presence, one word, sunshine parentingFor the past three years, instead of writing a long list of resolutions or goals, I’ve come up with ONE WORD I want to guide my year. I’ve also encouraged my family to come up with their own words and share why they picked them.

My previous One Words have been:
2019: Focus
2018: Peace
2017: Breathe

You can see the trend. I’ve picked words that are aspirational and that describe what I want to do or have more of in my life, which is very full and can tend to be fast-paced, busy, and anxiety-inducing.

I continue to want breathing, peace, and focus to be a big part of my life, and focusing on those words has helped me make some fundamental changes in my daily habits. As I brainstormed what One Word I want to guide this year, I jotted down in my journal concepts and ideas that I’ve been contemplating and that have resonated with me:

Slowing down and living a less hurried life, with more “margin” between projects and events.

Being Calm.

Taking a true Sabbath / a full day break from work and screens.

Simplifying – having fewer belongings and more organized, functional spaces.

Enjoying the Little Things.

Having more time in nature/outside throughout the year.

Spending more time connecting well with family & friends, listening well and focusing completely on them.

Being quiet and sitting in silence.

Using more brake pedal and less acceleration.

Practicing stillness.

Being mindful.

Living in the moment.

After giving it some thought, my One Word for 2020 is Presence.

I had fun creating some presence-related graphics to inspire my year. Feel free to download and use yourself!

Resources I’ve Found Helpful

Books I’ve already read:

Present Over Perfect, Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living, Shauna Niequist

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World, John Mark Comer

When the Heart Waits, Sue Monk Kidd

Books by and about Fred Rogers (I love everything about the way he lived, spoke, and worked.)
The World According to Fred Rogers
Dear Mr. Rogers
The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers

Books I plan to read this year:

Presence, Amy Cuddy

Tips for Being Present

So, how do we stay present? The first thing to recognize is that, try as we might, we really can only do one thing at a time, so we ought to do that thing wholeheartedly. Most of our time is spent in the past or the future, rather than the present moment. What we end up doing is passing through that moment on the way to somewhere else and, in doing so, we miss the moment. That’s how life ends up passing us by – we do it to ourselves.

-Michael J. Formica, 5 Steps for Being Present

Instead of having a mind full of so many different thoughts, ideas, and worries, practice focusing on what’s right in front of you. I love this image from Lyndhurst Meditation:


In 6 Practical Ways for Being Present, Leo Babauta suggests having a small, regular daily practice, something as simple as just two minutes of breathing. I’ve found the Calm app, which I started using about a month ago, extremely helpful. After practicing the simple breathing/mindfulness the app urges, I’m finding myself, throughout the day, reminding myself to notice my breathing and my thinking. Another suggestion Babauta has, and one which I find helpful for being present in the moment, is daily journaling and reflection.

Inspirational Quotes

“There is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.”

Leo Tolstoy

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

Albert Einstein

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


I will keep presence at the top of my mind with a daily reminder as my computer screensaver.

presence, sunshine parenting, one word
And using sticky notes, of course!

sticky note solution, sunshine parenting

Additional Resources

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