Resolution Revolution: A Better Way to Start Your Year

Written by Christine Kane

The regulars at the gym are already joking about it.

“Have a good workout now,” they say. “Cuz next week, it’ll suck in here.”

That’s because all the folks who have – yet again – made their New Year’s Resolutions will show up. They’ll stick around for a while. Then, around St. Patrick’s Day, the regulars get to have their old gym back.

Last week, I overheard a radio talk show. The hosts were discussing the most common New Year’s Resolutions and the average success rate. Among the most common were Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More time with the Family.

I don’t know about you, but this kind of To-Do List approach to life transformation does little to inspire me. And it doesn’t surprise me at all that the success rates were pretty depressing.

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life. The DO level. It’s the DO-HAVE-BE model. “I will DO this thing.” (i.e., Lose weight) “So I can HAVE this other thing” (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)

The average New Year’s Resolution doesn’t address the core of the issue – the “BE” level.

The best order for creating positive changes in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.

When you start only on the DO level, then all the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can’t overcome.

A Better New Year’s Ritual

Several years ago, my friend Kathy and I decided that, instead of making resolutions, we would pick a word that would guide us throughout the year. It would be our touchstone. It would remind us of living our lives at the BE level.

This didn’t mean that we didn’t take action. It meant that our actions were inspired from the BE level. In fact, I took more action than ever with this new approach!

Since then, I’ve included this idea in my newsletter at the start of each New Year – and the response is always huge. Last year, I blogged about it. Now, I regularly hear from people who have created big changes in their lives because they focused on one word.

How to Choose Your Word for 2008

Look through the list below if you need some guidance. Get quiet over the next few days. And pick a word for the year.

Just one word. That’s all.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.

For instance, let’s take one of the examples above. Let’s say you are one of the many people who would normally choose “Get Organized.” You look around to see clutter and crap all over your life. You’re tired of the chaos. So, you think, “I need to get organized. That should be my Resolution this year.”

But then you read this blog. You decide to try it.

You sit with your clutter. You spend a few days pondering words that will inspire you. You realize in an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you tend to cling to lots of things. You’re scared to let go. So you choose the word “Release” because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”

So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go. Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself. You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the extra weight you’ve gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.

Your clutter became your teacher simply because you shifted your intent towards it. This wouldn’t have happened if you’d opted only to “Get Organized.”

What word to choose?

Many people know immediately which word resonates with them. For others, a little contemplation is required.

I’ve compiled a list of possible words below. As you read through them, see if one stands out for you. It’s tempting to choose four or five, believing that you can do it all! (Or that you’re too messed up to narrow your flaws down to one helpful word!) I recommend that if you can’t choose just one, narrow it down to no more than three.

One is ideal. It gives you focus. If you master that one word, you can choose another one in June.

Compassion
Delight
Generosity
Effortlessness
Wealth
Gratitude
Abundance
Creativity
Willingness
Change
Growth
Freedom
Mastery
Kindness
Health
Presence
Acceptance
Courage
Confidence
Self-Love
Action
Forgiveness
Forgive
Release
Trust
Knowing
Patience
Friendship
Fun
Grace
Laughter
Love
Expansion
Exploration
Adventure
Openness
Discipline
Awe
Awareness
Risk
Gentleness
Choice
Spirit
Prayerfulness
Power
Allow
Artfulness
Attention
Beauty
Joy
Focus
Ritual
Heal
Order
Clarity
Pioneer
Peace
Laziness
No
Yes
Deliberateness
Commitment
Savor
Integrity
Listen

Here are a few snippets from the comments from Last Year’s Blog post on this topic –

“… it seems that my 2007 word is ‘health.’ During this lovely time off from work I’ve made a small change toward it – I’ve eliminated the sugar from my morning Earl Grey – “

“Thank you for posting this blog on resolutions. I have shared this with many of my friends. My word is “home.” I am in the process of revisiting the idea 10 years after moving from my childhood home in MN. I have been roaming the US and abroad for that ten years with a lack of desire for grounding. Its hit me this past year that the time is near to look for that place and define what and who is there–what an exciting journey.”

After much deliberation as well as discussion/brain storming with friends for over a month, I have at last come up with my word for 2007. In 2005, my word was “survive” (the love of the first half of my life had just passed away in mid December) and for 2006 my word was “easy” because I was just coasting through life. Along about October, I decided that since I was alive, I might as well live wide open/out loud. So I’d like to announce that my 2007 word is THRIVE!

Due to a general lack of clarity, I let the universe choose (kind of) – I wrote all your words down, added some of my own, cut them out, put them in a box and picked one! So, my word is “wealth”. My first response was to put it back in the box and pick again! But I didn’t, having learned that sometimes facing and moving through the strongest resistance means experiencing the strongest growth.

My words over the last 3 years have been peace, forgiveness, and focus and have come to me instantly. I’ve grouped my favorites for me into doublets: gratitude/abundance, discipline/balance, self love/spirit. I am going to settle like a good dog tonight, journal and find the answer for me for the year….i am enjoying the contemplation.

My word is vulnerability– letting go of control, opening to the stuff I don’t have answers to, FEELING what is uncomfortable and going even deeper. I’m realizing that to be truly compassionate I have to know my own vulnerability.

I think my word shall be ‘Listen’. Listen to friends, listen to family, listen to God, listen to my heart. You’d think somebody who talks as little as i do would be better at listening, but it’s not necessarily true.

Please feel free to share your word – or your experience with last year’s word! Happy New Year everybody!

{354 comments ... read them below or add one}

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{354 comments ... read them below or add one}

Anna Garrett December 31, 2007 at 8:52 am

My word is ENGAGE. I tried to choose something that was not related to the things I think need “fixing” in my life. Instead, I chose something that described a feeling I want to have. Happy New Year to everyone!

[Reply]

Christine Kane December 31, 2007 at 9:11 am

Thank you to everyone for your insightful comments here! I’m in awe of how much clarity and peace is contained in your words. Very inspiring. I just returned from leading my last 2007 retreat – and I’m happily reading all of these with a big smile. (Anna – I LOVE Engage. Very nice word!) Today I’ll be spending some quiet time with my own word choice. Last year’s word (pioneer) was huge for me. And I may want to use it again because it opened so many doors for me –

[Reply]

anita December 31, 2007 at 12:17 pm

My word is INTENTIONS. I chose this word as the word that will drive my actions this year. what are my intentions? what did I intend to do? what is my follow up. Thanks Christine for this wonderful idea. Jennifer Louden introduced me to your wonderful blog and ideas and this is just one more great idea I’ve gotten from you. I’m hoping to meet up with you at some point.

[Reply]

Karen December 31, 2007 at 1:04 pm

I love this idea. I chose “gentle” as my word for 2007. Thanks for the great idea!

[Reply]

Molly December 31, 2007 at 3:03 pm

When I first read the entry, I was all over health being my word for 2008. However, the more I think about it…I am going to go with Acceptance. There are so many more areas that can bring change-I think Health was my word for last year, I just didn’t know it.

Thanks for all you do Christine, one of my favorite blogs!

[Reply]

Regina Clare Jane December 31, 2007 at 6:00 pm

I have come back to read this post several times since you first posted it and it really has changed my life. The whole paragraph on why resolutions don’t work really resonated with me and I can see how all my life I have been doing instead of just being! This is awesome to know!

I wasn’t able to pick a word initially but just this afternoon, the word “abundance” stuck out and grabbed me. Initially, I only thought it would mean for a better financial situation, but then I thought that my problem in this area is because I have that feeling of lack in certain deeper areas of my life. So whenever I am feeling lack of love or talent or confidence, and yes, money, I will whisper to myself, abundance, abundance, abundance!

Thank you so much! I am printing this out for myself and passing this website onto others!

[Reply]

fivecats December 31, 2007 at 7:11 pm

i’ve written a posting in my blog about my own word for the year, Purpose. while i’m not necessarily looking for a purpose in life, i’m looking to create the changes in my life that lead to being able to accomplish those things i have set purpose to in my life. to me it incorporates intent with action and fights laziness with conscious choosing.

thanks for posting this again this year. i thought about it a lot last year and knew i wanted to make it a part of this coming year for myself.

and just as valuable as the word itself was the thought process behind coming up with the word.

this is a great exercise. thanks for facilitating it for us all!

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Josef January 1, 2008 at 9:08 am

My word for 2008 will be Courage. I have realized recently that there are many, many fears in me that have been driving my life and so I think Courage to be who I am and do what I want is just what the doctor ordered. Thank you for this wonderful post.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Josef

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Deb Smouse January 1, 2008 at 9:41 am

Thanks for running this again. I wrote my column for this month about this issue and my words…. “Passion, Forgiveness and Courage”

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lisa January 1, 2008 at 10:50 am

LOVE reading everyone’s word for ’08. Thanks for the nudge, Christine. This year I’m picking RELEASE.

here’s my 01.01.08 reminder to myself -
“Release the people, places, things and most important – the beliefs that are holding you back or down.

Lift your arms above your head, hands open, and release the tension you’ve been carrying in your shoulders, neck and head. Feels good to let it go, doesn’t it?

Stop what you’re doing right now and take a deep breath. Now release it. Imagine (trust) that the air you’re exhaling is carrying fears, disappointments, grudges – anything that’s been feeding that now-released knot in your gut.

Release that need to please everyone.
Release that concern over what others think about you.
Release that anger about when you were wronged in the fifth grade.
Release your sadness that he or she doesn’t love you the way you want.
Release your over-worked inner judge – forget about perfection!

It’s that time of year.
What are you going to let go of in ’08?
How are you going to ensure that the next thing you pick up is worthy of you?
As you look back and forward, forget about resolutions. Lighten your load. This year make releas-alutions.”

as always, i send you all that is good.

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NancyCz January 1, 2008 at 11:09 am

Going to take a stab at this for the first time. I’ve read it time and time again, but I think my freakish fear of failure stops me. But, looking back, ’07′s word was definitely “ADVENTURE” — as Kris and I began our monthly Adventure Day and that opened up so much to us.

So, I’m proud and pleased to annouce NancyCz’s word for ’08: ACTION. In my work (I have a group that really needs to start ACTING), in my personal endeavors (after years of consideration I’ve finally gone vegan), and in my interaction with others (it’s cool to listen to them complain, but I need to do more to help people change their situations).

Very excited for this endeavor!

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StaciSchoff January 1, 2008 at 1:06 pm

I needed some inspiration on this matter and I knew I’d find it here! I just looked at my 7 goals from last year — and I’m not satisfied with any of them. Not that I didn’t improve upon them in any way, just that they’re still my goals today. I’m going to pick a word that best encompasses them and try focusing on that. Happy new year to you!

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Dwight January 1, 2008 at 4:54 pm

A friend at work emailed the link to your “resolution revolution” post. I usually don’t open those mass emails, but for some reason today I was willing. I’ve long felt I was raised, like so many, to be a human-doing rather than a human-being, and I enjoyed reading your spin on that. As I perused your list of words, WILLINGNESS cried out to be picked up, and I wrote it down, tentatively, on my notepad. I continued to scroll through your readers’ posts and after the fourth or fifth one, I noticed an urge to post something myself. Then, almost immediately, I heard a chorus of internal voices: “It’s not important” – “Nobody cares about your word, Dwight” – “You won’t say it right, anyway” – “You don’t have time.”

That sealed the deal for me. I knew then that WILLINGNESS would be my mantra for 2008: Willingness to read an email that a friend thought was important… Willingness to do what comes hardest… Willingness to try something new… Willingness to just be myself… Willingness to show my vulnerability… Willingness to speak up and take action… Willingness to join a friend for a meal instead of hibernating… Willingness to post this message. Thanks everybody!

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Bridey January 1, 2008 at 5:32 pm

My word for 2008 is ADVENTURE.

I’m planning on a lot of travelling this year and trying things that are a bit outside my comfort zone.

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Kay January 1, 2008 at 5:56 pm

I love this idea and have sent it on to so many others this ‘New Year season’…. but what I love even more, is that I got it sent to me by others outside the group I sent to….sharing what a great idea it is. Cheers and gratitude to you Christine!! Just wanted you to know how far and wide your ideas are going….out there and beyond and back again through others. Just imagine, too, all the listings on blogs mentioned here, how ‘far’ it has traveled and how many people out there are focusing on just one word.

My word is ORDER and it was not my first thought by far but kept returning….so I chose it for that reason. I am sure that it has to do with a deep desire to be more ordered in my life in so many areas, not just the physical order of things, but the order of my life priorities, my actions, and my choices.
I wish everyone a Happy New Year and much success with their word!

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Tammy Brocker January 1, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Christine- I love this idea, I hope you don’t mind but you inspired me to do my own resolution blog post (I gave you credit and a link of course!). Thanks for all of your great posts over the year, you always inspire me.

Tammy

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ChickiePam January 1, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Hi Christine,
I have considered many words for this year. In the past, survive, easy, thrive…and this year I’ve considered power, release, delight, wealth, fun, and love, but what I’ve come up with is ADVENTURE. I can be comfortable with the other words, but adventure feels a bit scary…a bit of a stretch. So, I have decided to do a vision board around it. I’ve had a few adventures in my life that I really don’t want to repeat and others I just don’t want to experience, so my plan is to use the vision board to create clarity around which adventures I’d like to experience this year. And in my head, I see 4 sections. One section for work, one section for family/home, one section for relationship and one that is open for goodness. I like syncronicity and will stay open for it. So, I’m off to start cutting up my magazines.

Thsnks!
Pam

Just a note…I did a vision board at your retreat last spring. First, I left it at the retreat and had to get you to bring it to me. Then, I posted it on the door to my bedroom where I would see it often. And since then, a few things have fallen off. Interesting.

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Becky January 1, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Thank you for this inspiring post. I have chosen my word and just blogged about it. I can’t wait to see what happens in my life as I follow this word through the year.

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Marisa January 1, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Dear Christine,
My husband and I chose “adventurous vision” (there are two of us, so I am thinking two words are ok!).
I just wanted to thank you both for that idea and also because you have been an inspiration to me for, wow, it must be 6 1/2 years now.
In May 2001 you sang at this little event at BC – it was the awards gathering for all of us who had survived thesis writing in the English department. You had my friend Mo and I in fits of weeping in the moments before graduation (“Off the Ground” KILLED us!). We were so ambivalent about leaving Chestnut Hill – sometimes it felt like it was about nothing but football and parties in the Mods, but the fact that someone as awesome as you had gone there made us wonder over all we might have missed.
Your music has been an amazing solace for me for years. Reading your blog has inspired me as well – I finally started my own a few months ago and it has been such an amazing great experience. It’s been a trip to synthesize all of that poetry I studied and all of the spirituality stuff I ignored when hanging out with the Jesuits.
Thanks so much for being out there in the world.
Blessings,
Marisa

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Kim January 2, 2008 at 12:51 am

I just read about this post, and it hits right on where I’m having trouble with my assessment of things and general readiness for a new year… I had picked my word, never having heard of your plan, which was/is “Practice”. But I was getting all caught up in some specific things that means. When I get stuck thinking about how I failed to play the drums for a half hour EVERY DAY this week or whatever, I’ll have to remember about BE first. Perhaps I could also think of the word “Student”. Thanks for the food for thought.

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Belinda January 2, 2008 at 2:10 am

Thank you. My word was not on your list. It is CALM. I’ve decided to start more meditation and inward focus although I am in a busy and sometimes stressful job. It should also see me through a recent relationship breakup. God bless.

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jer January 2, 2008 at 8:58 am

hey wow, i got quoted. :)
and man, it doesn’t seem like it was a year ago that i wrote about my word being “listen”. time flies, eh?
the word did stick with me throughout the year, but now i definitely fall into the category of people whose new word needs to be “action”.
and i’ll throw in “it’ll be ok” as another phrase to remember.

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JoBos January 2, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Now this is interesting! My word is DANCE. Yes, it does have to do with getting some exercise in this new year. But, to me, it means even bigger things.

I love the song “I Hope You Dance”. That’s where my word has come from. As I did when I was a child, I still feel small when I stand beside the ocean. I hope to never lose my sense of wonder. I know when one door closes, another opens. And when I get the choice to sit it out or dance, I intend to dance.

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Ankur January 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm

What a great idea! My word for this year is LOVE….myself, everything, everyone, and just ooze it out of me.
It’s funny how I was telling a co-worker earlier in the day what my intention was and at 4:26pm I linked to your website and article…..synchronicity in action!

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Megan Stringfellow January 2, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Christine, I love this idea! Thank you for sharing it. I just had to blog about it. It really struck home, and has inspired me to change how I set goals for myself through the year. After thinking about it for a while, I have chosen BEAUTY for myself for 2008. It is perfect. I want to surround myself with beauty, which means, a beautiful (clean) home, a beautiful me (inside and out!), beautiful art, beautiful relationships, and so much more. I don’t think I’ve ever been excited by a new years “resolution” before, but now I can’t wait to get started. Thank you!

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Christine Kane January 3, 2008 at 1:50 am

wow – these comments are so amazing to read. thanks to the heart and soul that went into them. i’m truly inspired. and marisa – i was not at all into bc when i was there. don’t compare my outsides in 2001 to your insides when you were there! bc was a hard time for me – and i agree with you about the football and mod parties — but i’m glad that i offered some inspiration to you when i returned to perform there!

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Michelle January 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm

marissa and christine – Just wanted to wave and say hello from another bc alum.. I went to grad school there in the late 90′s. I hope someday that you come back to Massachuestts Christine!

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Janet January 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Discipline is the word I chose. I lack it in most every area, so I’m going to visualize “discipline” as a good thing and will it to be so!

Happy new Year!

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leau January 3, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Hi Christine, I just finished posting on my blog about my word for the year and was cruising other blogs and found your fabulous article thru Marilyn. I went right back and made a PS to my blog to link to this one! Love your stuff. HNY

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Graham January 4, 2008 at 3:09 am

I feel very inspired by this post, Christine. And from all the great responses (I especially liked Lisa’s), I can see I’m not the only one. I wonder how it feels to you to create such magic?

You say that the touchstone word becomes “… your guiding force, not your harsh standard.” That really sticks in my mind and I think it is an important distinction.

I decided to choose two words; one is, as you suggest, the touchstone for how I want to be; the other is the touchstone for what I think I already am and want to continue to be.
I hope that this linkage will provide me with several things: a sense of continuity; a fallback for when I mess up; added force in taking action.
What it means is that I’m saying to myself: “I think I am already A and now it’s time to be A + B.”

A BIG thank you for the inspiration – Graham.

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eleonore January 4, 2008 at 7:03 am

Hi Christine, I have felt very inspired by the list and variety of words or better the possibility of choosing one that can help me most. I found it was not easy at all, because applying them would make a change in my life.
But there is one word, not included in the list, stuck in my mind: it is wisdom. Last night I looked up the Salomon’s chapter on wisdom and found it fascinating.
Thank you for your posting!
All the best for you!
Love Eleonore

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Christine Kane January 4, 2008 at 10:33 am

thanks again to everyone for your words and thoughts!

eleonore – i’m amazed to find that wisdom is NOT on my list. thanks for adding it!

hello michelle – i’ll get up to MA within the year, I’m sure. I was up there this summer doing a day workshop – and a show in NH.

graham – you wrote “I wonder how it feels to you to create such magic?” — It’s weird. In so many ways, I feel delightfully detached from this kind of response. (I think I got LOTS of that ego stuff out of the way in my first ten years of playing music.) And then there’s a gleeful part of me that loves to strike a chord. (no pun intended.) The funny thing with blogging is that you really never know when you’ve written something that will evoke response. (That’s where the detachment has to come in.) Thanks for your comment and your vulnerability – I like the two-word approach!

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Lisa thedomesticdiva January 4, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Thanks for such a great post! My theme word is COURAGE…

http://thedomesticdiva.wordpress.com/2008/01/02/sewhow-about-a-little-courage/

I’ll need to focus often on COURAGE if I’m going to pull it all off!

With friendship,
Lisa

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Deb January 4, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Back again. I wrote above that “wealth” really struck and stuck with me. I really do sense this is a concept I need to get a different relationship with, but I have had a prompting that I needed co-word to keep me balanced.

I spent a lot of time reflecting on different words and trying them on for size but for one reason or another each one didn’t quite fit. Then I read Lisa’s comment on “release” which sort of made me giggle. And it kept coming to mind in the oddest contexts.

I decided to spend time reflecting on why “wealth” and “release” would go well together. Isn’t it counter-intuitive; doesn’t wealth go with hanging on? But this other line of thinking started building that maybe releasing the voices holding me back could be a step toward earning the wealth needed to secure my financial future. (I know, it’s a stretch.)

Thanks.

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lisamoon January 5, 2008 at 5:04 pm

‘love’ is the word that popped into my mind. ‘love’ for self and others but especially for my own self. what a perfect way to embrace myself for the year with ‘love’ being my intention. i imagine only good shall come of it. blessings, lisamoon

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Debbie G January 6, 2008 at 12:31 pm

What an incredible idea.

I think I’ll place the word on the wall somewhere in the house. Buy the wooden letters and hang it. Or make a simple vertical plaque. Hang it somewhere quiet – a small space near a door jam, or a hall way end, or the like. Where it’s not ‘in your face’, but subconsciously there. Just to keep it near the top of my subconscious!

Thank you. I’ll be sharing this with many friends.

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Cindy Jones Lantier January 8, 2008 at 7:01 am

What a great idea! I’m a little late to the picnic, but I had already found my word for 2008 without realizing that’s what I’d done. I made five gratitude journals during the holiday season: one for myself, and the others for loved ones, because I wanted gratitude to be a touchstone in my life in the upcoming year and I wanted to share that intention. I’m happy to say that just in a week, my attitude is better and I’m happier.

Thanks for spreading the one-word concept. I haven’t made resolutions in years and now I know why!

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Stacy January 8, 2008 at 6:33 pm

I really like your new take on New Year’s resolutions. So much so that I linked to your post from my blog. My word for 2008 — Playful. It came to me when I misread Prayerfulness as Playfulness.

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Alice January 8, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Hi Christine,
Alice from your Swannanoa a.m. class here.
I really like this idea. I have adopted “Truth” as my word. Truth as in “my truth” and saying what I need to say. It is already making a difference.

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M January 9, 2008 at 10:52 am

What an interesting post. I have only just ‘found you’, having been directed from another blog. I had already decided on my word – vulnerable. Allowing myself to become more vulnerable will help to break down barriers. It was intended to be my word for a specific project, but the more I considered it I realised that I must apply it to myself for the whole year.

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Sherry January 9, 2008 at 12:18 pm

I was directed to your site by Holly after she shared her 2008 word with us and the reasoning behind choosing a word than than a resolution.

I’ve chosen mine: Committment. I’ll be blogging about this and will give you credit and a link back.

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Ian January 9, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Adventure:
trying and achieving anything out of your norm is an “adventure”. Adventure has challanges(which I have many) as well as rewards, and thus I think I can look at the New Year as an adventure of completeing adventures and recieving the rewards.

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Peter January 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Ally – I will strive to always act like an ally with my wife

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Julie January 20, 2008 at 12:56 pm

My word is “communicate”. I just want to get better at this. Thank you for a wonderful post. I am not one of those at the gym….yet.

Grins!!

JulieQ

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chris January 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I have chosen a word a year for quite some time. It is so very helpful. My word for 2008 is THANKFUL! Maybe it will keep me from whining so much!

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Angela Gair January 23, 2008 at 1:20 pm

COMPELLED
To force, drive, or constrain: Duty compelled the soldiers to volunteer for the mission.

Christine you used this word during the retreat and it immediately resonated with me. I remember I may have even said ‘great word’. COMPELLED is my word for 2008. I LOVE this word in all tenses. It has forward movement and momentum…it reminds me of other words and phrases: ‘go’, ‘propelled’ and ‘if it’s not an absolute YES it’s a NO’; this also reminds me to not over think and analyze. When I over think I get stuck…this has been true when I audition for films or tv (big projects)…I over think…I really get on my nerves when I do that:) This word has a gentle choice factor ring to it too…’if you feel compelled’ – in my words this is like saying ‘we all have our own journey so if this speaks to your soul…great if not, that’s okay too’. What is interesting to me…this word does not give me an ‘out’ to not do something my soul is telling me to do. Does that make sense? Instead it is a reminder to listen to my ‘soul’(which is one of my favorite things to do) and continue on my path.

I have found that I can also use this word to complete tasks (folding laundry) that I am not a big fan of. Laundry does not ‘compel’ me (nor do i need my soul to speak to me to get this done) to fold it but is ‘propels’ me to just get it done.

So far this word has brought a lot of forward movement. My soul has guided me to Executive Produce 2 music videos for a friend of mine http://www.DeAnneMoore.com…that stepped on stage for the first time last year. I am using the money I make from selling a clunker car to complete her videos. As an actor and producer I have learned that you don’t need a big budget to make a great film or video for that matter.

So back to COMPELLED – this word has a domino affect as well; DeAnne was COMPELLED to begin a music career – she was COMPELLED to share her new venture with me – I was COMPELLED to meet with her…and now WE are COMPELLED to forward movement. Thank you Christine…this started with your phrase ‘should you feel COMPELLED’!

Love it!!!!!

Here is to a COMPELLING 2008!

With Gratitude,
Angela

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Tom November 2, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Christine;
My word was “Health.”
I decided to concentrate on getting healthier: Improve my physical condition and move toward my optimum weight.
Since I did that, I’ve had nothing but health problems.
Perhaps I was a year too late in doing this.
One nice thing: I concentrated on my health this year.
I’m getting back to it now and I think I’ll choose the same word next year.

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suzyblu November 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

I was fascinated by your “word of the year” idea from the first moment I read it, about three years ago. (I’ve always disliked ‘resolutions’, but the idea of a word resonated in my being.) My word has been the same for the last two years: Kindness. It will likely be my word again this year, as I haven’t mastered the art of being kind, especially in the midst of stressful, frustrating, discouraging and even heartbreaking circumstances. I don’t mind practicing the same word year after year, hoping that I get a new slant or insight on the concept of kindness. It’s been quite a journey thus far and I must admit I did a better job at being kind the first year I tried it than I did this year. Three times is a charm and I think I’ll give it one last shot.

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Nora November 30, 2008 at 5:58 pm

I came across this several months ago and bookmarked it so I could come back at the right time. I have a birthday coming up and so I always get to make my first set of resolutions/intentions a bit early (then I can do them again in January!). My birthday intentions are usually more internal and reflective and have to do with my self-growth, while my regular New Year’s resolutions have to do with external things like breaking bad habits, etc.

So, for my birthday year, I’m choosing a word that’s not on your list: something I lost, I don’t know when, probably in bits and pieces over long lonely years of isolation and despair. That word is HOPE, and I really need to find it again. (If I end up adopting a second word in January, I think it will be WORTH.)

Thanks for this effort. It touches me to see so many people committing to so much self-awareness and care for themselves and others! Happy 2009, in advance.

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Michele December 11, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Well thank you for this challenge. The word I picked already sent me into a wonderful healing experience that continues to lead me to deeper understanding. Wow, and this is just the first month. I posted about it on my blog along with the SoulCollage card I created for my “word of the year.” AWESOME!

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