Some years ago, a friend introduced me to the “one-word mantra” New Year Tradition. Her explanation for doing this was quite simple. While most New Year’s Resolution(s) rarely last beyond the month of January, she instead suggested choosing a single word to focus on throughout the year. The idea being, it is much easier and more practical to choose a ‘single word’ to focus on throughout the year instead of a resolution. Thus, your ‘one-word mantra’ as a theme for the year has the staying power that a typical New Year’s Resolution lacks. It all made sense to me and I have practiced this tradition ever since.
For example, in 2020 my one word was LISTEN. My thinking being, “When you listen, you learn. So, ‘shut up’ and start listening more.” But, as I contemplate my one word for 2021, I am seeing our world much differently. And so, I will be breaking with tradition. Out of necessity, I have decided to go to TWO words in 2021.
Why TWO words? Well, after what we have all been through in 2020, I find myself going into 2021 with a very different outlook about my life. One, the pandemic has taught us all a painful lesson – life is fragile and it can end in a heartbeat! We need to realize how very precious every life is and how special every day is. Clearly, we are NOT the ones in control. Second, and on a more personal level, while I am feeling like I’m 45 having lost 24 pounds in the past 4 months, I will turn a “youthful” 70 in 2021! 70 years old! That’s probably older than most of the trees in my backyard! But more importantly, my Dad passed away at 68 (congestive heart failure), my mom at 71 (brain cancer). And now I’m actually about to turn 70 this year? Yikes! And so, my two words for 2021 are…
That’s right. So for everything I think I should do, or say I’m going to do in 2021; I need to flat out do it…NO EXCUSES! So, what do I intend to do in 2021?
- I need to start each day in prayer, bringing myself closer to God in all that I do. NO EXCUSES!
- I need to continue to work on my sanctuary (1st Corinthians 6:19) and improve my physical health. You lose your health, you lose everything. NO EXCUSES!
- I need to be a better husband, father and grandfather committing myself to the most important people in my life EVERY day! NO EXCUSES!
- I need to remember the power of kindness. NO EXCUSES!
- I need to remember the influence of example. NO EXCUSES!
- I need to make the very most of the 86,400 seconds God gives me every day. (Psalm 118:24) NO EXCUSES!
- I need to remember to practice FORGIVENESS. NO EXCUSES!
- I need to remember to LOVE God, LOVE People. NO EXCUSES!
- I need to re-commit my heart, my soul and my mind to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, making my life a true ministry dedicated to God’s glory. NO EXCUSES!
- In all that I do, I just need to be a better version of me. NO EXCUSES!
If I learned anything in 2020, it was to quit making excuses! This isn’t a dress rehearsal and every day is a precious gift. So, I need to be a better version of me in all that I do.
How about you? What did you learn in 2020? Do you have a plan for making 2021 your best year ever? If not, maybe this is a good time to consider making one. After all, we know that life is fragile. All the more reason we need be at our best and make the most of our lives EVERY day….NO EXCUSES!
In the meantime, God bless us all. HAPPY NEW YEAR!