In the last week of December, I went for a walk with a few of my beloveds around nearby Lake Lagunitas, one of my regular nature refuges. As we squelched through puddles under the redwoods (careful not to step on the wandering, mud-colored newts), we reflected on our intentions for the coming year and how we might distill them into a single word—something we could carry with us as a reminder like a river-smoothed stone in a pocket.
One of us chose “expand.” One of us, “stability.” Another, “centered.” My word was “simplify.” I want to have less on my do-list, but do each thing better, more fully. I want to clear out clutter everywhere from my calendar to my bathroom cabinet.
Admittedly, this is an ongoing aspiration of mine—witness the essay I published on Clearing Clutter 15 years ago. By distilling this intention to a single word, I hope to increase its potency, fill it with power like a Hogwarts spell. (Accio, wand!)
Simplifying isn’t just about going through my sock drawer, Marie-Kondo style, and only keeping the matched pairs that “spark joy.” (Although now that I mention it, that’s not a bad idea…) With the world on fire, it’s about knowing what’s mine to do—and then doing it with all my heart. One of my favorite productivity blogs recommends that you only accept invitations to which your intuitive response is “hell, yes!”
Wise intention shapes wise action. So as we embark on a new decade, if it’s helpful, I invite you to reflect: What’s your word for 2020?