glass pitcher pouring water into two glasses on a wooden table

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The end of the calendar year is doubly a time of reflection for me. Not only is it a time to make New Year’s resolutions, but it is also JB’s birthday. “On This Day” reminders fill my social media feeds with photos of my son at birth, age 1, age 2, etc., These memories show how much JB’s grown, but also remind me how I’ve grown. I think this double dose of retrospection is why it takes me a bit longer to process and share the word or phrase I plan on focusing on for the new year.

My word for 2024 is “refresh”. I’m going to be focusing on three related-but-different definitions, according to Merriam-Webster.

The first, most tangible definition, of refresh, is “to restore water to”. My immediate goal is to be better hydrated this year. When I think “refresh”, I am reminded that my daily water intake probably should consist of more than just the ice cubes in my coffee. (And before you ask, no I haven’t purchased a Stanley bottle. I do love my Walmart one, though!)

Another definition of refresh is “to update or renew”, whether that is a webpage that won’t load correctly, a résumé that is outdated, or kitchen décor that feels stale. 

My favorite aspect of the word “refresh” is actually what it is not. A refresh is NOT a “burn it all down and start from scratch” type thing. Refreshing something involves making small changes only on what needs improvement, not changing everything solely for change’s sake.

It may come as no surprise that I’m a perfectionist. I have a propensity for all-or-nothing thinking. For me, a single mistake means the entire “thing” is a wash, whether the “thing” in question is a crossword puzzle, a creative project, a workday, even a social media post.

The idea of a refresh, rather than a complete overhaul, sounds like a nice opportunity to work on shifting my perfectionist mindset.

So as I plan my marketing schedule for my book, or as I clean out my home workspace so it is actually usable, I’m reminding myself that I just need to refresh what I currently have. It’s far less daunting and – dare I say – even somewhat enjoyable.

Do you have a word or phrase you are focusing on this year? I’d love to hear it!

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