I stopped making New Year's resolutions a long time ago. Like most people, mine never really stuck. Within a month or so, I'd end up feeling guilty, as though there was one more thing I didn't accomplish: another goal I didn't meet.
Recently, I heard about this phenomenon called "One Little Word." It began with Ali Edwards in 2007 when she thought there must be a better way to start the New Year, in focus, but without resolutions. At the same time, blogger Christine Kane was wondering the same thing.
This gave root to the idea of choosing a word representing all you hold dear, all your heart's wishes and its desires for the following year...a way to narrow down exactly what you want to give the world, what you want to feel.
Mixed media artist, Wendy Polin, blogs here about her incredible transformation in 2012 after choosing the word fearless.
You gain ownership over that word and let it guide you through the year as you move forward. It's the foundation for the choices you make, for how you live your life. Like a one-year manifesto tightly wrapped in one word.
Thankfully, there are those out there like me that can't choose only one word. Some prefer the sound and feel of three words, as it resembles a mantra.
I don't usually follow rules super well, so I was happy to hear I wouldn't have to choose just one word, really: so I chose 2.5 words! (The words will be revealed on January 2nd!)
Have you ever tried picking just one or a few words to sum up your year?
It was challenging for me to figure out how to come up with my words.Tammie Bennet Art + Surface Design was kind enough to share some of her wisdom with me. She wrote a list of things she wanted to feel for 2013; from there, she was able to start narrowing down words. So I did that. It was helpful, but no word appeared in my mind, really. LOTS of words did, though!
Then the amazing Galia Alena said that her process was to think about what lessons she might need to learn for the year, what she wants to attract into her life, and ponder that for awhile. Beautiful concept, right? I tried to do that, too; but I got fidgety. I felt I needed to keep writing down things to figure it out for myself, maybe do something...perhaps an exercise to help me.
I learned about a vlog by Andrea Scher from SuperHero Journal where she gives little rituals and instructions on how to come up with a word to embody for the New Year.
Andrea Scher's ritual included reflecting on 2012: the good, the brilliant, the not-so-good, and the ugly. Her vlog resonated with me, probably because there were exercises to do! (If you haven't noticed yet, I'm very process oriented.)
I spent a long evening watching her videos, notebook in hand, writing lots of stuff down..sometimes hard stuff: the the hard things from 2012. The disappointments from 2012. But also good things: like what I'm proud of. It's like a 2012 cleanse: without doing that, I found I couldn't look at 2013. It helped. After all, a lot happened in 2012! Out with the old, in with the new, right?
Now that my 2.5 words have found their way to me, I will join-in with lots of other bloggers and non-bloggers and share what my focus will be for the year ahead. Many people will be doing this in different ways. I'll be participating in a blog circle and a blog hop about it in early January. (Look out, world!)
Some people are taking courses that provide monthly prompts for them to reflect on their words. Some will do art journals. Others will create pieces of art. You can even get custom-made jewelry with your word(s) on it. (Etsy's a good place to look or check-out local artisans in your area!) I think I will do that!
If this idea interests you, you can look-up these fab resources:
Here are a few other blog posts I really love about choosing your word:
- Shaping 2012 with Three Little Words, by the beautiful Yangon blogger, Feisty Blue Gecko
- Amy Palko
- Mixed-Media journaling prompts for the year with Galia Alena
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get a bit excited for 2013 now. Who knows where it will lead...but I am sure it will be a more holistic and compassionate way moving forward this year.