Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about 2011. And 2010 for that matter. As I said last year at this time, I’m a fan of resolutions. That said, I decided to do things a little differently this year.
For 2011, I’m not making a resolution. I’m simply choosing a verb.
I’m a big fan of verbs. What makes a sentence? A verb. What makes things happen? Verbs. What do I do when I’m running and bored? Think about guys I’ve hooked up with…or conjugate French verbs! What makes a good resume? Kick-ass verbs! From gerunds to present perfect, it’s a fine part of speech that serves us all very well. I only wish it had a more fun line in a sentence diagram — it totally deserves it.
Besides making shit happen, verbs are a very simple way to inspire. Verbs express action, so they can get us to do just that.
Before you do anything in life, you must select a verb. You can begin, or quit, or change. You can choose, share, trust, try, think, relax, open, hope, serve, speak, write, save, flee, organize, believe, commit, or give.
I actually wrote a college entrance essay on what single verb I would choose to represent me, and at the time, I chose play, to represent the way I always try to find a game in everything, and to seek out work that feels like play.
Although I didn’t officially choose a verb for 2010, one clearly chose me: own.
I realized last month that by simply applying “own it” to everything I did, I had a kick-ass year. I thought that perhaps this year, I should just choose a verb at the start. (Although I love how that one found me — and then found so many other people!) So instead of making a resolution, I’ve chosen a verb that represents everything I want for this year.
Invest reflects so many things I want to achieve this year. I want 2011 to be the year in which I learn to be patient. For the most part, I am not patient. For me, part of the “getting it” has always meant getting what you want when you want it. Sometimes it’s a good thing (hello, finding a job Texas in two weeks!) and other times it’s a bad thing (skipping workouts, binging on carbs, and then crash dieting).
Here are some of the ways I plan to use my verb this year…
Invest financially. Suze Orman would have a heart attack if she saw how little interest I have in saving money or paying off my credit cards. My biggest goal for 2011 is to invest wisely, which means when browsing Amazon.com, I will turn to my verb as a constant reminder to put my money to better use.
Invest in my home. You know how much I’ve been nesting lately, but one area I’ve been neglecting is my bedroom. I’ve been in Houston for six months — it’s about time I had some pictures on the walls! Without messing up my plans to invest financially, I want to make my bedroom look like more than a college dorm room. I can invest the cash I normally put in things like grabbing Starbucks or eating lunch out when I’m too lazy to pack it — not good investments — in things like a bookshelf, a mirror or picture frames, and some art for the walls.
Invest in real life. I never considered myself a time-waster, but I’ve begun to realize that some of the things that keep me busy on a regular basis aren’t necessarily the best investments. I’m the most plugged-in person I know, meaning my friends can always get ahold of me. That’s fine, but lately I’ve been finding that the extra “noise” created by always having my phone within arm’s reach is just too loud. I spend a lot of time reading blogs and e-mailing with other bloggers. While I love the Internet and love that I can connect with people anywhere and everywhere, I need to remember to invest in what’s real around me.
Invest a little time in my workouts. I’ve gotten better about sticking to a workout schedule, but I will always be the sort of person who likes to “get in shape for [insert big event here].” This year, I don’t want to do that. When I’m debating doing Core Fusion, I will use my verb to remind me to put in the work now, when it’s less painful. Instead of flipping out when a summer wedding rolls around, I’d rather know I’ve been investing in my body all year — no crazy amounts of last-minute boot camp necessary.
This will be a challenge. I don’t do well with delayed gratification — I never have. But I’m pretty sure that part of being a functional adult is being able to wait for the things that matter instead of going for the immediate pleasure.
Ah, but I do love me some pleasure…
It will be a learning process.
Even if you’ve chosen a resolution (and I’m sure you have, as today is officially The Monday Everyone Stars Resolutions), you can still choose a verb! Think about it — what is the one word, the one action, that sums up everything you want to do this year? Your word will be your most simple mantra, your one-word answer to any situation you’re facing in life. (Side note: I wish there was a verb for don’t be ridiculous. A simple command, like “ridiculont” or something, although that sounds like a spell from Harry Potter…)
Anyway, I’ve read a ton of resolutions, but I’d love to read some verbs, so once you’ve chosen one, please share!