How One Word Can Change Your Life

Every December for about the last 10 years or so, instead of making new year’s resolutions, I choose a word that will become my guide for the coming year. I use my word as a way to stay focused and move my life in the direction that I want it to go. When I feel like I’ve lost my way a little, all I need to do is remember my word and it helps to put me right back on track.

A single word is a powerful thing. It carries both focus and clarity – two things that can help you achieve your goals more easily, and ultimately make positive changes in your life. A word also comes with no rigid expectations like resolutions do. This means there’s room for making mistakes but then getting back on track and beginning again right from where you are – without guilt or a sense of failure.

My Word for 2019

This year my word is expansion. I didn’t really pick this word; it was a word that picked me. Sometimes it happens that a word just appears or pops into your head, and your intuition knows that it’s the right one to use. I’m excited, and a little nervous, to know how the coming year will unfold using this word as a guide.

Developing Rituals

Right from the beginning I’ve really embraced the whole concept of using a word as a guide, and over the years I’ve developed a ritual for giving my word some extra magic. Every year I make a small piece of art that represents my word using images, symbols, colors, fabric and stitch. In essence I create a talisman.

I believe that when we create from the heart and soul, our energy and intention is transferred and embedded into the artwork. This type of art becomes sacred and special; holding a personal type of magic for the creator.

For quite a few years I made “vision cards” which are small piece of art in card form, that represent my word.

How One Word Can Change Your Life

How One Word Can Change Your Life

How One Word Can Change Your Life

How One Word Can Change Your Life

How One Word Can Change Your Life

I even turned one of the cards into a small wall hanginging so I could hang it on the wall and look at it every day.

How One Word Can Change Your Life

How One Word Can Change Your Life

Another year I made a book cover for my sketchbook which I use just about every day, so I never forgot my word.

How One Word Can Change Your Life

I also sometimes like to dig deeper by making small journals that use a single word. This concept challenges you you to consider what a journal really is, and is the next video workshop I’ll be presenting in Creative Art’n’Soul Journaling. You can find more details about Creative Art’n’Soul here.

How One Word Can Change Your Life

This year I made a mixed media wall hanging with a tiny journal to hold my word. This was so much fun I turned is into an online class. You can find details about it here.

How One Word Can Change Your Life

How One Word Can Change Your Life

How One Word Can Change Your Life

Over the last several years I’ve also been developing a deeper practice for using my word on a daily basis, and this is how the “Creative Vision” Planner Journal was born. This planner journal works on the understanding that changes are made by taking small consistent steps, and over time these small consistent steps gather strength and power that result in big changes. You can read more about the planner journal here.

Creative Vision Planner Journal

Whichever way you choose and use your word, it’s a wonderful way to get through the year. At the end of the year looking back, I’m always amazed at how things unfold in the most amazing way, often bringing profound change along with it.

To choose a word I use this simple 3-step process:

1. Get Clear about your Vision
The first step to finding your word is to get clear about what you want. How do you envision the coming year? Are there changes that you want to make such as discarding old habits and creating new ones? What is it that you want to be, do or have? How do you want to feel? Take time to make a list.

2. Define Your Vision
Once you have clarity about how you want the year ahead to look, define how these changes or things will impact you. It’s not enough to make a list of all the things you want, without also understanding why you want them.

3. Choose Your Word
Now it’s time to choose a word that captures the essence of how you envision your coming year. Make a list of all possible words and pick one that feels right. I generally use my intuition when choosing a word. Intuition comes from a place of deeper knowing and understanding. It’s never wrong.

I hope your word brings you an amazing year ahead.

And if you have already chosen a word for the coming year, free free to share it in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “How One Word Can Change Your Life”

  1. Thanks so much for your timely post. Without really thinking about it, over the last month, one word kept popping into my head. After reading your post today I know it’s the word of the year for me. And so the journey begins……

    1. So exciting to incorporate ONE WORD to embrace .knowing and stepping forth in life that if sincere your life will change to
      In ways U can’t comprehend.
      I look forward to it.

      My word for the year is MINDFULNESS

  2. Diane Foote-Taylor

    Thank you so much Linda, you have touched my heart and my imagination.
    Seasons greetings!
    Diane

  3. Thank you for this lovely post. I think you have touched a lot of people with your positive outlook. It certainly touched me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. As I read this in its entirety a word for me came immediately to my mind ! It is change. I am a senior and do think about all the changes I am experiencing but I want to embrace them enthusiastically and so my word is “ change “

  5. Your vision cards are lovely…what a clever idea to jump-start the year creatively. FOCUS is the word I chose for this year (and I see that’s one that you’ve created a card for already!) After reading a few books on “clearing clutter” and visiting websites dealing with the subject of artistic focus, I realized I need to hone down my techniques to those that will keep me on a path to ultimately creating a cohesive collection of works, rather than just producing a bunch of fun art projects (although there’s nothing wrong with that!) So this year, I vow to FOCUS on surface design techniques on fabric, to eventually produce wearables and/or quilted art pieces. And that commitment feels good! Happy Holidays, everyone!

  6. Catherine de Seton

    I too have my word – it happened unexpectedly when I was commenting on another blog about their “word” – saying I couldn’t “see” my word – when all of sudden it was there, after I hit “post” so I posted my word EXPLORE.
    Right now, I’m exploring my storage shed, mainly fibre related items out their, all carefully bagged/boxed…I’m about 3/4 way through, and have dedicated a good part of each week to that…
    If I’m thinking of saving something either from the bin, the thrift shop or another human – I put what I can through the washer…and then it’s reaccessed at the next level…making good progress.

    1. Catherine de Seton

      and ideas on what to do with “saved” materials are surfacing, so I’m feeling very positive that in February – things will begin to evolve…

  7. After reading your post I sat here thinking. What would I like my word to be. Thought I pop into my sewing room and it came to me ENJOY. I had a year in 2018 where everything was a struggle. Both mentally and physically. So this year is to enjoy the thing I do . Starting with making a card. Thankyou Linda

    1. Catherine de Seton

      Linda, I was supposed to sort/sift up everything in the “shed” last year – where there is 50/50 of craft/other – but all I did really was put more in there, a bit better organised.
      Then early winter (remember I’m New Zealand), around April and my health worsened, no medic seemed to work out what until bingo in August severe pains and ended up entertaining a surgeon. I finally felt better in early December…
      However, within all that my art program kept calling me, even if I had gotten a medical certificate, I would still need to catch up…

      So EXPLORE fits well with me, and I’m working at quite a speed in my shed/many things have gone into the washer (it’s summer now, here); and there are nice piles with ideas swimming in my head. I know EXPLORE is the right word…at this point in time

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