Choosing a word is one of my favorite ways to bring focus to my intentions for each new year.
The term "one little word" was coined by Ali Edwards, who runs an annual online class which offers inspiration and structure to help deepen your relationship with your word during the year. I highly recommend the class if the concept intrigues you. Click here to check it out.
In my experience, having a word is both gentler and also deeper and more powerful than setting a goal or making a new year's resolution. It's less focused on a specific, measurable outcome and more focused on mindset, attitude, and intentions. It's more sustainable and more likely to stay with me throughout the year.
Depending on the word you choose, it can function in several different ways:
- As an ongoing reminder of something you want to invite into your life
- As an expression of an aspect of your life you want to work on developing
- A reminder of an attitude or perspective you want more of in your life
- A mantra you can use as a touchstone to get you through a hard time
- As an aid to help you think about and make an important transition in your life
- It can be something you want to understand better about yourself and your life
The best words have some common characteristics:
- Good words can be interpreted at multiple levels.
- A good word is not overly specific, narrow or limiting.
- It's usually best to focus on the positive.
Sometimes, I choose my word very deliberately, and other years my word has chosen me. (As in, a word pops into your mind and won't leave you alone.)
My "one little word" for 2016 is OPEN.
I want to find out what makes me feel more open and at ease in my heart and my body, and explore ways to experience less of what makes me feel tight, constricted and compressed.
I want to be more open to what's happening within me in each moment, and learn to use that as a greater source of guidance.
I want to be out in the open, as in outside, in nature. I want to hike to the top of a mountain where I can take in the view and feel all that open air around me.
I want to be out in the open, as in authentic, approachable, and real.
I want to be open to new possibilities and people and experiences, both professionally and personally.
As always, I am sharing these thoughts in the hope that my experiences will in some small way inspire someone else, just as I have been inspired by following the lives and work of so many amazing women who have courageously shared their stories.
Whether you choose a word or not, I hope you find what you are looking for in 2016!
MORE INFO | I have been choosing a word (or letting the word choose me) since 2009. Past words were: BUOYANCY (2009), RESILIENT (2010), HOPE (2011), CURIOUS (2012), EXPAND (2013), DARE (2014), SPARK (2015) and now OPEN (2016).