For the past few years I have set new year goals; I like this word instead of resolution because a goal feels like a less rigid word to me. And some of these goals were completed while others were pushed to the wayside. Sure, I planned to read 40 books in one year and accomplished that, but I never did get to that whole learning to make food from new recipes.

A couple years ago a member of my book club introduced the concept of the one-word resolution; you choose a single word or phrase to guide you through the year. For instance, her word was create so she decided to leave her job and focus on creating art for the entire year.

I’m consider that instead of setting goals for 2020, I might want to pick a word to guide my year. The problem is that I have a lot of words to consider on how to guide my life. I suppose the word chocolate isn’t going to work because it may not be the healthiest (though it would be oh-so-tasty), neither is aardvark despite the fact I think it’s a fun word to say. I mean, how would that even work?

There are three words I am putting into serious consideration to guide 2020 for me. Each one has its benefits, but to select one to focus on for 366 days (we’re in a leap year this time) may be a commitment I may not be prepared to take.

Complete. I have several projects sitting around my apartment that are partially finished. There’s a quilt where all the pieces have been cut and just need to be pinned and sewn together. Then there’s fabric just waiting to be turned into a fleece quillow. And the artwork that needs to be framed and hung up. I have a bad habit of not completing things for one reason or another. Maybe 2020 will be the year I finish everything I’d started in previous years.

Tidy. I am not exactly the type of person you would call neat or type A. I am more likely to leave my laundry in the basket than to put it away. My countertop is filled with various papers, most of which can be tossed out. Both bookcases are pretty well stuffed, so excess books are stacked. A pile of VHS tapes is camped out in the corner of my living room. My apartment isn’t dirty, just cluttered; I need to follow the whole “a place for everything and everything in its place.” But having a smaller space to live in means there’s not always enough space. Not only would this word encourage me to find a place for everything, it could also remind me to get rid of things I no longer need.

Explore. Despite living in Wisconsin my entire life, there are a lot of places in the state I have never visited. I still haven’t seen Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron, Lost City Forest, Milwaukee Art Museum, Taliesin, any part of Door County, and much more. People will come to Wisconsin to specifically visit some of these locations and I’ve never been there. Sure, I can tell you all about Wisconsin Dells and some of the state parks, but I need to see more of what the state has to offer. By picking explore, it might even take me off my regular stops. Sure, I could stop by the same restaurant I eat at in Madison but maybe I can explore something different.

I’m not sure what my 2020 word will be – can I maybe have all three words? If I complete hanging art on my walls, it will tidy up the space where it’s currently sitting. As for explore, I have wanted to visit these places in the state for some time, so going there would be completing my list of spots to visit.

Alright, so now I have three words to guide 2020 and I plan to follow through. Wait, does that mean I have new year goals again? Shoot, it seems like I just can’t escape those

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