Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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My Word for 2015

466850191Well, 2015 is officially underway! Can you believe it! I work in event marketing, so we’re always a year ahead on the calendar. But nevertheless, when said year shows up on my doorstep, it still seems pretty surreal.

The New Year means a lot of things to a lot of people: new goals, new diet, new budget, etc. For me, one thing is always consistent. It means a new “word for the year” or theme. I love everything “new” (and a theme) so it’s always an exciting time for me to choose my new word. I usually start thinking about it sometime in November.

My word for the year is a very cherished tradition. My friend Daron had the idea to take a word and use it as a lens to view your year. Post where you can see it regularly, and it helps guide you navigate each day. This way you can look at a year proactively, instead of coming to the end of the year and only reacting to what happened. You engage your year more along the way. So a group of my friends and I have done this for years, sharing our word and accompanying Bible verse, checking in with each other throughout the year to see how it’s going, and then evaluating at the end. It has changed my years!

For 2015, I had an idea in mind, but couldn’t quite figure out how to articulate it. I came up with the word in December, but I had to let it marinate for a while to see if I’d keep it or find something more suitable. But as the end of the year came to an end, it seemed a good fit. And that word is FRAME.

Weird, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. It was out of the ordinary for me. I always try to pick a verb because I like the notion that it keeps me in motion, moving forward. But FRAME allows me both a verb and a noun—a two-for-one kind of word!

The original idea came from the concept of “margin” which I’d loved since my friend Mark retaught an Andy Stanley sermon series on the subject years ago. Create space, or boundaries, around things like time, money and relationships to allow for a buffer when the space is pushed beyond what you’re comfortable with. It’ll help you bounce back, or not make decisions you’ll regret. That’s kind of a lousy explanation, but hopefully you get the gist. So, “margin” became part of my group’s vernacular. It’s something I’ve since striven for, with sometimes good and sometimes not so good results. But I keep trying!

This past year really pushed against my boundaries, though, so I decided to make them a priority for 2015. I could take 30 minutes to explain the theme, and even make gestures to emphasize it with my hands, but until I came up with FRAME I couldn’t really condense it. And who has room for a soliloquy on their bathroom mirror?

FRAME gave me what I needed. And at the same time, in noun form, I think it helps me form a picture of what I want 2015 to be. See what I did there?

So, FRAME it is. And I think it’s a keeper. I’ve already started putting it into practice, and it’s doing it’s job. I’m really looking forward to the year ahead, and time to invest in this word along the way. Even though I don’t know what’s in store, I know it will allow me to give 2015 the perspective it needs.

And speaking of perspective, that leads me to my Scripture. I think this verse sums up how to FRAME my year.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:33 (NLT)


 

Typically, I just choose my word through prayer, Scripture, contemplation and conversation, but this year I came across a few resources that were fun to incorporate. I actually had no idea so many people did this same “one word” thing! So, I wanted to list them here for you in case you’re interested in starting this tradition and want a little guidance. The last few are just some great advice for ending one year well and starting the next one strong.

  • One Word That Will Change Your Life – I stumbled across this book when someone posted about their four-day reading plan with the YouVersion Bible on Facebook. Their book only takes about 45 minutes to read, and I suggest it as an accompaniment to the reading plan. The reading plan on its own is a little abrupt to get the full effect, in my opinion.
  • My One Word – This book is about four hours long, and is great if you want more direction, stories and Scripture.
  • Andy Stanley’s Breathing Room series – You can watch or listen via iTunes to this four-part series on finding margin in your life regarding time, money and relationships. He teaches this now and again under different names with a little different emphasis, but I found this one most helpful for where I am right now in life.
  • 9 Actions You Must Take to Reach Your Biggest Goals by Rick Warren – This two part article is exactly what you’d expect from Rick Warren, practical and wise. A good read.
  • Preparing for a Fantastic 2015 – I came across this blog a couple of years ago during my SIMPLIFY theme. This couple sold all their stuff to travel the world. They talked about cutting the clutter to follow their dreams, and well, that was about the only sales pitch I needed to follow them. 😉 I include this post of theirs, however, not because I think everyone should follow their dream, but I really like how they take the time to sit and evaluate their year with a specific process. And of course, as a married couple, I could see the benefit of doing this with a spouse to get on the same page. So, an extra bonus there for you duos.

Hope your 2015 is off to a great start! May you find joy, and a little margin, in it over the next 11 and a half months.

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I’d Never Pay That Much for ________

I feel like I’m reminded of this lesson every week. It may sound more like:

I’d never buy _______.

I don’t know why he/she would pay that much for _______.

She/He’s crazy for paying good money for ________.

 

But I think on a weekly basis, I hear it said in some form or fashion. People scoff at the money others spend on things that are important to them. I know I’ve made the comments a hundred times or more. I can’t imagine spending a lot of money on things like: pets, designer clothes, cars, outdoor equipment, a house, etc. However, there are a lot of things I love or deem important that I would spend a lot of money on such as: food/restaurants, coffee, movies, travel, gadgets, books, etc. It just depends on our own tastes and priorities, or maybe even experiences. We all have our own “things” and perhaps we should be more respectful of others. Or maybe at least aware.

It sort of reminds of when I’m flying and thumbing through the Sky Mall catalog. I find it utterly fascinating. Some of the items in there are so oddball, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to purchase them. (Giant, inflatable airplane pillow anyone?) But then I remind myself that they’re in there because someone else may. They may not be my choices, but they could be someone else’s—and that’s ok. We are each entitled to our own thoughts, opinions, choices and even “things”.

So next time you make a statement like, “I’d never spend money on _____,” just remember to each his own. Don’t judge someone else for what they spend their money on. We all make good, bad and sometimes just silly purchases.

I’m writing this out mostly because it’s still a good reminder for myself. As I grow in my love for activism and causes, I know I tend to judge others more harshly for things I don’t think are important. But I was once the other person, too. In fact, I’m still that other person a lot. And I still spend a lot of money on food/restaurants, coffee, movies, travel, gadgets, books and a whole lot more. But I’m trying to put more money into the things that I feel are worthy of it. I’m still going to make a lot of silly or bad choices, but I’m aware—and I’m making progress. And I know sometimes those “things” are just part of life.

I just hope to never let my “things” be the boss of me. Though, sometimes that latte comes close. 😉