A word for 2015.

FamilyPhotos2014-28I had every intention of writing a good 2014 summary post, something along the lines of last year’s, gazing back at the past year through the lens of some sensory experience. Maybe how 2014 looked? Sounded? Um… smelled?

But that didn’t happen. I really did sit down to write it, but it just didn’t come. I could blame it on an inability to pull my thoughts together, a desire to never write something just because I feel forced, or a deep need to veil some reflections of the past year in privacy. All of those are partially true. But the real reason said post did not happen is that my family decided to watch World War Z last night and I had to toss the computer aside to focus all my energies on the zombie apocalypse. Before you judge, please know that I love this movie. I love movies where a handsome man marches around saving the world (but really just so he can save his family) and lots of people have to run quickly and jump off things. I love movies with unexplained destruction and implausible solutions. The first time I saw this movie, I stopped it at least four times to ask James if he was sure that it couldn’t actually happen. I have since spent way too much time imagining what would happen if everyone around me started turning into zombies, and even in my own imagination, I never make it out alive.

But I digress. How did this post become about zombies? Let’s leave any attempt to try to tie a neat bow on 2014 in the past and look forward to 2015.

I can’t believe that I am about to do this, but I’m about to throw down a “word” for 2015. I have always quietly scoffed at this practice, rolled my eyes when bloggers declared that they had “chosen a word” for the coming year. The words just seemed so empty and fluffy, not to mention presumptuous. Words like “aspire,” “dream,” “dare,” ect. I’m not saying that those aren’t good things, but I just felt like everyone picks a grand word for the year to avoid addressing al the little words that need to fill their lives. Words like “forgive,” “complete,” “reduce,” “take out the trash,” etc. If anything, it makes more sense to look back on a year after the fact and then choose a word that summarizes it.

But alas, here I am speaking a word over 2015. And for us, this deeply unexciting word is profoundly needed. It is not a fun word, not one that looks good scrawled across a backdrop of mountains or sea or sky. This word is the Debbie downer in an Internet full of lofty goals. Our word for 2015 is discipline.

Over the past year our lives became anything but disciplined and organized. Two lives, in two separate states, with crazy schedules, and then hurled back together in the absence of structure and presence of uncertainty, meant that James and I both feel like our lives are on the brink of spiraling out of control. Everything, from our spending to our sleep habits to our eating, needs some serious curbing. The past month we have been trudging towards 2015 so exhausted and craving structure, boundaries, and restraint. We need discipline.

The thing about discipline is that there is no excuse not to have it. You just have to DO IT, have to drag yourself out of bed, make decisions, and stick with them. It’s not an external word that you hope ordains your year, but an internal one that we produce. Last night James and I stayed up talking into the new year, gazing at the fire and dreaming for 2015. Most of these dreams were just about getting life back to “normal,” about infusing it again with good practices and disciplines. Devotions in the morning. Exercise in the evening. Bedtimes. Vegetables. Books instead of TV. Little daily decisions create big ripples through our lives.

To jump start this, we both decided that we needed something dramatic to force some discipline on us. Which is why, with every other corner of the Internet, we have decided to do the Whole30 when we both get back in January. People, I am just not so sure if I can live without cheese. If you filled the comments below with Whole30 recipes, resources, and promises that I WILL NOT DIE, I would be pretty grateful. I am not someone who puts diet on a pedestal, who thinks that changing what you eat will solve everything. But I do believe that discipline in any area of your life breeds discipline in other areas, so we are signing up for a month of “no fun” (according to James).

So. 2015. Discipline. Let’s do this.

Anyone else picking words for 2015? Even though I hitherto scoffed about the whole concept, I guess this means I’m coming aboard. (But if your word is “authentic” you will have to really sell me on it, as that word is so abused on the Internet, frequently being ascribed to the least authentic and staged photos ever.)FamilyPhotos2014-30

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21 Responses to A word for 2015.

  1. abby hummel says:

    We’ve done words-of-the-year before. Well… I pick them and tell Aaron and he has to go along with it. He is not one for sitting around and talking about feelings, so I just tell him all mine while he is stuck in the car for hours during holiday road trips, and that’s that. One year it was “miracles” and then it was “getting things done” and last year I think it was “survive” or “forward.” This year? Generosity. (And coffee. Let’s be real. We do have a baby now.)

    • abby hummel says:

      Also… You may not want to hear this, but I have been snark-ily calling the January Whole-30 craze “secular lent.” I did survive christian lent 2010 without cheese, so I can tell you it’s possible, but you’re going to have to pray a LOT.

      • Hannah says:

        I like “getting things done.” Because that’s life. Pleasssseeeeee make an inspirational word for the year poster that just has a picture of Annie and says COFFEE.

        And it is totally like secular lent… except actually most people secularize lent anyways, so maybe this is just like regular lent? ; ) Also, pretty sure giving up cheese will have my calling on the Lord a lot.

      • abby hummel says:

        For us, “getting things done” was in response to four years of half-finished projects… we have serious issues with that. Everyone does, I suppose, and it’s a good motto in general, for sure.

  2. Angel says:

    Yep. Mine too.
    Discipline. It’s the year for it.
    I’ve laid the groundwork. Done the easy. Now to “bring it” discipline is the key.

  3. Danielle says:

    Consistency. It’s always been hard for me, but it’s always been that which I am most aware of needing. Go us! And I hope very much for you that you somehow forget that cheese exists.

  4. Rebekah Rae says:

    Jer and I’s version of Whole30 last month included lots of beans since I don’t eat meat, so I don’t have many recipes I can share that would be acceptable for you guys. However, do you like Indian food? If so, my new favorite dish is the Smitten Kitchen’s Indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes. It is perfect and delicious and appears to be Whole30 acceptable. If you like Indian food, that is. If not, just ignore me 🙂 http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/02/confessions-of-a-cumin-junkie/
    Smitten Kitchen has never ever ever steered me wrong!

  5. ashleykiker says:

    My word for the year is ‘trust’! My word for last year was ‘deeper.’ God deepened a lot of things in my heart in 2014 but in order to walk forward in what He has for me in 2015, I need to trust Him more.

    I’ve done both a Daniel Fast and a Whole 30 before. I thought the hardest part would be giving up sweets but I definitely missed bread and cheese the most! But you can survive with accountability and a lot of prayer. It was worth it in the end, I had so much energy and it helped me make better decisions when the 30 days were over!

  6. Caroline Louise says:

    Hi Hannah! I’ve been following your blog for awhile now but have never commented. Reading your post really made me think. I have never picked a word for the year before, but this year I’ve decided my word is intentional. I need to be intentional about prayer, my quiet time, relationship with my husband, relationships with friends, raising our precious baby boy, and getting house work done. In my ladies bible study this fall one of the girls told us her grandfather always says “you will do what’s important to you”. What is important to me in 2015? What do I need to be intentional about? Thank you so much for another wonderful post that really made me think.

  7. Laura says:

    Our feelings going into 2014 couldn’t be more parallel… I haven’t ever chosen a word for the year before, but this year I felt like I wanted to. I mentally chose one (mentally chose it, as in, I haven’t written it down because it’s kind of scary), and it happens to be the same one as yours – discipline. Something I have never been good at, but something I know I need to work on. And I have the SAME reasons for wanting to do our Whole30 as well. How is yours going so far? We are just over a week in, and it’s been kind of hard, but at the same time not that hard at all. I do feel better, but I’m realizing that what I eat doesn’t really make or break the rest of my life. Kind of a nice surprise. Also, you better blog any yummy Whole30 recipes you come across!

    • Hannah says:

      It is such a needed word! We are on day 9 and I feel awesome, other than the fact that I am spending so much time in the kitchen and grocery shopping… that will be a little tedious when classes start back next week. But you are right – in a strange way the best part about this diet that makes you think so much about food, is that it frees you from food. I will try to share some recipes in a wrap up post!

  8. Haylie says:

    I love it! And I do love the pick-a-word-for-the-year thing. (When it’s good, anyway.) I had a running theme with a handful of words for 2015 that all kind of go together, so I just made them into this design (on this awesome free website called picmonkey.com), and posted them on my own blog. That’s so funny that you’re on a healthy-no-fun-food-related-thing because we are doing The Daniel Plan this year, and I have had NO COFFEE for 10 days! Thankfully, that’s just on the detox portion. As of tomorrow, I get to have it again (and the world will right itself). But it really is wonderful- feeling this good and being intentional even when I’m an utter grumpy-pants. I hope you and Discipline are becoming better friends!

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