Writer and scrapbook artist Ali Edwards seems to have started the widely adopted practice of choosing a single word to serve as a guide for the year. Many Word-of-the-Year devotees say that a Word effectively replaces New Year's resolutions.
Ali Edwards explains what you do with your One Little Word:
You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.
A Word can serve as a theme for your year. A Word can point your actions in the direction you want to go. A Word can offer focus and direction as you make choices during the year. In these ways, I use my Word as a map of my heart's true path.
A few years ago, I chose as my first Word "action." I created a long list of projects and activities I wanted to work on that year. Keeping "action" in mind motivated me to stop planning and start doing. I didn't complete everything on that list (I hadn't intended to), but I checked off quite a few projects and activities—more, I'm sure, than if "action" hadn't continually led me back to my list. (Without "action" as a reminder, I'm sure my list would have languished in Word-document-limbo without a second look.)
How to Choose or Discover Your Word-of-the-Year
"Essentially the idea is to choose a word (or let it choose you) that has the potential to make an impact on your life." —Ali Edwards
Mentor and singer/songwriter Christine Kane offers a useful (and free) Word-of-the-Year Discovery Tool, a downloadable and printable PDF full of thoughtful questions to lead you through your Word exploration.
In her Path Finder course, Karen Walrond suggests that from your vision board (see Learn: Create a Visual Map), your Word will emerge. Once you have created your visual map, sit back and consider what Word represents your images and what you want in the coming year. Karen writes here about how researching a Word's definition can offer a surprising layer of meaning. In her course, she also suggested looking for meaningful quotations using the Word and, along with the Word, adding a couple quotes to your vision board.
Another word-of-the-year tool comes from writer and photographer Susannah Conway. Her free downloadable and printable Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook guides readers through a reflection of the past year and an exploration of the coming year.
Are you ready to ditch resolutions and adopt a Word to guide you through the coming year? I'd love to find out what your Word is! Leave your Word here in a comment, on our community Facebook page or send me a note via twitter.