, I thought my 2015 word might be better. At the heart of most things, I do basically want this year to be a bit like last year…but better. But it didn’t have the same impact as a verb might. The fit wasn’t quite right. I thought about repeat as another option, but what I’m looking for isn’t a repeat of last year. Last year was great; it was a breath of fresh air. But I want something different this year, another year where changes feel more palpable, more known. It’s hard to explain, but I can tell 2015 will not be a year for sitting back, or taking stock.
My main goal for 2015 is improvement. I’m about eighteen months shy of thirty now, and I don’t feel like I need (or want) to make any enormous life changes. (Or perhaps it’s that my Saturn Return has already passed.) However, to be a little cliche, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Plenty of room to build (ha!) onto what I’ve started.
And so my word for 2015 is perfect.
Think about the word perfect, as a verb. To perfect is not to actually be perfect—only to strive towards that goal. It’s like practice, but with a degree of trying a little harder every time. For me, it’s the action, not necessarily the end goal. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to achieve the status of perfect cook, employee, wife, pet owner, freelancer, etcetera. But striving towards that goal will make me more progress than just the act of practicing daily.
After spending 2014 on a plateau of sorts, it’s time to keep moving. Onward and upward!