My word of choice in 2015 was calm. And I’d say I did a fairly decent job of keeping calm last year, although there were a few bumps along the way. Even though I can’t say that I’ve mastered being a “calm in all situations” kind of person, I was able to focus because that was my word. I’m light years from where I want to be, but I’m definitely moving in the right direction.
With that being said, instead of going down the resolution route (I prefer monthly goals instead), I’m sticking to making a word my word in 2016.
And that word is pause.
I know, I know. Pause isn’t the most glamorous or inspiring word. In fact, it sounds super boring. But just hear me out.
As my longtime readers know, I’m not a “wait and see” person or a “let me think about this for a 1,000 years before taking action” kind of person. I’m a doer. If there’s something that needs to get done, you better believe it will. When decisions aren’t being made and things aren’t moving and shaking, I literally feel like screaming and pulling my hair out.
Now there are definitely some big upsides to this semi-crazy personality trait of mine. I’ve been told that I’m responsible, proactive, results oriented, etc. Great stuff…
…but there are lots of downsides as well. For example, I get so focused on setting things in action that I often don’t think about my behavior. I can seem really bossy. My field of vision narrows and it’s hard for me to consider other people’s points of view. You get it.
Over the last two weeks of December, I realized that in my normal day-to-day life something was missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it though. Then as we were going to bed one night, it hit me. I rarely ever pause. I jump from one thing to another without stopping (and oftentimes really thinking about what it is that I’m doing).
That is why 2016 is the year of the pause. And not just when I’m interacting with other people…the pause applies to all areas of my life.
I’m sure this whole concept will evolve, but here’s where I hope to see lots of improvement…
Pause before hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock.
Pause before checking my email first thing in the morning (and ultimately putting my phone down).
Pause when I’m saying bye to Vishnu in the morning and savor the moment instead of just saying “loveyoubye.”
Pause between each bite of food and before filling my plate with seconds.
Pause before picking up my phone to check social media for the 100th time (and ultimately putting my phone down).
Pause before sharing my opinion and ask “is what I’m about to say going to add value?”
And most importantly, pause (for as long as I need) before reacting to a person or a situation.
The last one is a priority and a challenge (as in it’s hard) for me. Not sure if you guys recall, but I started a Reaction Challenge a while back. The first few weeks were great, and I felt like I was making progress. And then somewhere along the way I reverted back to my old self. Well, what I realized was that it’s great to want to change how you react to the not so good stuff, but it only works when you put in mechanisms to help you. And for me in this moment, the pause is it.
I plan to blog a lot more about this over the next few months because from what I can tell this is something a lot of people have trouble with. It’s not easy to open up about the less than perfect sides of ourselves, but it’s necessary. And personally, I want to be more honest with all of you because life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. So expect more honest and raw posts from me about this topic in particular.
Now let me pause before saying…
…I hope your 2016 is off to a fabulous start! Can’t wait to share more and connect with all of you this year!
Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Or are you going the word of the year route?
21 thoughts on “2016: The Year of the Pause”
Such a great word. When I read your posts, I feel I am reading about myself!
The only place I learnt to pause is when I am asked to give my opinion, or when I am asked to do something and my reflex reaction is to say No. I am learnt to use the phrase, “I will think about it” and it has helped me a lot.
In other areas, I am bossy, demanding and everything else you used to describe yourself. As always, great post! 🙂
∞ © tanvii.com ∞
Tanvi recently posted…Why I Have Been Blogging For 7 Years
Thanks, Tanvi! Have you read Essentialism yet? I think you’d love that book. It’s all about understanding why you do the things you do and figuring out how to manage the things that are absolutely essential before all else. And essential does not mean important!
I have had that book for an year and am yet to read it. May be I should bump it to next on my list. 🙂
Tanvi recently posted…Denim and Cape
Such a wonderful resolution and beautiful write up! I am learning to pause before jumping from one thing to other. I feel , it’s necessary to pause and evaluate the things I’ve done so far, in order to make the next thing better.
Apart from that, I’m impulsive and impatient at times. I’ve learned to pause or count 10 before speaking out. It really helped me from not saying something I would regret later.
Looking forward for more 2016 posts from you!
Surekha @ dreaming loud recently posted…Shades of Camel
Thank you, Surekha! I do the countdown too…as well as deep breathing. It really does help!
My resolution is to take more time for me this year, which includes not putting too much on my plate. Last year was crazy busy. We traveled a TON and I felt like I was never home. I want this year to be the opposite of that! Happy New Year, Par!
Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…Leptin: The Fountain of Youth
That’s a great resolution. And a super important one too! Happy New Year to you too!
I love this idea of a “word of the year”! I have no doubts you’ll be able to accomplish all the things you’ve listed. I like not having to make resolutions. To me it’s like creating “goals” at work. If we don’t make the goal we end up feeling like crap for not making it, or we overwork ourselves in order to reach said goal and the consequences are time away from family, burn out, grumpiness, etc. I feel like resolutions can be like that but more of a mental awareness of feeling like crap if you don’t make the resolution! So this idea of really becoming more self-aware is fantastic! I should think about the word I’d consider for this year..
Aparna B. recently posted…Yeah I’m Alive
Thanks, Par! Let me know if you come up with something. I love hearing about people’s focus areas.
Great post, Par! So proud of you and your self-awareness. You can do it, I know you can!! You’ve been moving in the right direction for the last couple years and I can see so many positive changes in you throughout my most recent visit! :* Love you!
Thanks, sissy! I’ll be relying on you to keep me in line. 🙂
im that crazy, i want to pull my hair kind of person too..it drives me nuts when things are going the way its been planned in my head..so pause is definitely a good word to live by.
dixya | food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Cranberry Almond Stovetop Granola
I really like that word! I think it’s something we all need to do a little more. Happy new year!
Thanks, Salma! Happy New Year to you and your family!
I could totally benefit from this Parita. I pride myself on my ability to make quick decisions, but it doesn’t always pan out that well. It would be highly beneficial to take a pause. Also, real talk, I can have a bit of a temper and a sharp tongue especially if someone hurts my feelings. Taking a pause before reacting would save me a lot of regret. I look forward to reading more about your Year of the Pause 🙂
Kacy recently posted…My Favorite DC Dishes from 2015
Ummm…I can have a short temper and sharp tongue too. It’s horrible because I’m not that kind of person usually. And like you said, I have so many regrets afterwards. Hoping the pause helps me control my tone and language as well!
My word for 2016 is “freedom.” To strive to be free from patterns, old ideas, preconceived notions and concepts..
Love that! Hope you find freedom in all those areas and more.
Hi Parita! I read this post a few weeks back and I think it’s a really good idea. After mulling it over for a while I think my word for this year needs to be Discipline. Practicing discipline in my intentions is the only way I will be able to reach the goals I have set for myself. In an article I read recently, it said that excellent people choose the pain of discipline over the pain of regret. Discipline is hard, but I know it’s what I am missing. Thanks for encouraging the thought process!
Bekki recently posted…There are birds that fly, and fish that swim. And then there are fish that fly.
Love that, Bekki! And I totally agree that the pain of regret hurts more than most things. Good luck with your year of discipline!