I’m lousy at resolutions. I make them every year but I break them every year. However, I LOVE the idea of fresh starts, marking time, and tracking progress, which is why I really love celebrating the new year and why I always want to make New Years’ resolutions. When my friend Jackie alerted me to Ali Edwards’ online project, One Little Word 2013, I was intrigued. I am very good at understanding a mission and thinking about how parts of an organization or project fit a mission. I might not be able to make resolutions, but I bet I can follow a one-word mission.
It was easy to choose what my 2013 word would be. 2012 was what coaches call a “rebuilding year.” I managed to stay standing, have some fun, take care of my son . . . sort of. It was a year of transition where I learned a great deal about what I should absolutely be doing with my life and what I should absolutely not be doing with my life. I discovered how many wonderful friends I have; what a loving family I have; what it means to surround myself with positive, supportive, fun people who want to see me be happy. A few things came up missing as well.
So 2013 will be all about building on that knowledge. As opportunities and challenges come at me I will be measuring them by this yardstick: does this opportunity build relationships with my son and family? Does it build my career or add to my experiences positively? Does it help me build a development and marketing program at the Garden? Is this an opportunity to build up a friend or colleague? Will this build community and enhance relationships?
I’ll also have to work pretty hard on some things that have been missing. I used to be very domestic and my inner Martha Stewart has been in hiding for so many years that I don’t know if she even exists. But I’d like to find out. As Blaise prepares to leave home, I want his last year of high school to feel solid, warm, and, well, like home. This also applies to my health. When I think about my food and activity choices, I will have to ask myself if those choices build a healthy body and healthy life.
I’ve also spent so much time in education and nonprofit organizations that I haven’t done enough to build up my own financial security and well being. This year I will build my freelance business and ask to be paid what I’m worth. I will be building a portfolio of work that I can be proud of but that will also add to my financial bottom line (so I can send it off to college with Blaise in 2014!).
Finally, I will continue to work to build the community I live in by serving Northside Rotary, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Feed Communities, the city’s Environmental Action Committee, and Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, all of them worthy causes that I’m passionate about.
The great cathedrals of Europe and the pyramids of Egypt weren’t built in a year, and it’s possible “build” will be my word for 2014 and 2015 also. That’s okay. I have a great foundation to build on.
What is YOUR one word for 2013? What do you hope to build this year?  Angie Albright, author of A Growing Season