2014 will be the year of ...

As I've mentioned in previous posts, in 2013 I chose to focus on one word, rather than a list of resolutions, to inspire my actions. My word for 2013 was brave and every month I tried to do an intentionally brave act (like chopped off my hair, ran our first half-marathon, watched tons of scary movies, etc). November was a bit tricky with an unfortunate ER visit and especially difficult half-marathon, so this month I'm hoping to squeeze in a few especially brave acts to wrap up this fun, interesting, challenging year. Keith chose the word focus for 2013 which being such a broad topic, was especially difficult to come up with monthly acts. I think his best examples of being more focused were starting to make task lists and using the SimplyUs calendar app to track our joint plans. I'll share a recap of how my December brave acts go at the end of the month, but for now, I thought I'd share what words Keith and I have chosen for the upcoming year. And as a special treat, my husband will be guest blogging today to share his 2014 choice and reasons behind it.

My word for 2014 is peace. For months I planned to use the word health and focus on mental, spiritual and physical health, but I started to worry I might get wrapped up too much in the physical part. Then I thought about the word joy but ultimately wasn't as inspired by the idea of coming up with something joyful every month. I feel like the word peace encompasses both health and joy. If the intention for 2013 was to ultimately be more brave, then the intention of 2014 is to be more at peace with myself and others.

Some of my ideas so far for monthly peaceful acts, are learning to meditate, writing in a journal every night for a month, getting off social media for a specific timeframe (except maybe this blog), reading books on various forms of peace and peaceful movements, removing negative words from my vocabulary (quieting the mind), etc. I'm excited about the idea of heading into my 30s in 2015 as a braver and more peaceful person, and am looking forward to the challenge of quieting my inner demons and learning to just be.

Hello everyone on the Internet. This is Keith, Alanna's loyal husband and wise-cracking sidekick. I'll skip the detailed and uneventful intro as I know the Mrs has mentioned me many times on this blog previously, but before I begin I must beg your patience, as this is my first foray into the world of blogging. It's a strange and frightening experience, yet also exhilarating. I have a tendency to get lost in my own verbiage so I'll aim for brevity.

The word I've chosen for 2014 is accomplishment. In essence, it will be the year of "gettin' it done". I am a procrastinator of the laziest order and have a backlog of projects mounting ever higher on my to-do list. These range from personal creative projects that never came to fruition to anniversary gifts half-completed and regrettably abandoned. I hang my head in shame at these multitudinous failures. But no more, as next year I will commit myself to the completion of all these, and many more undertakings. As Alanna mentioned, my word this year was focus. It's something I certainly lack in, and it would have made a wonderful target to aim for, but unfortunately it was too general and I had a difficult time finding specific tasks to help challenge myself. And so, my year was even less focused than the one prior. But, with accomplishment on my mind, I'm hoping to assign myself a different task to finish each month. 

I assume that there are many others out there like myself, who need the threat of deadlines looming to finally commit themselves to completing what they've started. So this is mine, and perhaps yours too, wake-up call. I hope that you loyal readers will help hold me accountable for the promises I make here. And I hope to lean on you all, just a bit, so that each month I can return as a guest blogger (if Alanna ever let's me hijack her blog again), regale you with whatever monthly accomplishment I achieved, and proclaim loud and proud I "GOT IT DONE!Thanks for reading. Now I can hand this back over to the professional.

Keith and I are excited to head into 2014 with the words peace and accomplishment in mind. And I hope perhaps this practice of ours may have inspired a few of you to follow suit. If so, we'd love to hear what words will inspire your actions and choices in the next year. Also, if you have any ideas that we might want to consider as part of our monthly practice to fulfill our own words, we're always open to ideas. Please be on the lookout for future Keith/Alanna shared posts in 2014. In the meantime, happy December and stay warm out there!