For the past few years, as the calendar flipped from one year to the next, I've selected a guiding word. In the past my words have been: do, embrace and begin. These words were my guide post through out the year. Each day, each week, each month of the year I'd ask myself if I was listening to my word and making the best effort to keep my word and it's meaning alive in my daily life. Was I doing more? Was I embracing the goodness? Was I beginning a new adventure? Was I living my word(s)?
This isn't something I came up with. My friend and memory-keeper extraordinar Ali Edwards gets all the credit. She's been picking "One Little Word" for almost a decade now. And for the last few years she's been running a workshop to help others stay close to their words throughout the year. I was inspired by her to pick a word and follow its whispers throughout my year.
Picking a word has been pretty easy. They all sort of came to me, based on the hopes I had for the upcoming year. However, this year wasn't as easy. Over the last few weeks I've been trying to come up with a word for 2015, but nothing really seems to speak to me. I thought about words like brave, bold, loud or creative. Those are words I love. I love the idea of having a brave, bold, loud and creative life. But in truth, I already have a pretty brave, bold, loud and creative personality Those words — those ideas — wouldn't be a stretch for me. I wanted a word that would help me (force me) to grow.
Then, as I was setting goals for 2015, it came to me. My word for 2015 would be: ONE.
ONE seems a little abstract compared to the words I've chosen in the past, like DO or BEGIN. But this year I'm drawn to a less concrete word and one that need more inspection, thought and nurturing. Though I'm still trying figure out just exactly what ONE looks like for me and how this word will guide me this year, I do know that ONE has four really important meanings/intentions for me this year.
1. ONE Step: I can get overwhelmed by the big picture. Big tasks or big dreams often feel insurmountable. And when overwhelm sets in, I shut down and procrastinate. That's where ONE comes in. Each day I can take one step, make one move toward making my dreams come true or completing the tasks at hand. I don't have to get it all done, I just have to take ONE simple step in the right direction. I want to challenge myself to wake up each morning and ask myself "What ONE step will I take today?" The beauty of this is that ONE step helps create momentum and before I realize it, ONE step each days will get me to the finish line.
2. ONE Minute: There are some occasions in my life when I tell myself and the people I love the most that I don't have time. I don't have time to listen. I don't have time to play. I don't have time to help. This year, I'm going to take the time. Each time I think I'm too busy, I'm going to stop and take just ONE minute to do what has been asked of me. I can give ONE minute of myself, and then decide what my next minute will be. I've been trying this with my kids and it's already life changing. I'm taking a minute to stop, look at them and really listen. Those moments have been transformative for me and it's not even the second week in January. Listening to them and giving them one minute changes how they feel. They know — without me even saying it — they matter and they are loved. I need to do more of this with everyone in my life.
3. ONE Life: Yesterday when I was driving the kids to school a song I've never heard came on the radio — One Republic's "I Lived." The chorus says:
Hope when the moment comes you'll say...
I, I did it all I, I did it all I owned every second That this world could give I saw so many places The things that I did Yeah, with every broken bone I swear I lived
When I heard this song, I thought of my word ONE and immediately knew that this year I wanted to focus on embracing and completely living this ONE life I've been given. I don't want to wake up 40 years from now and feel like I wasted my life. I want to live. I want to laugh. I want to play. I want to make things. I want to make a difference. I want to live. I have ONE life and I'm going to make it count.
4. ONE Choice: Rather than relying on everyone in my world to fix me or fix our interactions, this year I'm committed to make ONE choice to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. If there is an argument, I can make ONE choice to say I'm sorry or to listen with an open heart. I can make ONE choice to be more loving toward my husband when he's had a long day. Often my life, relationships and interactions spin out of control because I don't take ONE minute to make ONE good choice to react or behave differently. This year I will stop, take ONE minute and make ONE healthy choice.
It' might sound goofy, but I'm so excited for this new year and this new word. I'm excited for the changes it will bring in my life. And I can't wait to let it guide me to awesome places. I'm confident ONE will be my best word yet. Did you pick a guiding word for 2015? What's your word? And what does that word mean to you?