I love doing things with my kids, although, the actual thing of things can vary from one year to the next. When they were tiny humans, things included setting up a plastic animal zoo on the living room floor, or hiking through the woods in search of hidden containers. What I’m finding, as they get older, is that our shared things become more mature-esque and adult-ish—and I’m alright with that too.

Two of my three, advanced into the teenage bracket of this crazy life, are participating in a year-long project for 2018. The experiment seems simple, on the surface, but I believe it is meant to be more than a superficial experience: choose one single word that you will focus on for 365 days, and work on that topic.

For instance, if you identify Joy as your word, the task before you would include finding new ways to receive, give, or recognize joy in your life and those around you. Personally, joy is not my thing; I already have a deep well and reserve set aside for my metaphorically rainy days.

Prior to drumming up my own singular motivating word for the year, I had completed a very loose rough-draft bucket list for the new year. When my kids decided that they were participating in this project, I instantly knew which word would best represent me, my yearly goals, and the path that I’ve already sketched out for 2018: Discipline.

Discipline, noun—1 a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order; b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior; c : self-control; 2 : punishment; 3 : training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.

Yes, I lack discipline, and in so many ways, including: diet, exercise, finances, organization, and spirituality. Wow, that’s actually every aspect of a human being. I have my work cut-out for me, for sure. In all fairness to myself, I’m not completely lacking in the character trait, but I can honestly say that there is a huge margin for improvement. And that’s what I’ll attempt to focus on in 2018, with the execution falling under the five large umbrellas.

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment ~ Jim Rohn

As for my two teens, they each have their own word. Periodically, I ask them how they are coming along with their goals, to which I usually receive a similar reply: “just fine.” Their specific words are theirs alone, but I will say that I attempted to portray one of them with today’s photograph. At this point in my journey, I have no idea how to photograph discipline: remember, I’m just beginning to work on that facet of my own life.