Welcoming 2019 and Choosing a Word for the Year
Happy New Year!
I love this time of year. The feeling of being a bit out of time. The chance it gives for reflection and planning. It’s hopeful. Energizing. Anything feels possible at this time of year.
The new year has the beauty of freshly fallen snow, a new notebook, untouched art supples.
Do you feel it, too?
I’ve been making all sorts of lists these past couple weeks. Not really resolutions, and not quite goals. They’re intentions, but also ideas. Things I’d like to try. There are some specific projects and things that are already on my schedule, too.
I find it helpful to be organized. To get things on my calendar. To make lists. But I’m also trying to be a bit more free this year. To be flexible. To go with the flow without getting flustered.
This is the seventh year I’ve chosen a Word of the Year.* I’d been jotting down ideas starting sometime over the summer, but the word I ended up choosing didn’t come to me until a few weeks ago.
I want a word that isn’t focused on accomplishment. Sometimes growth happens underground, unseen as a plant develops its roots. If that’s what my year looks like, I’m OK with it.
I want a word that’s more about learning and experiences. One that’s open to possibilities and the unexpected. I want a word that speaks to improving myself, even if it is slow or messy or not entirely visible..
I hope to GROW my art. GROW my business. GROW my garden. GROW as a person.
It’s a beautiful, hopeful word. And if feels right.
Have you chosen a word for the year? I’d love to hear about it.
If you’re having trouble choosing one, here are some ideas to get you started:
Start with your goals and work from there.
Don't have specific goals? Think about what you want or need in the coming year. This can be concrete or more abstract.
Keep it simple and don't overthink it.
Write in your journal and/or pay attention to your thoughts (especially when you're doing other things like driving, taking a walk or a shower). What do you keep returning to in your mind?
Scan through a dictionary or thesaurus and see what jumps out at you.
Make a list of all possible words, looking for synonyms and then check the definitions -- sometimes there are secondary meanings of words that will help you decide.
Take your time; after you jot down your list set it aside. When you return to it later see what resonates.
Look back at your past year: what have you learned about yourself? What do you want to invite more of into your life? What do you want reduce or eliminate from your life?
Other things to consider:
Is one word enough? A collection of words, a phrase or a quote might suit you better.
Or maybe choosing a word isn't right for you.
Choose a word that speaks to YOU. Don't worry about anyone else's choices.
Aim high, but choose something doable to keep from being frustrated or disappointed.
Think about parts of speech. If you're looking for an invigorating, active year a verb might be best. If you're looking for a year that is nurturing, healing or inward focused, a noun or adjective might be best.
Listen to your heart and be honest with yourself.
Take it seriously, but also have fun.
Give yourself some time and space. Give your dreams some time and space. Embracing possibility doesn’t mean you need to put pressure on yourself.
Here’s to a wonderful year for us both!
*In case you’re interested, these are my past Words of the Year. The date takes you to my blog post at the beginning of the year and the word takes you to my post at the end of the year: