It always takes me a few weeks into a new year to choose my “word” for the year. I have to kind of settle in, take inventory of my life and its direction, and contemplate the abundance of choices. What do I want to focus on this year? Scrolling through list after list, several possibilities came to mind. Some great options, including “joy,” “simplify,” and “serve.” All of those are wonderful concepts to strive for in life, but none of them seem to be the perfect fit for my concentration this year. And then it hit me. “Thrive!”
My Christmas cactus has always had a mind of its own. Most years it blooms in the spring, right around Easter time. The blooms are vibrant and gorgeous, and are a gentle reminder of a plant that is flourishing. That is, until this past year. Last year the cactus didn’t bloom at all. Not only that, but the leaves got a little bit flimsy and the whole plant seemed to hang its head. In an effort to revive it I replanted it with special potting soil, transferred it to a new location and made an attempt at watering it more consistently. And guess what?! This year that plant is thriving! Those vibrant blooms burst forth the week of Christmas and were more beautiful than ever before.
While I don’t feel the need for new soil or a new location, I do sometimes find myself hanging my head or getting a bit too complacent. In an attempt to learn more about thriving in life, I read a few articles written by the experts. One of my favorites was this list by lead researcher Daniel Brown, a psychology lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. According to Brown, in order to THRIVE in life, a person must possess some (but not necessarily all) of the following characteristics:
- enjoyment of learning
- spirituality or religiosity
- social competency
WOW! What a list! That’s exactly what I want to strive for in 2020; a life that THRIVES. And hopefully one that encourages others to do the same.
Last year my word was “reset,” and I definitely made progress in the areas of focus, health and completing projects. With each improvement came a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. But this year I want to take it a step further. To not simply LIVE, but to THRIVE.
I would love to hear from you. What is your word in 2020?