I’ve been back in Darmstadt for over a week now. Christmas at home with the family was fantastic. It was hard to leave my parents and friends at home to come back to Darmstadt, but I’m refreshed and prepared to finish what I started here.
Since a new year has begun, I’ve picked my New Year’s Resolution. It is a single word, using a New Year’s resolution program started by Port City Community Church, the church I went to during my internships in Wilmington, NC. That system is called My One Word. You pick a word that represents the growth you want to see in your life for this year.
My One Word for this year is story. As in, my life story is part of a big, exciting story God has planned out. I can sit inside on my computer all day every day and make my story dull and uninspiring, or I can get out, explore, meet new people, take (sensible) risks, and generally make the story of my life a good part of God’s bigger story.
I’m making a consious effort to get out of my apartment and interact with the world, in order to have more chances to develop my story. For instance, I’ve started running. I can’t run for very long at the moment, but even running as a beginner is more healthy than sitting in front of my computer. And it gives me more of a chance to see beauty in nature and to interact with the people around me. (Especially the people out walking their adorable dogs!) And I’m making travel plans for later this year, which means more chances to develop my story.
This word goes along with the word I picked for last year, which was go. Go, as in stop-worrying-about-how-the-semester-defining-conversation-with-this-professor-will-go-and-go-ask-him-your-question-already, and go as in go-take-a-risk-and-study-abroad. Those were my ideas for the way go would work in my life in 2011.
The ideas I have for why I choose a particular word each year aren’t always the same ideas I have about the word by the end of the year. By the end of 2011, I began to go out of my apartment and take a walk around town to distract myself from homesickness, I had had to go ask professors and teaching assistants for help or advice (in German), and I had gone on trips to see cities I may not get much of a chance to see again. I saw myself mature in the way I handled life situations by how I looked at the word go in January vs. in December. There were both victories and defeats, but I learned a lot.
When I went to Nürnberg for the Christkindlesmarkt, I decided that My One Word for 2012 would be story. I had had the idea bouncing around in my head for months. On the train ride, I read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. That book convinced me that I want to focus on making my life a better story in 2012. (Very good book, by the way. A friend of mine who also blogs quoted it on Facebook, and I knew I had to read it.)
So that is My One Word for this year: story. Want to pick a word for this year? Great! Here is the page with a guide of how to do so. I hope you find this approach to New Year’s resolutions as inspiring as I do. Best wishes for the new year!