January.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article for a weekly email series called Project Wednesday. The premise of this project is to motivate and inspire people across the world through an email sent out every Wednesday. People from all walks of life contribute to this project, which is run by a woman named Holly Pilcavage. Her TED talk can be found here. My article, published January 6, 2016, can be found here.

It’s important that you read that 2-minute article before moving forward; it serves as the foundation for what is next.

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Every new year, people make resolutions to eat better, lose weight, go to the gym, or begin a new habit. What I’ve found about resolutions is that they rarely last through January. By February 1, most people are worried about other things. Life gets in the way. Perspectives change. Resolutions take a back seat to work obligations or family matters. By April, most resolutions have gone disappeared from our lives altogether.

It’s not that I have a problem with resolutions. People who make resolutions are the best kinds of people; they want to be better and do more with their lives. I admire that.

It’s just that resolutions aren’t as effective — in theory and in practice — as people think.

For 2016, I’m not creating any resolutions. Instead I’m going to do a monthly word that guides me in everything that I do.

My goal with this is to find a word that resonates with my life on the 15th of each month. This word can change or it can stay the same. Most of all, whatever word I select to guide my life and work will be one that is designed to challenge me, to move me out of my comfort zone, to stretch me in ways I’ve not stretched before.

The goal is to embrace this life we all live. If we aren’t careful, it becomes elusive. It winds and shifts and turns in ways that we can’t keep up with. People change. You move out of the state. Loved ones pass. Relationships end. Your inbox fills up and you become overwhelmed. You forget your passwords. And so on.

I want to be intentional with living each day with a growth-mindset. I want to learn from myself and from the world around me. I want to make more of an impact on the lives of others. This comes from being mindful of the life that I live, and being present with the activities I fill my life with.

I will fail. Undoubtedly, I will make mistakes, choose a wrong path along the way, or make bonehead decisions. But with that, I’ll learn. I’ll adjust. I’ll become what I’m supposed to become, broken parts and all. I’ll carry heavy things that I never expected to carry. I’ll work harder than necessary. I’ll let people down. And I’ll embrace it.

January’s word: build.

Building things has always been in the back of my mind: lego structures, pieces of art, the people around me, my self-image, and so on.

There’s many miles to go before I get to where I want to be. But along the way, I plan to make the most of every day before they turn into weeks, months, and years.

Who know’s where I’ll end up? I suppose that’s the beautiful part of this journey I’m on, that we’re all on. There’s a whole lot that I don’t know. I won’t know until I get there.

Until then, I build.

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