An Old Word for a New Year

Yes, I admit it – I’m one of those people who love the fresh start implied by a new year. Every year I look forward to setting intentions, creating vision boards and starting a new calendar (or in my case a new bullet journal). I even start thinking about it shortly after Thanksgiving.

This year, I planned well in advance, took the time to review what worked (I had three novels published in 2017… a lot worked) and what didn’t (hey, extra weight, you’re still there), and from there started to set goals for the year, quarter and the month.

On one of the Facebook groups I belong to there was talk of having a Word-Of-The-Year and someone chimed in with a tool they use by Christine Kane. My first thought was that I don’t need something else to keep track of as I try to hit my 18 in 2018 goal list. I know what my focus is, why should I add something else.

But, I’m a writer. I know the power one word can make and I liked the idea of one word to pull things all together. And since I love preparing for the new year I took a look at this tool to see if I thought it was something that could support my success (if you’re interested you can find the Discovery Tool here).

Well… I’m hooked. Christine walks you through an easy process to help you choose one word (yes, just one, no need to be greedy, trust me) that is there not to be your goal but to energize you and help you stay focused, motivated and inspired as you move to and through all the things you’re hoping to accomplish in the next 365 days. And beyond.

Now, Christine points out that it’s not just a matter of choosing your word. As she writes:

Choosing a word isn’t magic. None of these results happened because I picked a word and then sat back and binged-watched Netflix. Quite the opposite. I chose the word and let the energy of that word guide and shape me. I engaged with it. I took actions based on it.

It was that last part that really got me. Because here’s the thing – I’m really good at setting up a calendar and creating goals. Following through… that’s different. I love starting new projects whether it’s writing a new book or doing a home improvement project. Starting is my favorite part. The middle?  The process you have to get through in order to reach the end?  Yeah, not my strong suit.

Christine’s Discovery Tool talks about the fact that we put our process in the wrong order namely: Do, Have, Be. For example, I will do this thing (like lose weight), so that I can have this thing (more energy) and then I will be this thing (confident). However, the motivation to keep doing so that we can finally get to where we want to be is the challenge – and the reason we tend to quit. The BE level is what we truly want. So set that is your intention and focus – I want to BE ________. When you go in the Be, Have, Do order, you are more likely to stay motivated.

She then goes on to five common traps that kill Word-Of-The-Year results (and lots of others, I might add) before her Idea Generator. Here she offers a list where you will find the word that rings true for you or be inspired to find a different one. After that, there are a small series of exercises to help you narrow down your choice (if necessary) and questions to answer. My favorite was: If you embody this word daily, what would be different in your life.

When I first went through the Idea Generator, three words jumped out at me although none of them had that ring of right that I was hoping for. I wrote a few of my own but still nothing. Then I looked at her list again and saw the word I needed: WILLINGNESS.

For me it’s a wonderfully active word that speaks to getting out of my comfort zone, not letting fear or any other obstacle block me because I am simply willing to do what it takes or at least try.  It’s also a word that guided me through a really tough time over 20 years ago (on four separate occasions I chose a card with this word from a stack of Angel Cards). Seeing again with older eyes and decades of experience made me appreciate its simple power.

So I have my goals and instead of a traditional vision board, I’ll be creating one around this word which I know isn’t magic, but it does remind me to be in action after the shine has worn off the New Year.

I’ll keep checking in on how this word is doing for me throughout the year. In fact – that’s a good idea. One blog post a month will be on how I’m allowing or fighting willingness and the results of that in my life.

How do you start your year? Do you just continue from where you were or do you love the shiny new?


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