One Word for the Year

One Little Word Intention Garland

An intention garland for my word JOY that guided me in 2013


Ali Edwards has the list of words up on her site. I think this is one of my favorite posts of hers each year.

Those of you new here may not know about this amazing trend happening. Rather than (or in addition to) making New Year’s Resolutions, you pick a word to guide you through the year. A touchstone of sorts. Ali has a class on it to help keep your word in front of you through the year.

I started this practice in 2006 when I realized I never touched my 2005 New Year’s Resolutions other than to create a layout in January 2005. That list didn’t stick with me. But I longed to bring a deeper change to my life. In 2006, I simply chose to do BETTER. It was like taking the first step out of a hole I had dug for myself. Having a guiding word or phrase is so much more effective than a list of wishes to change your life.

Ever since then I’ve had words to guide me each year. Some have done more than others, but I think it has to do with spending time reflecting on the word (that’s where the class helps).

Two years ago, I realized that some words come with partner words. JOY & GRATITUDE taught me that. Last year my word was SHINE and it surprisingly came with the word BRAVE for me. I didn’t talk much about it here, but certainly wrote about it quite a bit. Good stuff. But I have to be honest, choosing the word SHINE scared me a bit because what negatives would shine reveal in my life? But that’s where BRAVE came in.

This year my word came to me early in the fall – and no other words seemed to show up. MINDFUL. It felt more like a command than the suggestions I’ve experienced in the past – and people that know me well may be chuckling at this one. As I’ve explored this word in my morning pages, I see it echos back to a guiding phrase I had in 2007 or 2008: LIVE DELIBERATELY. But more on that later.

As I sit here and look at the list of words people have chosen to guide them, I can’t help but think this trend can really change everything. Look at what people want to bring more of into their lives. What would a year of ALIGN look like for you? CELEBRATE – CONTENT – EMERGE – STRENGTH – SURRENDER – RECONNECT – SPARK?

Each one of the words on the list holds the potential to making lives so much better – such amazing hope for our world sits here. If you’ve not thought of doing this instead of the list of New Year’s Resolutions, I strongly encourage it. Bring more goodness in your life by just having one little word to guide you.

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