“Your journey begins with a choice to get up, step out, and live fully.” Oprah Winfrey
I no longer do New Year’s resolutions. I stopped that several years ago, replacing them with goal-setting, which is sort of like resolutions but just sounds like something you can keep longer than January.
But in recent years I’ve ditched that too and have focused on one theme for each new year. It’s sometimes a single word, phrase or idea that I focus on living by each year. I’ve found this to be more effective. The truth is, resolutions or goals don’t really change us. They can change our habits, they can change our diets, our careers, or the number of the scale, but most resolutions don’t transform who we are. Living by a theme does. It transforms your life and character.
In the past, some of my themes were Live a Better Story (2012), Sacrifice (2013), and Don’t Plan it, Do It (2014), and each one has changed me. Those themes became embedded into my character, so much so that I subconsciously still live by those principles.
This year my theme is to live fully.
That phrase is often used as a cliché and can be vague, but it’s become a clear mandate for me.
Last year I wrote a couple posts about death and how it helps us filter what’s important in life. Thinking about our mortality pushes us to do the things that matter most to us. That, essentially, is what living fully is to me.
It’s realizing, as David Crowder Band once sang, that “life is happening, and it means everything.” This is not our practice life. It’s the only chance we get. So I can’t waste time on doubts, worries, insecurity, unforgiveness, fear, or selfishness.
I can’t hold back or delay desires and ambitions for “next year,” “sometime in the future,” or “one day.” Someday may never come. I don’t know what the future holds. But for now, I have 2015, and I must live it fully.
I can’t sacrifice relationships for my schedule. No one gets to the end of his/her life and says: “I spent too much time with family and friends.” Life is about the moments we make and the bonds we share with others.
Living fully is tasting life for all that it is. It’s loving, connecting, listening, learning, forgiving, understanding, risking, and embracing. It’s being fully engaged with the people and the work we love. It’s the theme that will guide my decisions and actions this year.
What does living fully look like to you? If you were to choose a theme for 2015, what would it be? I’d love to hear your heart.