Crawl

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Crawl is my word for 2022. This is the first time I’ve picked a word for the year. I’ve seen it as a trend in various places.

Words I have seen other people pick include things like:

  • Dedication
  • Progress
  • Clarity
  • Focus
  • Thrive
  • Fearless

My word does not fit in this list at all. But I am sure it is the exactly perfect word for me right now.

A lot of things came together for me that just made this snap into place.

I love how sometimes I read or learn things that don’t seem to make much difference at the time and yet later sometimes those things make a big impact.

  • I’ve seen some different things people have said about the new year and goals in various places.
  • I saw a couple of people asking about what others’ words for the year were.
  • I got an email that mentioned that one thing people screw up when planning for the New Year is not making plans for how they will respond in a month or two or six when they lose motivation and don’t feel like working on their goals anymore.
  • Another email mentioned how showing up is the most important part of habit formation.
  • Then I read this story about a marathon runner from 5am Joel. If you want the rest of what I’m writing to make sense, you seriously have read the story. Sort of a sappy type of story but for whatever reason something about the concept of it resonated with me.

After reading that story something clicked in my brain and I decided that crawl would be my word.

One reason I like this concept is because of some of the challenges I’ve been facing

One of my big challenges is parenting a four year-old. I love my son and parenting is a high priority for me. It also takes a massive amount of time and energy and I do sometimes wish I had more left over to make progress on personal and career goals.

And sometimes I just don’t have the energy for things even when I have the time for them. Maybe some of this is the general level of stress from the last few years with a particular world wide health issue that shall not be named today. Maybe it’s reading too many stressful news stories and worrying about things I can’t control.

Other times I feel like I just don’t have the togetherness. Like if I had the right plan and the right motivation I could make x, y and z happen but seriously all I want to do is curl up with a good book.

SO while maybe I’d like to make MASSIVE PROGRESS or BIG CHANGES, the reality is that it’s just not going to happen right now. In the mean time, I can make small steps, little changes and slow progress. And maybe if I focus on that the changes, steps and progress will add up more quickly than I might think. Which leads me to a belief…

CRAWLING is a powerful step.

Crawling can have negative connotations. But I’m a parent. I watched my son as a baby. I watched him learn to crawl. He crawled all over the house, the yard, and anywhere else he was turned loose.

At first he was slow and awkward, but it didn’t take that long before he could seriously HAUL ASS while crawling.

A happy baby crawling who has almost reached the camera lens

It’s deceptive too. Because It’s not just crawling. It’s learning how to navigate, strengthening muscles and building a sense of confidence and agency. Crawling is literally the foundation to learning how to walk and to run.

So maybe in a figurative sense I can learn and grow by aiming to make slow progress on things. I can build habits of showing up and accomplishing small chunks that feel doable. I can trick my brain into getting started on things and then maybe discover that once I’m started continuing is easier.

The idea is to build easy habits that are so easy I don’t quit doing them because I don’t have the energy. I want to build in small things that I can really stick to. I want to make it OK to do 2 minutes of something and make a little progress and actually tell myself that’s a positive step instead of thinking about all that is left.

So now that my theory about this is out of the way, let’s hit on some of the specific ways I plan to apply this.

Specific daily habits I’m thinking about based on the CRAWL mentality

I thought I’d share a few examples of how I will incorporate this. One of those is working on little habits that are designed to help me make a little progress towards my most important goals.

  • Writing for this site for 5 minutes a day. Blogging is one of those things that has fallen by the wayside since B was born. While I can say I want to do it, I don’t actually do it. Like having not been doing it has created inverse momentum. “An object at rest…” and all that. But surely I can manage 5 minutes a day.
  • Eating a vegetable with a meal. In my habit app, I made this as three separate habits so that I can get an easy win with each meal of the day. I know that eating healthy is super important but that can be elusive. This gives me easy, concrete goals. (And a bit of an extra push to counteract the struggle of knowing that B won’t eat most veggies so why bother? Um… because they’re good for ME.)
  • Doing two minutes of strength exercises in the morning. I can do anything for 2 minutes.
  • Cleaning off my desk each morning. My whole house might not get cleaner, but at least I can have a space that is cleaner.
  • Remembering to enjoy story time. This is a parenting goal for me. Sometimes by the time the worst of the bedtime routine (i.e. the tooth-brushing battle) is over I just feel grumpy and harassed and can’t wait to be done. But that’s not the sort of parent I want to be. I want to enjoy reading stories to my kiddo and take time to appreciate that time. Reading books is really one of my favoritest things that I want to share with my son.

There are a few other habits I haven’t mentioned here and perhaps I’ll add more throughout the year as these ones become a little more ingrained. But CRAWL is my word for my year, so I want it to be more than a few habits. I want to bring it to mind on a frequent basis to figure out how I can make just a little progress towards the things I want.

I hope to use this as a mantra to remind myself to just make small amounts of progress, to keep going when I don’t feel like it and to appreciate my little accomplishments.

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