The start of every new year gives me hope and excitement. Of course I know that there is very little difference between December 31st and January 1st. But, nonetheless, the idea of closing one cylce and starting another reminds me of the pacing, the rhythm and dance of life. And this gives me hope.
I have never been a resolutions person. I find they are too easy to break as your life and needs play out. I find they are often made by a sense of “what I should do (but don’t really want to)” rather than intentional, excited, hopeful creation of the the kind of world/future I want to build for myself.
But for over thirty years, since my early twenties, I have been picking a one or two word “focus of the year”. This word serves as a sort of mantra, a theme for the next big direction I want my life to take in the coming year. Having to choose my word has always been a clarifying exercise for me, forcing me to focus and get to the very essence of what I want.
Through the years my words have included “let go”, “thrive”, “streamline”, “ignite” and “go big”. This year my word is “flow”. As often is the case, there can be several meanings or ways these words play out. Flow, to me, means not fighting events. But it also means moving with ease and grace. To be in the flow is to enter a state of being rather than doing. I chose a word that will guide me in all its meanings – and will most likely help me to see and be in different ways.
I love hearing my clients’ and friends’ words – each as individual as they each are. Last year many focused on “listen” while others on “speak up”. One chose “seminare” (Italian for “sow” – as in plant seeds), another “shine” and yet another “laugh”. We are all at different points in our lives and our words reflect our different hopes, goals, aspirations for that moment in time.
How do I use this word? Well first of all, it is my screen saver – so that it always top of mind. And whenever I have to make a decision, I think of how my word would impact the big decisions. For example, how would I think differently if I were “in the flow” or “letting things just flow”. This will help me push myself not to overthink, second-guess or stress about every detail, but to show up in a different way. Of course, that doesn’t mean I abandon strategic thinking, it’s just a way of refocusing my energy to what really matters at this point to me.
For those of you who are results oriented, I cannot say that finding your word will give you easy, peaceful achievement. But I will say that every year, by focusing on my intention, my word, I have always managed to “fulfill” my words – regardless of how the year went. That, in turn, always helped me to grow deeper roots, self knowledge and the satisfaction of having managed to move in the direction I wanted regardless of external events. And then, for the new year I am always ready to think about and take the next, best direction for myself.
What is your word?
P.S. If you are interested, the internet is filled with great prompts and processes to help you think through and find your word…and of course, you can always call me, and I’d be happy to share with you the process I have always used 😊.