Do you have a word of the year?
The buzz on the blogosphere is the “word of the year” post. I have read a number of them this week. Each is dedicated to selecting a word that summarizes the intentions the writer has for the year. It’s a resolution of sorts, for sure, but, more than that, it’s an aspiration for the life the writer wants to live in the coming year.
I like the idea; it’s more hopeful than resolutions, which always seem to go by the wayside once the calendar switches to February. Resolutions, indeed, seem destined for failure—perhaps because we overcommit when we create them. After all, if we really wanted to change something about our lives, wouldn’t we just do it? Why wait for January 1?
I, as you might have guessed, don’t do resolutions (“firm decisions to do or not to do something”). I do, however, create goals (“objects of a person’s ambition or effort”) for the year. Each January 1 (or thereabouts), my husband and I sit down for a quiet meal with our blue spiral-bound notebook. Since 2006, we’ve been creating annual goals for our family, recording them in our spiral-bound notebook. We use the goal setting as a check-in of sorts (How are we doing as a family? As a couple? As parents?) and a chance to plan ahead (What house projects should we get to this year? Should we go on vacation? If so, where?). Our focus is specific, as we have found the vague (“get healthier”) doesn’t translate into action. Mid-way through the year, we’ll check in on our goals, and, at the end of the year, we’ll review the goals we set, checking off the ones that are done and re-committing to those we want to continue into the new year.
I love that we have this ritual and that part of the ritual is writing down our goals. It’s fascinating to see how our goals have evolved over the years, and how in sync we are developing priorities for our family. Part of this process is holding one another accountable for our personal and professional goals and offering the support we each need to make sure we’ll be able to put more checkmarks than not in our blue spiral-bound notebook at the end of the year.
And, what about a word of the year?
I’ve decided, for the first time, to embrace the word of the year movement, seeing this idea as a complement to the specificity of my annual goal-setting, and a small embrace of the aspirational bent of the resolution, while still keeping myself fully ensconced in goal land.
My 2015 word of the year is… better.
Perhaps not so new-agey, it’s the first word that came into my mind when I decided to select a word for 2015. I want 2015 to be a year of me being better: a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, writer, colleague, neighbor, and person. Being better, for me, means being a bit more patient and understanding. More listening, less complaining. More reaching out and connecting. More deep breathing, less yelling, More teaching and sharing. More feeding my mind with inspiration, more learning. More taking care of my body, more pushing myself. More reading, more writing. More laughing and being present. Essentially, working harder to be a better version of myself. Life, after all, is far too precious to not be the me I’d like to be—or the me I should be.
For a look at how other bloggers have committed to their Word of the Year, read on:
Do you have a 2015 Word of the Year? Tell me in the comments!