Every year 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 this 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 2020
This year my word is change, or to be more exact “embrace change”. Embracing change can be a difficult thing, as it often makes us feel uncomfortable. It shifts us out of our comfort zone and forces us to look at things in a different way; sometimes pushing us in a different direction. The secret to embracing change is resilience and learning to flow with life’s changes instead of pushing against them.
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 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.
This year I created a visual journal and went deeper into the process of identifying what the word means to me. I enjoyed the process of working in a journal which offers lots of pages to explore all the different aspects of the word. “The Visual Insights Journal” is now an online class and you can find details here.
In previous years I’ve made “vision cards” which are small pieces of art in card form, that represent my word.
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.
Another year I made a book cover for my sketchbook which I use just about every day, so I never forgot my word.
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.
Last year I made a mixed media wall hanging with a tiny journal to hold my word. This was so much fun I turned it into an online class. You can find details about it here.
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.