One of my absolute favorite things about the beginning of a new year is picking a new word of the year.
If you’re unfamiliar with the One Little Word concept, it was started several years ago by Ali Edwards. The general idea is that instead of setting a list of random resolutions, you pick one word that encompasses all your goals as a theme for the year. You focus on it. You meditate on it. You think about it. You can read more about it here.
This will be my third year choosing a word, and the word really does become part of your year. Both years my word has lingered in the back of my mind for the entire year. Both years my word showed up in unexpected ways throughout the year. I’m sure it’s partially because I sat down and thought “this word encompasses who I want to be this year.” Even so, it showed up. It helped me grow. Really, that was the goal.
Way back in January, I wrote about how I’d chosen the word (enough) to be my 2017 word of the year.
I had spent a couple months in late 2016 debating between two words: enough and whole. I loved them both, and at the last minute I said (enough) and picked one. I wrote about my word. I made a vision board focused around this word. We were friends.
BUT, by the end of January, I’d kind of had (enough.) It had been a good month, but I wasn’t really sure where to take my word. I didn’t really feel connected to it, but I kept thinking back to my runner-up word. I decided to let the word speak for itself and let (enough) be (enough).
This was a major lesson for me, and I really think leaving this word is exactly what needed to happen for this word to serve its purpose. Too often, I force things to work much longer than I should. Sometimes things aren’t meant to be, and that’s OK. It’s better to move on and find the thing that is meant to fill its spot.
So, I kind of unofficially switched. I didn’t write about it anywhere. I didn’t use it as inspiration for paper crafts. I just made a mental switch and moved on. I’m SO glad I did.
I spent 90 percent of 2017 focusing on the word (whole).
I focused on contentment and being a well-rounded (whole) person. My husband and I talk a lot about how life is like a pendulum, swinging back and forth. You’ll be really extreme in an area. You’ll realize that being extreme isn’t really working out very well, so you’ll swing over to the other side and you end up being extreme in that area.
For example, you’ll be obsessed with Instagram and post three times a day, but then you feel overwhelmed and miss your IRL friends so you stop checking Instagram at all. But, then you miss it, so you go back to posting three times a day. It’s a pendulum.
This year, I looked for the areas of my life that were on this pendulum-esque cycle, and I worked on making those areas more centered, balanced and whole.
I focused on making individual healthy choices, instead of BIG crazy diets. This led to consistently exercising for longer than I ever had before. I ate more whole foods and less processed foods. I had the healthiest work-life balance that I’ve ever had. I learned to take small breaks from things when it seemed like they were overwhelming other areas of my life. I worked on being less obsessive. I tried to be OK with failures and mistakes, because part of being whole is accepting the good with the bad.
Overall, I had a great experience with both of my 2017 words. I really love the idea of having a word for each year.
I’m really excited to share my 2018 word in the next few days, and to see where it leads. I’ll be sharing what it is in the next few days, so stay tuned if you’re intersted.
In 2016 my word was NOW. I loved it. You can read more about my year with NOW here.