By: D. A. Slinkard

Can you believe it? We are in the year 2019, and time is stopping for no one. As you are reading this, we are quickly a few days into the new year and my question for you is: What have you done differently since the calendar flipped from one year to the next? If the answer is that nothing has changed, then do not worry, you are just like the rest of the average world. The key word in that sentence is average, and if you want to break out of obscurity in 2019, you are going to need to separate yourself from the rest of the average world.

It is safe to say that average is a failing formula in the world we live in. I question our mode of thinking because it seems that many people want to settle for just getting by. How many times have you heard someone say, “If I can just make it through the day” or “if I can just make it until...” and these phrases are all kinds of wrong. If you want to make something out of yourself, you must first choose to make something out of yourself. Yet we have people sitting around waiting for their dreams to manifest without requiring any effort on their part.

My suggestion is going to come straight out of my wife's playbook and a practice she does that I believe is ingenious. Each year she picks her “word” and then she focuses on living her life based off the word she has picked. For example, in 2019 she has picked the word “Intentional,” meaning that everything she does throughout this year will be intentional. If you had to think about a word, what would you choose? As you think about this, I hope you find a word that will help you focus during the next twelve months on becoming a better version of you.

Now with your word in mind, take the time to write it down and visualize how you can apply this word to your daily life. Going back to my wife's word, I believe it is a great word because if we had more people living life in an “intentional” way, oh how different would the world be around us. If you wake up each day and make it a point to live your life like there is no tomorrow, I promise you will achieve more than you thought you could. The problem is that humans are creatures of habit and though change is inevitable, too often people are affected by the change instead of effecting the change.

I believe that many people reading this article may have already skipped over the part about taking the time to pick out their word for 2019, so I am going to throw out some suggestions. A few suggestions include: Listen, Joy, Brave, Consistent, Growth, Discipline, Believe, Grace, Focus, Trust, Strength, Confidence, Positive, Love. These are all potential words that anyone could use, so I am going to ask you one more time, “What word will you pick for 2019?”

I believe that not picking a focus word to live your year by would be like the people who complain about the politics and politicians around them but fail to vote in the elections. If you do not vote, then you do not have a right to complain, because you failed to exercise the right to voice your opinion. Picking a focus word and living your life with purpose is much the same. If you are doing nothing to make your life better, then do you really have a reason to complain? I know this is a tough way of thinking, and probably someone out there would suggest sensitivity training, but we need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves.

If only we could be more accountable to our success, then just maybe we could stop the madness going on around us. Now that 2019 has already started, and it will not stop for anyone, what are you going to do about it? Personally, I am going to be more aggressive this upcoming year, which is coincidentally my focus word for 2019. Although some of you may be thinking, “But he is already aggressive enough,” I am here to tell you that I want to own 2019. There will be nothing to hold me back. I choose to be intentional and to be aggressive.
By: D.A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

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