I came across an idea called “word for the year”. The concept behind this is to pick a word that encapsulates what you hope to achieve this year and use it to inspire you (there is a good explanation for this idea from Sandra Pawula here). My word for 2011 was “courage”. I felt as if I needed to break out of my everyday routines and try new things. I also had so many ideas for things I wanted to try and needed the nerve to start trying some of them. I didn't have a word for 2012, but the word that would have been best for me last year was “patience” – being pregnant for most of the year meant that I was struggling to get along rather than rush to try new things (with two new babies in the family, a third due and my sister’s wedding, maybe “celebrate” could have been a good word too for last year).
My word for this year is “discipline”. I have lots of willpower and can be good at getting things done, but I often lack the mindfulness to stick to good routines and habits. I have also realised you can be good at something, but if you don’t have the discipline to stick with it, or even start it, you are not going to be very successful in anything you attempt.
There are a number of areas in my life I feel the need to bring this word:
Spending - I have been thinking lots about what we consider necessities and what actually are necessary. I have a strong urge to live more simply, buy less, consume less and teach my children to be less materialistic and wasteful. I need to be stronger in the face of the impulse to buy something just because i feel like it and think through purchases.
Diet - I don’t believe in short spurts of dieting, but I do believe in making incremental, permanent changes to our diets as we move towards healthier diets which are more consistent with the sunnah (tradition) of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him):
“Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.” - Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah
I love food too much and I eat too much, I also eat too many of the wrong types of food: chocolate, fizzy drinks, pizza, burgers, kebab rolls, which I think you can get away with when you are 18, but not so much when you are 33. So I need to be mindful every time I make the decision to put something into my mouth and try to eat less but healthier food. So far I have made the switch from sugar to natural sweetener. Next step is cutting down meat consumption.
Health – I was close to the ideal weight I wanted to be before I was expecting Darling. Now I am quite a lot heavier. I have had a few people say it suits me in the face and I don’t mind being a bit bigger, but my sore knees don’t like it and I would prefer to be stronger and fitter. Hopefully now that hubby is back tomorrow insh’Allah, we can go walking together or I can leave the baby with him and go power-walking with my little sister.
Children – I have been working to try and get mealtimes, bedtime routines, homework times and Quran lessons to set times. This is coming along well. Now I am working with Little Lady to come up with a plan to prepare for 11+ exams later this year and agree parameters around computer usage with the kids as this causes endless squabbling.
Time – I am starting my Arabic course tomorrow and with four children, I will have to keep an eye on how i use my time and avoid activities which eat up time unnecessarily such as too much time on the internet or in the shopping mall.
Discipline around the kids will be the easiest as this is the most important for me, discipline around spending a little more challenging and around bad eating habits even more so.
“Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” - Abraham Joshua Heschel
What would your word for 2013 be?