The New Year is filled with such promise, isn’t it? Anything is possible. Well, at least our optimism for all the new possibilities in 2018 is at an all time high right now. So it’s the perfect time to choose your word for the new year. Like a battle cry telling 2018, “Hey I’m coming for ya!” or more like “Here’s what I’m feeling right now” for those of us a bit battle worn from 2017. New Year goals are attainable..if we set them and put them out in the universe. And it all starts with a theme for the year: a New Year word.
2018 knows we mean business when we intentionally carve out a word or phrase that adds meaning to our goals and purpose to our choices. Sometimes the selection is obvious; other years, not so much. So here’s how I go about choosing a word or phrase for 2018 and more important, how to keep it at the forefront as the year progresses.
Choosing Your Word for 2018
Write it Down and Keep It Around
Write the word or phrase down. Then ruminate on it. But take it steps further and apply it also to your goals for 2018. If there is a connection or a common thread to the word and the goals, even better. Be intentional about it. Take some time to think and reflect. At a minimum, it will be a nice break from the norm. But reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work this pas year is a vital part of this process.
Some of my friends are doing a inspiration board with photos and phrases that inspire them and direct their path for the new year. I LOVE this idea! This would keep all the ideas and intentions front and center. Hard to miss a big old bulletin board on the wall reminding me of my goals and word for the year!
Find a tribe and have them hold you to your word and goals for the year. Accountability partners are like partners in crime who aren’t afraid to ask, “How’s that working out for you?” and call you to the mat when you haven’t say made it to exercise class for the week or written a blog post. OK, that’s hitting a bit too close to home, so let’s move on, shall we?
Confide your word or phrase for the new year and goals for the year to at least one friend or colleague you trust. Preferably more.
As much as I believe in this concept of accountability, there are times where the direction for the year takes a turn and the only choice is to…
Kick the Word to the Curb
If it’s not working, then change the dang word! We’re not marrying the word, right?
Last year, I was all into the Hamilton musical, so I chose a phrase instead of a word. Hey, that’s cool too. Branch out, right? My phrase was “Just you wait.” As in, I’m going to do big things this year…just you wait. Then all my goals had a Hamilton twist (for example: I’ll never be “satisfied” but keep pushing myself to finish tasks I start).
If I have to be honest, I did a poor job of keeping “just you wait” at the forefront of my mind. While it was catchy and all, and based on something I was really into at the time, it didn’t translate into the year’s battle cry that I hoped for. I should have bobbed and weaved and chose a different word or concept when this one wasn’t working.
Which leads me to…
Making New Year Goals Starts with My Word for 2018
Keeping it simple for this year’s word. Going with a word instead of a phrase. So my word for 2018:
It is both a noun and a verb, so both an attribute and also a call to action. I also like it because it has multiple meanings.
Here’s how I hope to apply my word for the year to my goals:
1. Be grace-full
Grace is a wonderful word because it has so many facets. People who are grace-filled have this light and energy flowing from them. I want to be that.
I love that there’s also such a deep spiritual context and strive for His grace daily. This quote by Anne Lamott sums it up:
Psalm 103:8 is the guidepost: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Yep, pretty much if I can channel compassion, grace, and love, I’m winning in 2018.
Action plan: More time reading Bible and everything else I can get my hands on, and focus on those activities that help me stay centered on grace (like music and travel).
2. Say grace
I need to be more thankful and appreciative, so saying grace over life’s blessings is super important to me this year. And by writing about it, now you guys can all hold me to it!
Action plan: Keep a gratitude journal and share my appreciation with family and friends. Write more thank you notes. In general, appreciate the big and small things done for me every day.
3. Grace others
What this looks like is being a blessing to others.
While I try really hard to live up to this, truth is, it’s hard to grace others when I’m what I call “struggling and juggling.” You know, struggling with my own baggage and a generally messy life and juggling too many tasks, mommy guilt, and trying to wear too many hats.
Action plan: donate my time and energy to causes that energize me. Do special things for others throughout the year like surprise the bank tellers, postal workers, and sanitation workers with treats and drinks.
What’s Your Word for 2018?
So would you mind sharing your word for 2018? I love seeing what inspires others and maybe we can be accountability buddies and remind one another to stick to it as we move deeper into the new year and towards our 2018 goals.
Happy New Year!