A friend shared an alternative approach to creating New Year’s Resolutions. For the last three years, she has chosen a word that defines what direction she wants to head in the upcoming year. Instead of listing “specifics” she meditates and visualizes her hopes, wishes and dreams and then categorizes them under an umbrella term; used as her motivational mantra throughout the year. For this year she was vacillating between love and courage, thinking about using both. Then through conversations with others, she realized the recurring word that kept popping up was “connection.” And as she said, “I have found that the word I settle on, most often finds me, not the other way around.”
By focusing on this one small, yet enticingly expansive word, she will walk through the coming 365 days deepening her connections with herself and with others, while staying in tune with the connectivity we can all experience, when we dip into the well of our shared roots.
Just a few days after this conversation, I happened upon an article in our local paper, “My Life, My Words; Three Little Words Have an Impact.”* In it, Kristine Bruneau writes, “Since 2012, I’ve chosen three words to inspire and guide me along the path of achieving my goals. At the end of the year, I reflect on how well these words have helped shape my efforts.” Her three words for the coming year are “restore, integrate and teach.” For the year just past, they were “amplify, connect and share.” They are a trio of interconnected words, which seem to act as stepping stones to growth. The first, a verb, “takes action”; the second exemplifies how she will integrate the first tenet into her own life; and the third, how she will spread this to the world beyond herself.
Whether one word or several, both approaches are positive and action oriented. When focused on the solution rather than the problem, you automatically walk in a positive, forward moving direction.
By setting a word, or words of intent, you are practicing the Law of Attraction.
For the last couple days, I have opened up my mind to receiving a word that describes what I want to attract in the coming year. I meditated and prayed, and allowed the first word that came into my mind to sit and stew for a while. It was an unexpected word. Some may even say an odd word choice. But the more I let my mind tinker with this idea, the more I realized it encompassed all my hopes, goals and dreams.
My word for 2014? — “BEYOND”
I want to reach just beyond my comfort zone into the unknown realm where growth occurs. I want to re-discover my hidden talents; I want to experience life as it is, and then take it just one step further. I want to reach beyond myself to help others and the world.
Thinking beyond is going to help me “feel my fear, and do it anyway.” When I am about to embark on a new or different endeavor, and my fear (of failure, of the unknown, etc.) tries to stop me, I am going to pause, breathe and reach just beyond that fear into the landscape of trust. I am going to take my life just one step further.
I am going to remember this one-word phrase (hmm… oxymoron?!) whenever I am faced with a daily decision, choice or activity; I am going to pause and ask myself, “what would going just beyond look like?”
The same goes for facing disappointment. Instead of focusing on “why life didn’t turn out the way I had imagined,” I am going to look for the hidden land of opportunity that lies just beyond the field of disappointment.
This word will help define the direction in which I want to head; but I am not concerned with defining what that will look like, what that will feel like, or how I will exactly get there. That part I’m leaving up to God and the Universe.
And I can’t wait to see what happens!
Some questions you may want to ask yourself when choosing your own Word (or words) Of The Year:
- In what area of my life do I want to grow?
- What do I want to learn more about myself?
- How do I want to more deeply connect with my community? Family? Friends?
- What am I afraid of?
- What have I wanted to try that I haven’t yet?
- Where do I see myself in one year’s time? (in my personal relationships, in my financial stability, in my career, in my state of wellness?)
Then take a deep breath, close your eyes, relax your body, and exhale. What is the first word that comes to mind? Hold onto it, follow it, see where it takes you… and then come back here every once in a while to share your experiences with this annual exercise!
SOURCE: * Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, ROCarts, Section 2C