2021: The Year of Staying Present

I am a big lover of words and quotes. I have always loved writing, words, conversation, speech, etc. so, it is crazy to me that I had never heard of establishing a “word of the year” until 2021!!

My favorite YouTuber, Jessica Braun, recently discussed her word of the year for 2021 in her recent Coffee Chat Get Ready with Me. She described it as setting an intention for yourself, like that one word is something you will repeat in your head to stay on track with a goal you have.

I absolutely fell in love with the idea. I love goals and intentions and I love words so it was only natural that I loved the idea!

I asked myself, what would my word for 2021 be? What would I like to focus on? How I would like to grow? And suddenly an overwhelming amount of thoughts ran through my head. “There are a lot of ways I’d like to grow…. There are a lot of things I’d like change about my myself… I wish I was more… I wish I was less…” I felt exhausted. And that’s when it came to me… instead of focusing on how I want to change, I want to focus on who I am right now, where I am right now and enjoy the life that I’ve been given.

Present.

My word of the year is “present” because I want to stay in the present. I want to live for the day ahead of me, rather than worry about days down the line. Of course, I’m still going to work on my goals, but I’d like my mindset to change. Instead of saying “these are my goals and I will be happy and successful when I accomplish them,” I’d like to recognize all that I have in my life right now and be happy and grateful for how far I’ve come.

All too often lately, I find myself fixated on the milestones I have yet to hit; moving out, advancing my career, finding love, getting married and having kids. Because that’s what’s next on the traditional checklist given to us by society. I have always been so worried about the future, so worried that I might not get to where I’m supposed to be going.

I am so tired of thinking that way, because frankly, who am I to say I’ll be given those days? I’m spending the gift of each of my days by planning and worrying about days that I might not be given. I don’t mean to be morbid, but life is shorter than we think it is. I want to live in the moment, be grateful for the present and maximize my days.

I’ve definitely noticed this in myself before, that I tend to focus on the future or the past too much rather than appreciating the present. And it’s amazing to me how when I look back on my life and really think about it, I had some fantastic moments and memories, but in that moment, I wasn’t present. In some cases, I can remember feeling  worried I wasn’t good enough and how I might change in the future and “things would be better” or reminding myself of something in the past and how things had changed “for the worse.” In either case, I was not present or appreciative of the moment.

So my goal this year is to slow down and to appreciate the moment.

And having the word “present” float through my head, I think will be the perfect reminder that in this moment, I am exactly where I am meant to be.

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