It’s not much of a secret that I think New Year’s resolutions are a bit of a fool’s game, and not only because I’m already sick of the weight loss and fitness infomercials / advertisements online and on the television. I have nothing against self improvement, but I really wish gyms would have sales year round instead of just in January when the weather is crappy and blowing snow can make it impossible for me to leave the house. I turned off the extension I usually use in my browser that prevents advertisements from sneaking through as an experiment – I was curious as to what kind of ads would show up. The answer? Unhealthy fad diets, workout programs making unrealistic and unattainable promises, and meal delivery programs that a) won’t deliver to rural areas and b) are seriously overpriced. I ended the experiment 2 days after I started because the ads were seriously getting on my nerves. I understand that a new year (by one calendar) is a convenient time to make changes, but I don’t like the pressure of New Year’s resolutions so I don’t participate. I’m far more likely to embark on a journey towards self improvement on a random Thursday in March than January 1st. As for all of my ‘friends’ on social media who are hard selling nutritional supplements, exercise programs, and other ‘miracle cures’, the offending posts have been muted and will probably stay that way for the foreseeable future (and in some cases the ‘friends’ have been unfollowed / unfriended if all they were doing was shilling). Don’t call me, I’ll call you (actually I won’t, but still – don’t call me.).
All that aside, I do like to take some time at the beginning of the year and set out my goals – both business and personal. I find that the act of writing them down forces me to actually think about what I want to accomplish. I also try to write down the steps I’ll need to take in order to reach the goals I set. They’re generally fairly specific – like “get at least one more monthly writing client to help make income more consistent” or “talk to 2 people you don’t know at a social gathering”. Not traditional resolutions but things I want to try to do – no pressure, just gentle guidance. I cross things off and add to the list all the time, and I’ve lost my list more than once (I added “be more organized” after that!).
A couple of years ago, I decided to do a word to guide me through the year – last year it was shine and my first word was transform. I still like shine but in the spirit of the exercise, I’m choosing another word to go along with it. Also, because it’s word Wednesday (I KNOW it’s Thursday… but Monday was a statutory holiday and my whole schedule is off), I’m picking a word that I like the etymology of and one I like to say. Neither is strictly a part of the exercise, but if I’m going to go with the crowd, I’m going to do it my way dammit. This year I’m going big – I want to do more – more visiting people, more travel, more networking, and more writing. I want to stop having to justify myself and what I do to people and know that what I do is awesome. In short, I want to flourish.
Flourish has a few different meanings – and I love words that have multiple meanings. Originally I was thinking of using “grow” but it didn’t feel right. As a verb, flourish has the connotation of growth but it’s mainly applicable to flowers and plants rather than people. It also means to prosper or be successful, and to reach a height of influence. Another meaning of flourish is to be in one’s prime – I’m not sure I’ve hit my prime yet but I am certain I’m not past it. As a noun, flourish can refer to the ornamental strokes on a handwritten word, an expression that is merely used for effect (a rhetorical flourish), or a decorative detail. In the image above there is a flourish on the “F” and the “h” as well as under the word, because flourishes are fun.
Flourish comes to modern usage via Middle English –florisshen, which traces back to the Anglo-French fluriss, which derives from (surprise!) Latin. The Latin means
So there’s my word. In 2017 I’m going to flourish – just like my daffodils.