I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I find anytime a goal is forced by someone else’s time frame that it rarely works out. That’s not to say that I don’t regularly set goals or have a bucket list; it’s just that I realize  for a goal to be meaningful, it has to have relevance. So, I have always just blown off the idea of new year, new goals.

I was intrigued, however,  when I read this blog post from Bill Ferriter, In One Word, I Will Challenge.  I hadn’t seen the One Word project before, but I liked it.

It seemed simple enough, find one word that would be my daily focus for the year. How hard could that be? Well, harder than I thought. I read Bill’s post more than  three weeks ago, and I’m just now deciding on the ‘right’ word.

My first word was reflection. That seemed like a good choice until I realized that this is something I do naturally, reflecting on what I read, what I see, and what I do.

Next I thought about drive. I mean Daniel Pink’s book by that name is one of my favorites, and I love his idea that “mastery attracts precisely because mastery eludes.” I entertained this one for just a moment before realizing that I have always been driven.

Then I thought about balance. The idea of focusing on how to balance all the things I have going seemed like a good idea. But then I realized that I’m really not happy unless I’m busy, so maybe I already have balance that works for me. It may look like the circus guy spinning plates to other people, but for me it’s normal.

I finally settled on present. For 2013, I will focus on what is happening at this moment, here and now.

I will focus on being present for my family. Sometimes I’m ‘here’ but not really ‘here’. I will do this so that C doesn’t tell me again that Harry Chapin’s Cats in the Cradle reminds him of all the things I do instead of spending time with him.  I will focus on listening with my eyes and my mind as much as with my ears.

I will focus on being present with the task at hand. This means paying attention to the subtle details of a plan, a lesson, a conversation rather than thinking ten steps ahead.

I will focus on the present moment. Rather than looking back at what might have been or looking forward to what might be, I need to look at what is.

I will focus on the present and heed the words of Emerson, who said,  Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow
is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to
be encumbered with your old nonsense.