Happy New Year! Though I know the hype around New Year’s is made up (a friend told me January 1 was picked because people think it’s when Jesus was circumcised. Previously, the New Year was celebrated in the spring, when… new things grow.), I’m into it. There’s something exciting about this time of the year.
Last January (See What’s Your Word?) I wrote about my word of the year: Venture. Friends chose Habit and Resilience, and then I completely forgot about The Words. This is what happens when you make plans without accountability. The human brain can’t remember things without cues.
So I was unprepared when Kathryn (resilience) asked about 2015 words. I couldn’t even remember my 2014 word! Which defeats the purpose.
The point of The Word is to choose a theme for the year (note: not resolutions). No one will force you to stick with it, but the idea is to have a simple, easy-to-remember (ha!) guide for surveying options, making decisions, and honoring yourself throughout the year. I’ve decided to keep Venture for 2015. It didn’t get a fair shot last year, in part because I forgot about it but also because (and maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I’d had “Venture” taped to my blue wall like I do now) I got stuck in 2014. I stopped venturing some time in the summer, and got in a personal and professional rut that I’m climbing out of now. More on that another time.
How do you choose a word? Think about last year. What went well? What didn’t? It’s helpful to have a year plan or goals on paper that you can reference. Was there something you did too much? Too little? Or just right, and you’re ready for another thing? In one year from now, how would you like to be different? What do you want your job and home and friends to be like? How is your word informed by your values? (See How to Plan Your Best. Year. Yet.)
Now. Imagine yourself making decisions about how to spend your time, money, and energy. What values do you want to remember during these decisions? What goal do you want to keep in mind?
Next, pick a word. Maybe last year you worked hard and didn’t go out often. This year, you want to enjoy yourself more and sing. Karaoke! Or maybe you struggled to control things (impossible) and when they didn’t go your way, you were anxious. This year, you want get comfortable not being in control. Your word could be Serenity (“grant me the…”), or Courage. Maybe you want to move this year. To Oregon.
When you’re making a choice or having a trying day you can ask, “how does this thing help me do karaoke?” “Can I accept this with serenity?” “Does this decision bring me closer to Oregon?”
There are major ventures in store for my year. What about you? What is your Word for 2015?