Shout Out Your Word and Create Your Year Starting Right Now…

Written by Christine Kane

Last year, I overheard a radio talk show. The hosts were discussing the most common New Year’s Resolutions and the average success rates of each one.

The Top Five were: Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More time with 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 that the success rates were low.

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. It goes like this:

“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.)

Starting right now, however, we’re gonna turn that around. We’re going to start at a deeper level:

The “BE” level.

The best order for creating positive change 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 effortlessly.

When you start only on the DO level, then 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!

For two years, I’ve blogged about this inspiring way to begin the year.  Now, I regularly hear from people who have created big changes in their lives because they focused on one word. To read some of these stories, check out all the guest blog posts from December. Start here.

How to Create Your Year in Five Easy Steps

1 - Look through the list below.

2 - Get quiet and listen to your Wise Self.  (Resist the temptation to choose multiple words. This just splatters your attention.)

3 - Pick a word.

4 - Then shout it out in the comments below so it gets firmly planted in the universe!

5 - Hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.


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

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

Ketzirah Carly January 5, 2009 at 1:44 pm



Jeri Dansky January 5, 2009 at 3:53 pm



Amanda January 5, 2009 at 6:54 pm


It’s time to let go of old things so that I can move forward in my life.


Sonia January 5, 2009 at 7:43 pm


Thank you, Christine, for sharing this incredible concept. 2008 was definitely a trying year for my word (courage) but it definitely served as that touchstone all year. Thank you!!!


Sasha Dichter January 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Thanks for this, I really like the orientation. I blogged about a similar topic – in somewhat less detail – here on my blog. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!


ramy January 5, 2009 at 11:43 pm

DELIGHT-code name, supported by Operation Smile

I’ve been fighting it, respect/honor was on my mind, then I was interested in Practice–but its a DO word. but delight made my heart jump when I read the list. I love Joy but its not the same–I need to delight in my kids, delight in my job (and that I have one) and my spouse. Rekindle the delight I used to feel about research (before children distracted me). Plus, I’m starting to see my face settle into frown lines. Not cool.

delight it is!


LoriGrace January 6, 2009 at 8:09 am

Abundance! We have everything we need in life to make us happy but simply lack the conscious awareness to appreciate it. Thank you for nudging me into this journey.


Debi January 6, 2009 at 9:43 am


It’s time to bring all the parts of me together in a cohesive whole, no more separation, no more hiding this part of my life from the other part.


LMaxwell January 6, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Happy New Year Christine!

My word last year was effortless. This year am going for the gold – with

Thank you once again.


alsokaizen January 6, 2009 at 9:47 pm

FIERCE It found me a bit early this year but I’m stickin’ with it!


SpinDiva January 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm

This is great. I read about this article in Lance’s blog Jungle of Life and before I clicked to come over here I had a word in mind, Serenity. My word is not on the list but I must keep it as it is what rings true for me this year and I believe will bring together many of the goals I have set for my life. Thanks for the inspiring words.


Elisa January 7, 2009 at 12:15 am
Sonja January 7, 2009 at 3:59 am

I used it last year and feel I could use it even more fully this year! I was dealing with a number of new challenges last year and felt creativity was the best response. The word became more expansive with each application and I am very excited to go with the broader, deeper active elements this year.


Cid January 7, 2009 at 4:24 am


as in, to allow the flow of Well-Being in all areas of my life…family, music, fun!

Peace & Abundance, Cid


janell January 7, 2009 at 9:25 am

Being truer with my feelings and actions. Not allowing myself to fall into situations I don’t wish to be in.


rebecca January 7, 2009 at 9:40 am



Guusje January 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I made my new vision board for 2009 and pasted the word RELEASE in the middle!!!


jessica January 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm


The word just made my heart jump.

It seems to contain all the other words.

DELIGHT. DELIGHT. DELIGHT. It will be my mantra for the year.


Andrea January 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm


This year I want to focus on maintaining perspective within my own life and ensuring that I don’t lose sight of those who are less fortunate than me.


Joanne January 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm


I realized that I focus a lot on work and not on FUN, and it is causing my life to be boring and lacking color. So when I was looking through your words, the word FUN picked me and now I am finding myself searching for the fun in different things.

Thank-you for a better way to face New Year’s goals and resolutions.


Clesha Staten January 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm

This is a great way to start my year. Reading through the post, I thought change would be my word for the year. I read further and did the 5 steps.

The word that held me was WILLINGNESS. I’m not sure of the depth this word has for me, but I’m looking forward to finding out this year.


B January 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm



Ellsea January 8, 2009 at 8:18 am

I’ve picked two:

- COMPLETE – because I need to either complete or finish with the projects cluttering up my life, and because I hope that clearing the ground and focussing on things I want/need to do will help me feel more complete


- ENJOY – to remind me to live in the moment more and enjoy all the wonderful things that are happening around me


Nikki January 9, 2009 at 9:52 am



Janine January 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm

I found this post from Marsha’s blog ( It was the first time I had visited her blog and she wrote about this and used the word, “Revival”. That word resonated deep within me. My husband died suddenly a year ago and I really need a revival this year.
But then I decided to go to your post and look over the list (I didn’t want to “steal” Marsha’s!). As I looked at the list, over and and over, trying to find a word that would speak to me, it occurred to me that “my” word wasn’t there ….. in that list. It was all over your post and all over the comments and it finally jumped out at me.


This year I want to choose many things, especially because this past year has been full of so many things that I had no choice in. I am grieving and I have no choice in that. I also have no choice in how and when and how hard it will hit me.
But there are some things I can choose — or start choosing — or re-choose:

Choose joy, whenever possible.
Choose to look up, while in the darkness, and see a sliver of light.
Choose to try to step outside of my grief, even if only for a moment of two.
Choose to remember how blessed I was to have him in my life …. for as long as he was.
Choose to show my children that this “darkness” will not win. I/we will survive and move forward.

I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.
But thank you.
So very much.


Jodi January 13, 2009 at 7:39 pm


Be more creative with my crafts


Amanda January 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm



Nev January 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm


Personally I want to feel the freedom of movement. I want to learn to bike, ice-skate and play badminton. I want to feel confident doing those sports and have the freedom of movement required to do them.

Professionally I want to feel the freedom which comes after a job well-done or during a structured creative/working process. When I break things into small steps and achieve little bits and pieces every day I feel free to move on to other parts of my life and enjoy my free time. I want to be free from procrastination and from feeling stuck. I want to enjoy the free time, which comes after doing what I need to do.


Gail Rhyno February 20, 2009 at 10:34 am



Mindful Mimi November 19, 2009 at 4:41 am

My word for 2009 was serenity. And although I am still struggling sometimes with the concept in day to day situation (I am a seven after all and need action around me), I have managed to find serenity in my overall vision of life.
And I already have my word for 2010. It will be CREATE. After reaching the serenity state of knowing what I want, I will now go and get it. Create as in being creative (painting, taking photos, etc) or as in being creative (setting up my own business, creating the workshop concept so I can sell it, creating the charity etc).
I think I will have to use this word for two years though :-)


Ivy November 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm



FloVaz December 24, 2009 at 12:50 pm



jamie December 30, 2009 at 1:04 am



Andrea December 30, 2009 at 11:04 am


For months I was set on selecting “health” as my 2010 Word, because to me, health is fundamental to quality of life. This morning, I saw something, I cried, and realized I must go one step further. That is when I decided on well-being. Defined as: ‘the state of being happy, healthy or prosperous’ I redefined the word to: ‘the state of being happy, healthy AND prosperous’

And with this definitive step taken … my head is swirling and off I go on a new and exciting adventure with my “one word” …………


shinyyoga January 1, 2010 at 1:49 am



Alouise January 1, 2010 at 3:51 am



Dana January 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm



kompal February 20, 2010 at 5:36 am



Rich July 11, 2010 at 11:56 am



Tina January 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm



nika January 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm



Fiona January 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm


That’s the word that’s been in my spirit and I was so happy to see it on your list. Kind of like having a ‘friend’ agree and affirm that with me.

Every Blessing for 2012!


AlisonF March 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Love this. Last year was Joy! This year is Peace.


T Godfery April 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Abundance in all aspects of my life. :)


Sarah December 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm


Time to let go


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