ABC's of Life: 26 Ways to Live Our Lives More Deeply

I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but I was recently inspired by this post on the Art of Learning’s Facebook Page. This year, I want to focus on these 26 very simple words that have such great impact.

Letters (Atwater Park)
  • APPRECIATE: Just yesterday, a colleague gave me a gratitude journal as a thank you gift. Her thank you will help me to be even more thankful. I love the idea of consciously expressing appreciation for the little things (see Sunday’s post ).

  • BUILD SOMETHING: Late last year, I built this website. What can I build this year?

  • CONNECT: I do a pretty good job of staying connected with family, friends, and my PLN on social media, but how can I connect on a more personal level — handwritten notes, phone calls, time together…?

  • DO WHAT IS DIFFICULT: Difficult intellectual challenges fuel me — bring them on!

  • EXPLORE: I love Paris (OK, now you’re singing, aren’t you?), but maybe it’s time to discover someplace new.

  • FORGIVE: Forgiving isn’t a problem for me, but forgetting is hard. I need to work on forgetting.

  • GATHER: I want to find a way to balance time alone and time together.

  • HONOR: Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout: “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

  • IGNORE THE SKEPTICS: This is especially difficult when you are your own worst critic. I really need to work on this.

  • JUST BE — enough said!

  • KNOW YOU’RE LOVED: I only need to look into Piper’s eyes ♡

  • LISTEN: As a coach, I really practice “active listening.” I try to calm my thoughts, to truly hear what others have to say without thinking about my own next response. It’s so hard and so important! On a lighter note, I’d also like to start listening to more podcasts. Any suggestions?

  • MAKE: I’m not crafty (mostly because I don’t like clutter), yet I do love art. I choose to channel my own creativity into photography and writing.

  • NOURISH BODY AND SOUL: I need more water and sleep, more fresh air and healthy recipes. I need more time to think and reflect. I need to take more time for myself and to make more time for others.

  • OBSERVE: Six years of Project 365 have taught me to slow down and notice things. I may not take a picture everyday this year, but I will certainly capture 365 moments of beauty and wonder. William Blake said it best: “To see a world in a grain of sand and Heaven in a wild flower, to hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour.”

  • PLANT A SEED: Voltaire was right — « Il faut cultiver notre jardin. » Metaphorically, I hope that I cultivate new ideas, and I’m literally eager for my garden to bloom again.

  • QUESTION: My work is rooted in inquiry. Asking better questions leads to better solutions.

  • READ: Last year, I read 40 books. We’re only 10 days into 2019 and I’ve already read three — I’ve got this!

  • STRETCH: I need to stretch in the morning, get up and walk even more at work. I think that I might also like to try yoga.

  • TRY SOMETHING NEW: What else should I try this year?

  • UNPLUG: OK, for how long — an hour, a day, a weekend? I’m not sure I can commit to more than that.

  • VOTE: I always vote regardless of sometimes terrible options.

  • WONDER: Years ago when charged with choosing a word around which to focus my work, I chose wonder — “a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar; to ask yourself questions or express a wish for more.” I still love this word!

  • XPRESS GRATITUDE: Gratitude is always a priority (see Appreciate).

  • YES TO ADVENTURE: As I get older, I become more and more cautious, but I hope to always be thrilled by travel and sailing as well as new experiences.

  • ZZZZZZ (GET ENOUGH SLEEP): I have never been a good sleeper, but I did get a pound of lavender for Christmas!