What is Your Word?

A Different Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

Looking for a new approach to making a New Year’s Resolution for 2011? Try choosing a Word of the Year instead. Yep, one word. It’s an amazingly simple yet powerful way to set your intentions for the year.

In January 2010, I was fortunate to discover this journal writing tool from Christine Kane, and you can learn what she has to say about it by reading How to Make 2011 Your BEST Year Yet. But the concept is simple—rather than making a long list of things you should do this year, select a word to guide you through the year. It’s a little bit like a mantra; something to keep you grounded and focused on who you want to be this year. Like a gentle reminder to inspire you in the choices you make throughout the year.

Last year, my word was “Balance.” I chose it as my inspiration to seek a more balanced life in every way. I was searching for a balance between:

  • Working in my business and playing with my children;
  • Spending to enjoy the present and saving to protect the future;
  • Starving on a diet and bingeing in frustration;
  • Hoarding useless junk and purging everything I own;
  • Reading everything I can get my hands on and writing everything that’s on my mind;
  • Challenging my physical strength and endurance, and giving myself permission to truly relax;
  • Learning from the experience of others and sharing what I know with others;
  • Being and doing.

I think “Balance” is one of those things that applies to pretty much all of my goals.  It’s a strange word to consider when setting goals, because you typically think a goal requires 100% of your energy and focus. But I am one of those people who throws herself entirely into the “activity of the month,” often at the expense of other priorities. I tend to get so wrapped up in achieving my goal—whatever it is—that I neglect other aspects of my life.

So as the days of 2010 blended into weeks, then months, I held the word “Balance” in my mind. If I found myself feeling lopsided in my activities or consumed with any one thing, I brought myself back to center with the word “Balance.” I even created a vision board to visually represent the balance I want to create in my life.

The thing I love most about choosing a Word of the Year is that the emphasis is on how you want to live your life; not on a specific activity that you should or should not do. It’s much easier for me to say I want to live a life in balance then it is to run through the laundry list of things that tend to take me out of balance.

So, what’s my word for 2011? “Support.” This is my year to let go of that belief that I can and must do-it-all-myself. This is my year to build the support system I need at home, in my business, and in my own heart. It’s time for me to trust others, depend on others, invest in relationships and create my community of support. And it’s time for me to reach out and share my gifts and support others. What about you—what is your word?

Check out Christine Kane’s free Word of the Year Discovery Tool and choose your word for 2011. If one word isn’t enough for you, check out Chris Brogan’s approach. He recommends choosing 3 Words to guide your actions in 2011.

Either way, let me know what you pick. I’d love to know what you will use to guide you through the year!

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  • Diane Provasi Lewis

    Honestly

    • Hi, Diane! Honesty or honestly? Not trying to pick on you, my friend…just wondering if the ‘l’ was intentional…because I honestly care:-)

  • Faith…in God, in myself and in my teenage boys 🙂

    • Faith – I love it, Renee! And please have a little extra left over for me in a few years when I’m in the middle of teen world:-)

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