At the beginning of this year I took the one little word challenge… deciding to concentrate on a word to keep me focused throughout the year rather than a resolution I would inevitably break within the first week. I chose the word “devotion” and so far it has proven itself to be a good fit for me.
In some areas.
When I thought of the word, I was focusing on things that included my spiritual growth and relationships. I ended up ordering a chronological bible that separates into 365 daily readings to keep me on track, and I’m happy to report that so far so good… I’ve been doing my daily readings and assume by the end of the year I will have the bible completely read. If that has ever been a goal of yours, and you’re like me and need someone else to tell you how to achieve it, I would absolutely recommend this version to follow along.
As far as relationships… the fact that I still need to write thank you notes from Christmas might mean I’m failing in that department. But I also realize devotion has to be tempered with what I am able to do physically, so I’m hoping thank you notes three months late will still be just as fun to get. :)
The problem with having one word keeping me focused every day is that it brings up issues I’d never considered. Having a word like devotion can be applied to so many areas of life, and it can even be applied to areas I would just as soon ignore.
Physical therapy, for example.
I used to be so devoted to it. Whether I was feeling good or not, with the exception of pneumonia or a migraine, I did a routine. I might alter it here or there if the pain was too much, but I at least gave it the old college try. And then somewhere along the line I realized I wasn’t in college anymore and the idea of trying started feeling awfully tedious.
“When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.”
~ Sir Alexander Paterson
Now, you would think I would be properly motivated to do stretches and strengthening. Something as simple as wanting to be able to move and function should really be enough. Back in the day, when I thought there was no way I would ever slack on this, the therapy caused pain… but I am coming to realize that pain doesn’t seem to have limits. Neither does loss of mobility and energy, because all of the above seem to be increasing rather than reaching their limits.
But in the last six months or so I seem to have reached mine.
Now my thinking is:
Reaching down to pick up Riley’s water bowl: physical therapy.
Climbing into bed: physical therapy.
Climbing out of bed: physical therapy.
Throwing Riley’s toy: definitely physical therapy.
The only problem is that my doctor may disagree with me. And the idea that I could lose mobility because of my own lack of devotion is infuriating. But the reality that I’m going to lose that mobility either way, as has been proven over the last few years, is discouraging.
All of this is to say: be careful what word you pick to keep you on track throughout the year. It may reveal things to you that you’d rather have left alone.
Take it from me and the exercise ball I’m about to inflate.