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One Little Word 2016 | CHOOSE Recap

Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, I didn't really end up writing much about my One Little Word - Choose - in this space this year. And even though I took Ali's class, and started an album, I didn't get that far with that either. But despite that, I felt really connected to my word all year, and definitely kept it in my thoughts as I went through daily life. If I had actually 'participated' in the class a little more, I would have gained even more from it, but as it stands I'm pretty happy with what I got from my word. And I really feel that Choose is a word that I will carry forward with me for years to come.

Taken from my original OLW post, the main areas that I wanted to focus on this past year were:

  • Choose to think positive, instead of defaulting to negative. I am a pessimist at heart, so this will require constant work on my part.
I made great strides forward in this area. I feel like I did a pretty good job at just being more optimistic in general. I also really wanted to choose to ignore other people's negativity, and not let it suck me in (which I used to be really prone to do). I'm happy to say I made huge improvements there. I steered clear of drama and negativity as best I could and I definitely feel like a happier, and 'lighter' person compared to the beginning of the year. I also used to be a person who would stew over something for a while, or let a small fight or disagreement put me in a bad mood for an unproportionate amount of time, but I found this year when I got that way I would literally just say to myself, "Choose to be happy", or "Choose to let this go". It's made a world of difference.
  • Choose to be more healthy. For me, that will include choosing to eat more wholesome foods for meals and snacks, and drinking a lot more water.
Although I didn't state it in my original post (or anywhere else), one of the things I wanted to choose to do this past year was to start eating vegetarian/vegan. Truthfully, I didn't write it down, because I didn't think that I could do it, so I didn't want to 'fail' at it. However, I'm happy to say that I've been vegetarian for eight months now, and on top of that, I've also eaten mostly vegan in that time. I've always been a very picky eater, and didn't think that I would be able to be a vegetarian or vegan. However, in hindsight, I should have attempted this much sooner! Most of the things that I was picky about were meat, or dairy/eggs/other animal products. I actually love things like fruit, veggies, beans, rice, nuts, etc. So it's been a much easier transition than I anticipated. Definitely a big 'yes' on choosing to eat better this year. 

I've done pretty well on drinking more water too. For that I go through phases... There are times when I'm awesome at it, and times when I get sucked into drinking too much pop/juice or other things that aren't great. But on the whole, I'm feeling pretty good about my choices in this category for the year. 
  • Choose to exercise. Right now I am pretty inactive. I am naturally slim, but that does not mean I am 'in shape' whatsoever. I am choosing to start practicing yoga. I think it will be great for my body and mind.
Ha! Well, as always, this is something I continue to struggle with. Like I mentioned above... I have the benefit of being naturally slim, so I find it hard to motivate myself in this area. Plus, with choosing to eat better this year, I lost a few pounds by default... So yay! But losing weight is not necessarily the reason I want to exercise more. It's to just be healthier, and feel better. I did go to a month-long yoga class in June, which I really loved, but once it ended I found it hard to motivate myself to do it at home. I really need to be in a class environment to stick with it, which is always a roadblock for me. (Finding the time in our schedule/with Jason's erratic work schedule/childcare, etc. Plus the $$ aspect of it.) I know those are just excuses, but I feel like they're at least somewhat legitimate excuses.... maybe?? haha. 

Anyways, aside from that, I did an OK job at getting out with the boys and going for walks in the summer - it's super helpful that a stroller is one place that contains Austen, and he actually loves being in. So when it was nice out I tried to make a point of going for walks. We also live within walking distance to Sobeys, Wal-Mart, and Safeway, so we would often walk there to pick up groceries for supper. I've also been making it a point to get outside this winter and shovel and play in the snow with the boys. They love it, and it's certainly good exercise. 

So all in all... I did OK in this area. Definitely could have done more/better, but at least some steps in the right direction. 
  • Choose to be more productive, instead of sitting in front of my computer, endlessly scrolling. This means doing more stuff that I enjoy - like reading, and scrapbooking and memory-keeping, as well as stuff I don't really enjoy - housework and exercising.
Another area that I did OK in... I definitely got a lot more reading in this year, which I'm happy about. Scrapbooking... I went through my phases of getting pages done, but on the whole, I did less of this than I was hoping. Which is also OK. Though I didn't state it, this year I also wanted to choose to let go of the feeling of 'needing' to accomplish stuff that, in reality, aren't needs, but wants. This year, scrapbooking was just something I wasn't feeling a lot of the time... so I was glad to give myself permission to just let go of that feeling of needing to get stuff documented and into scrapbooks, and know there will be a time when it is a higher priority for me again. What I've already accomplished is better than nothing, and I'm good with that. I've gotten better about tidying up, and housework (although my husband - the clean-freak - would probably disagree). 

I still scroll Instagram, or through blogs, Facebook, etc. more than I'd like, so that is a work in progress, but I think I've made a bit of headway there at least. 

So, I feel like my year of "Choose" was a pretty big success. Despite not actually completing much in my album for it, I did make a point to listen to the monthly presentations from Ali, and check in on the forum/gallery in the classroom, and private Facebook group. For those reasons I felt like the $26 (early bird pricing) for the class was worth it, and I signed up for it again this year. So thank you, Choose, for being a guiding point in my life this year :) And I'm looking forward to carrying this word with me over the next year (and years to come) to remind me that there's always a choice.

Did you have 'a word' this year, and if so, how did it connect with you?

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