A Word for the Year: Committed


That’s my word of the year.
A word of the year helps me set a direction and follow-though on things I know are important and take time. Choosing one word can be challenging, but this year it came to me effortlessly and felt right. Here’s how this year's word arrived: having had some health challenges lately, I was reminiscing about times in my life when I felt my best. For me, this means having abundant energy, joy and focus, and feeling strong physically. To sum it up, when I am at my best:

  • I can't wait to lace up my running shoes and get out on the trail
  • Ideas flow and I'm often at my white board inventing new models and solving problems
  • I sleep deeply and have vivid dreams
  • I meet the day (including all of its challenges) with an open heart and mind

This is the ME that I want to be. I have a few strong memories of feeling this way (let’s call it being “in my zone”) for extended periods of time, so I looked for what was common among those experiences.

  • Many were associated with travel—the ups and downs that happen when many shades of discomfort (and joy) are present 
  • Some came from working hard to stay afloat amidst challenges and burdens 
  • Others were associated with periods of significant change when I KNEW I had to be clear and calm to make good decisions

One thing was common to all of those experiences—a COMMITMENT to proactively care for myself.  It's a survival mechanism of sorts.

I can cope with difficulty best when I have good physical and mental health. But my best health takes time and effort. COMMITMENT makes the focus clear: self-care as a priority rather than an after thought.

After all, doesn’t every day have a fair bit of challenge to it? And isn’t it JUST AS CHALLENGING to feel mediocre and drained most of the time? Wouldn’t I feel better every single day if I actually committed to doing the very specific things that keep me in a better physical, emotional and mental state?

Honestly, it suddenly felt silly to even imagine skipping over the simple practices that help me be at my best, including:

  • Practicing a few minutes of silence and intention-setting in the morning
  • Moving and stretching my body every day (preferably in the morning)
  • Staying hydrated
  • Choosing nourishing foods
  • Reading and listening to things that inspire me
  • Honoring strong boundaries around things that feel toxic to my mind and body

Why on earth would I NOT do these things when I have experienced—viscerally—how much better life is WITH them? Why am I not 100% COMMITTED, every day, to these simple actions that yield such amazing results?
This year I will be exploring:

  • What does it feel like to truly COMMIT to the powerful actions that lead to being “in my zone"?
  • When does resistance show up, and what excuses do I make for not following through?
  • What will result from keeping this promise to myself?

Life—today—is not a dress rehearsal. Let's commit to being as fully engaged as possible. When we are at our best, we're better parents, spouses, siblings, leaders, friends and neighbors.


When are you at your best? What actions/practices unlock YOUR full potential?

(Thank you to Dingzeyu Li for the image from Unsplash!)

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