Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Word of the Year

I gave up making New Year's Resolutions in 2006, thanks to Christine Kane.

Not that I was particularly good at them, mind you.  The whole process seemed forced and contrived and, besides, I have trouble with life-changing motivation as it is and early January is just too cold to be much incentive for me.  In January my brain is still wondering why I'm not hibernating and that is not the best of conditions for creating successful change.

Instead, I do something I learned from Asheville, NC singer-songwriter-turned life coach Christine Kane.  She promotes the idea of choosing a Word of the Year.  This is a word that holds special meaning for you, one that brings together elements of your life that you want to focus on for the year.

Finding the word that works for you can either take an instant or take several days.  There is no right or wrong way to find your word, just so long as the word you choose has special meaning to you.

Here are three ideas you should keep in mind about your word:

  • Authenticity
    Does this word speak to me on a deep level?  Do I feel my true self trying to shine through this word?  Or is this a word that I think I should choose, or one that I know someone else would want me to choose?
  • Awareness
    While your word is not going to magically make things happen all by itself, it is meant to be a reminder throughout the days of the year.  I find writing my word down on several post-it notes and putting them in places where I'm going to see them ever day helps.  I have put post-its in easy sight of my computer monitors (at home and at work) and in my car.  I've read about other people putting one on their bathroom mirror so they'll see it first thing every morning.
  • Clarity
    Remember that you've chosen this word because of the meaning it holds for you.  Recognize that the meaning may well include things you didn't even consider when you first chose it.  Allow yourself to not try and fully manage how you incorporate your word into your life -- allow yourself to be open to allowing life to show you other aspects of the word and how those aspects can improve your life.

If this sounds at all interesting to you, I genuinely recommend you give it a try.  There are many people out there on the interwebs who have written about choosing their words.  (Two particularly good ones are by Mompreneur Teresa Ceniccola and Heather Koshiol)

I'm still working on finding my word for 2013, but I already know the elements I want it to contain.  When I find it, I'll do a follow-up post and talk about it.

Do you already choose a Word of the Year?  Have you done so in the past?  Or are you interested in trying it this year?  What word have you chosen?

-- Tom