We are hardly a week into the new year. And just like the other millions of people on this planet, I am thinking about how I want to spend my time in the new year and how to delegate my goals, plans, and thoughts. I am a reflective person by nature, but I think that feeling of needing to get in tune with myself magnifies this time of year.
I found myself thinking about where I began discovering who I am. I was reminded of the mantra many of us lived by during high school. “Dream. Dare. Do.” There is no denying that I am a dreamer at heart. I may not be daring by definition, but I have gotten out of a few comfort zones. This brings me to do. It is such a small word, but its impact can be huge. As I scrolled mindlessly through Facebook this week, I saw a post from a new friend I met through traveling to California. She posed the question, “what is your personal word of the year?” This was the motivation I needed to adopt do as my theme for the year.
As a partner post to this one, she also invited her fellow Facebook friends to join her in making a vision board. I am not the craftiest person, but I loved this idea and decided to run with it. I know some people go all out for these, and I wish I were that kind of person, but I am not. I tackled this project the only way I know how to: with words. And, so my reflection continued.
I thought about words that meant something to me. I wanted to embody themes for the year that I could stay true to and show achievement in some aspect. Pinterest is often my partner in crime, and I was on a mission to match quotes to serve as a reminder each day to have these themes I chose for myself in the forefront of my thoughts and actions.
Do. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
This is where it all begins. I want to be able to look back on 2018 and be able to list off the things I did, and not just have a list of things I should have, could have, and would have done if all of the conditions were perfect. Excuses stand in the way of so many things. I am not willing to let excuses stand between me and achievements.
New Chapter. “What feels like the end is often the beginning.”
With graduation around the corner, I am thinking about the next step. As one chapter of life receives its conclusion, I am eager to begin writing my next chapter.
Apprehension. “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
I am not scared about the next chapter, but I do have my reservations about the magnitude of its importance. I know the only way to get through it is to face it head on, and that is what I will do. Going into any new situation has my thoughts racing, so I think I still have some work to overcome those apprehensions of tackling new beginnings.
Dedication. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
I would like to think that I have a good amount of dedication. I stick to my commitments and enjoy the process of seeing a project through to the end. Having dedication as a character trait speaks volumes about a person, and I hope to grow my dedication in all areas of my life further.
Empower. “Be a voice, not an echo.”
More than ever, I know empowerment needs to be on the playing field of this world. Having a voice is essential, and even if mine is physically absent at times, I must dig deep to use it through creative means. No matter what it takes, I will use my voice to spark change.
Mindfulness. “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”
Being mindful of what is going on may seem like a no-brainer, but is it? I may know what is going on, but I may not always be thinking about its implications on my life or the greater good of society. I hope to be more aware of the world around me and the contributions I am able to make.
Opportunity. “Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.”
I am eyeing some new opportunities. I am not quite ready to explicitly share them, but by hinting towards them will keep me accountable to follow through and make sure it happens. Sometimes, all it takes is a little leap and a lot of faith. Here it goes!
Ordinary. “With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”
I live a relatively ordinary life, and that is exactly the way I like it. There is nothing fancy about my little farm-town life. It keeps me grounded, so in that ordinary life I lead, it is important to make something of it.
Excitement. “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen it before.”
When I look at the day like this, it puts into perspective how exciting it is to live a day new. No one else has lived it before me, and I get to navigate through life with clear eyes and an open mind. It is so exciting to face a new day with a clean slate and see it play out moment by moment.
Career. “Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.”
Even though I have not officially started my career, everything I do between now and then will lead me to that dream job at some point. I need to take on the challenges each day, make progress, and feel good about what was done. And if I do not feel right about what happened on any given day, I must make a mental note of how to learn from the experience and know how to do things differently until I am content with the results of my actions.
My vision board would not be complete without my favorite Bible verse. Matthew 5:16 reads, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” I have loved this verse, and I think it will serve as a sharp reminder to keep me accountable for my actions and the reasoning behind them to serve my community with a humble heart.
The last few things I included on my vision board for 2018 are the words, grad, UT, SLP, and friend. The first three are a bundle. They all resemble the milestone I will reach this year, and symbolize the transition from my undergraduate education to my graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology. Last by not least, I included the word friend to always have in mind that I need to be there for my friends as they have been there for me. I am challenging myself to be a better friend and further developing my friendships with the people I have grown to love over the past years.
My vision board may not be fancy, but it resembles the things most important to me. I loved the time of reflection I set aside to work on this, and I found it valuable. It is one thing to say all of these things to myself at the start of a new year, but it is another to have it in writing and tangible object to look at. I am hopeful that 2018 is my year for something; it does not have to be big, but it needs to be meaningful. May 2018 be the year of action.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018