Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016: One Word

A couple weeks ago during my Toastmasters meeting, I was asked to speak for two minutes about my New Year's Resolution. I was stumped. For the past few years, instead of making resolutions, I've used a word to guide my decisions and actions. One year, the word was "uncomfortable," and it meant that I deliberately put myself in uncomfortable positions to encourage personal growth. I enjoyed the challenges it brought and feel like I really learned a lot!

I've been deliberating on which word I'm going to pick for 2016. I'm definitely not going with "uncomfortable" again, because 2015 had far too many uncomfortable moments. I'm ready for something different. I've come up with a few options.


Earlier this year, I read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It's a book that outlines a process for tidying, decluttering, and simplifying. It's based on the premise that all items we own should bring us joy. If they don't, we should get rid of them. I haven't applied her methods yet, but I have worked on paring down my belongings. It's liberating to declutter and simplify my surroundings. I'd like to continue working on this process in 2016, especially because I now live in a small apartment and have very little storage space.

This concept also applies to who I surround myself with. It can be difficult to separate from people we've known a long time but who are energy drains. I'm sure you know some of those people too - the ones who always seem to suck the joy and energy out of the conversation or room. By paring down who I surround myself with, I'll allow myself to more fully experience those who bring joy to my life.


This concept is similar to "simplify" in that it also pertains to tidying. But it would be more than that - I would apply it not only to my surroundings but also to other areas of my life, especially the financial aspect. Trying to keep up with a growing travel schedule the past few years had a negative impact on my finances and I'm trying to dig out from under the accumulated debt. Organizing my finances would help prepare me for my goal of a debt-free future.


I already started to apply this word this year, when I took the year off from competing and really focused on doing the things that I wanted to do. I lived for ME and not for anyone else. It was a complete 180 degree change from what I had done for the past five years, when I found myself compromising or completely giving in to someone else's thoughts and plans. In 2015, I began to really LIVE. I want to continue with this empowering feeling in 2016 by continuing to explore and to create new adventures and memories.

To be clear, this doesn't mean putting my own needs first all the time, or not listening to anyone else's thoughts and plans. It just means that I will stand up for myself and for what I want. I will make myself be heard in a gentle and kind, yet assertive way.


As I was reading Christine Kane's blog, one reader's comment struck me. Her word of the year was "release," and just reading the word struck a chord with me. For me, this word means releasing thoughts and feelings that harbor negativity in my life, and releasing feelings of resentment, guilt, shame, and blame. I'm picturing opening a door in my heart and letting all of the negativity out so there's more room for new and positive things. 

When you open up to a word that will truly guide you, you’re letting your soul show you the way to your own wild, open-hearted, custom-made path of happy.

I'm going to ponder these words, the concepts, and what they would mean for me. When I do decide which word will be my 2016 word, I may join the One Word 365 community. I love the idea of connecting with others around the globe who have chosen the same word as me.
One Word 365 is more than a new way to approach resolutions. It’s a global tribe committed to journeying together and living intentionally. You can connect with others who have chosen the same word or live in your area. Together, we can inspire and challenge each other to live purposefully all year long.
Do you have a New Year's Resolution or do you pick a word? What's your word and how do you plan to apply it all year long?


  1. Nice plan! Keep it up!

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