This is the first time I’ve chosen one word for the year. It just came to me one night at the dinner table when I was with my family (you can read the full story here). My word(s) for the year is “spark joy.” Ever since I chose my one word for the year, it has been in the back of my mind as I go through my days – some more than others. I wanted to share with you how I’ve seen it influencing me in 2017 so far.
My One Word: Sparking Joy in the People Around Me
I live in a house full of boys. There is a lot of talk of memes, videos from silly youtubers, nerf gun wars, and quotes from movies or shows. Most of the time at dinner, I have no idea what they’re talking about. There’s a temptation to “zone out” and not engage.
Living my one word has encouraged me to stay connected – to watch the silly youtube videos and memes. Is it my favorite thing to do? No, but I want to spark joy in other people around me and watching and laughing with my kids is really important to them.
Another unexpected way this has influenced me is my attitude at work. It is really easy to grumble and complain at work when you’re with your co-workers. When I start hearing myself complain, I find myself thinking, “do you words and attitude spark joy in yourself or others, Angela?” It has helped me to stop and refrain from “fueling discontent”. What an unexpected gift that has been. It hasn’t stopped me completely, but I’m working on how I’m communicating with others through that lens.Did you choose a word for 2017? How has it influenced you so far? Here's my story Click To Tweet
My One Word: Making Decisions Through a Lens of Joy
I’ve been teaching in my church’s Sunday School for over a year now. I love trying to communicate the gospel stories and messages to the elementary students of our church. Living my word of the year made me pause though and evaluate if volunteering still “sparked joy.”
Was I continuing to do it out of obligation and because I knew they needed the help?
I realized after thought and prayer that teaching did “spark joy.” However, I realized, that the number of weeks they had me on the schedule did NOT “spark joy.” As a result, I’ve decided to volunteer fewer weeks than originally planned, and I feel really good about that decision.
My One Word: Doing things that Spark Joy in Me
When I chose my word for the year, I wrote that “my joy meter was rusty.” I heard back from several women that they thought their joy meter was rusty as well. I think this is pretty common in woman who are married with children. Often, everyone’s needs come before your own. Everyone else’s activities dominate your schedule and it feels like there is no time left to do anything that you had planned to nurture yourself.
One of the things that I’m doing to see what “sparks joy” is seizing opportunities that come across my path. Carpe Diem! I realized that in order to know what “sparks joy” – I needed to try new things. Two things that I’ve done so far is:
- applied for an international volunteer trip with my job. I think I want to travel internationally, but the last time I was out of the country was fourteen years ago! This seemed like the perfect opportunity to dip my toe in. I was interviewed and ultimately wasn’t chosen for this trip, but I’m going to apply again next time too. It was really freeing to apply just to see what kind of doors would open up. When they told me no, I wasn’t devastated – it was all done with an open hand and not a clenched fist.
- applied to be a seminar speaker at a local blogging conference, The Blog Connect. I am an introvert and I generally don’t like to get up in front of people. Yet when the opportunity arose to apply, I felt a nudge to do it. They accepted me, and I’ll be speaking about writing my first eBook! I’m excited about passing on what I know from my own experience, and sharing wisdom I’ve learned from other bloggers that I’ve discovered in the process. Will I love speaking? I have no idea – but I won’t know until I do it!
Those two things are “bigger” actions I’ve taken to explore what makes my joy meter move. Here are two of the “smaller” actions I’ve started adding to my life:
- watching movies that are based on true stories (love them!)
Three months in to 2017 I’m seeing definite and positive impact from choosing and living my one word. Did you choose a word for the year? How is it impacting you? If you didn’t – it’s not too late! Last summer we chose a word for the season. Let me know in the comments! I’d love to know!
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