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

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.”

Get your Word-of-the-Year Discovery Toolkit

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!

You can grab your free Word-of-the-Year Discovery Toolkit right here, and share it with your friends.

 

Get your Word-of-the-Year Discovery Toolkit

 

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December, 2014 and has been given a slight makeover to keep it fresh and current.

367 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Victor

    Hi, I just received an email about this blog post and thought I’d take a read and really enjoyed the article.

    So I was scrolling through the list of words and as soon as I saw the word, it just resonated with me… And that word is “action”! I’ve always been a procrastinator and I’m looking to start my online business and in order to do that, I need to take “action” right?

    Anyway I subscribed to your newsletter and I look forward to seeing more of your great content…

    Thanks
    Victor

  • Charlie Hendricks

    Happier – Faster – Hugs I think I’ll hit the gym in December so that I blend in for the 3 weeks of the new year I make it there. Nice tips enjoyed ideas and experiences. Happy New Year!

  • Kelvin Coach

    My Word for 2013 is Success!

  • http://tinyurl.com/amerwatte39783

    This amazing post, “Resolution Revolution: A Better Way to
    Start Your Year” displays that you know just what u are speaking about!
    I thoroughly agree with your post. With thanks ,Buddy

  • Jasna

    For me- HOME
    XXX

  • Raederle

    I spent twenty minutes meditating with my eyes closed, lying still.

    I saw a tranquil forest and I heard: Peace

    My nose pressed to the nose of a fellow being and I heard: Connection

    I felt that my energy had no bounds and I heard: Freedom

    My being felt like it was part of the greater web and I heard: Spirituality

    I saw a dark cloud on the horizon, something that should not be, and I heard: Cleansing

  • Alice Coaxum

    This is a great post and I also believe that New Years resolutions don’t work. It needs to be an all year resolution which requires consistency, confidence and action.

  • Marilyn Southmayd

    Thank you for this wonderful article. It has gotten me to thinking.

    I had a hard time settling on just 3 but I decided on the following 3
    Creativity
    Confidence
    Discipline
    I need to have confidence in my creativity and have discipline to follow through on what I am working on. I think the last word is the one that I need to focus on the most…Discipline. Yep, I tend not to make myself to the work that I need to do.

  • Teri Bump

    Hi- is the one word resolution your original idea- look for origin- thanks!

  • Erin Friedman

    A belated thank you for a great idea. Loving it, living it. 2011 is: FORGE.

  • Heather Barron

    Thank you Christine! This is lovely. A friend shared your link after reading my blog: “Clan of the Thunder Thighs” (see website above) entry called “New Years Resolutions, or Devotions?” I am going to link to this page because I think you share such a wealth of ideas here. I have followed your music for years and LOVE the messages you are birthing into the world! You are definitely on my list of inspirations. Thank you and blessings for a joyous, growth-filled 2011!

  • Pablo

    Very nice post, but I would add “Persistence” to the list of words.

  • nicole 86

    Hi, my motto for next year will be : let go
    let go of possesions, let go of toxic relationship, let go of bad habits, let go of anger, let go of resentment, let go of fear, let go of resolutions, let go of whatever prevent be from being free.
    Every night, I would like to be able to think i had at least one opportunity to let go.

  • Michelle Halpern

    This is a wonderful post! I linked to it from my blog post here:

    http://adesiretogetcreative.blogspot.com/2010/01/word-of-year-discovery-tool-2010.html

  • Carlay

    I sat and thought for what seemed like forever. Browsing through thesaurus.com forever. I needed a word to remind me to keep going. To press on. It came down to “advance.” I always seemed to stop and stare at the enormity of a problem and procrastinate, do everything possible but what I need to. Now, in 2010, I need to move on and go somewhere. I need to advance.

  • More Strawberry

    Flourish!

  • Judy K

    My word for 2010 is tolerance. I am a perfectionist so I need to have tolerance for my lack of ability to always do things perfectly. More importantly, I need to have tolerance for those who don’t move as quicly as I do, for those whose mind doesn’t process things as quickly as mine does and for those whose views and goals are very different from my own. I need to show tolerance when others don’t do things as I would have done them! I say a prayer every day that God will help me to become a better person and learning tolerance will be a big step in this direction!

  • Ieva

    I also want to thank you for this great idea. My friend shared this site with me by the end of previous year (2008), so I chose a word for the 2009. It was a real success, I have grown faster, learned a lot and become a better person with one word only 🙂 This year I’m sharing this with my friends too and already found a word for the coming year.
    As the words are in my native language – Latvian – I did not find a good translation into english, so I’ll not be able to share the words with you 🙂

    Thanks again and I wish you a happy and successful New Year.

  • Biz

    This is by far the most awesome recommendation for the up and coming new year. I am a nutritional coach and have shared this concept with my clients and we are collectively making it our resolve to simplify the process of resolutions by focusing in on one word. What a concept. It’s amazing how that one word can encompass all sorts of spin offs. Thank you Christine.

  • JB

    My word for 2010 is CLEAR. Read about it at my blog. http://blog.mentalmanifestation.com/2009/12/word-of-year-2010.html

  • Rebecca

    Be-Do-Have model reminds me of the three As: Awareness, Acceptance, Action.

    The three As are about how, before we take action on a problem, we need to have awareness about it, and then acceptance of it. We cannot take action to change something first, and have it work out.

  • Sue Sullivan

    Laziness! I love it 🙂

  • Mike Matthew

    I started living out a word every year about 10 years ago. I started with the word persistence, picked from a hat full of words. It was a hard year starting up a new business but that word sure got me through and now I will have persistence for life.

    Other words that I enjoyed were Romance, Ease and Funky. Right now I’m experiencing Joy.

    One tip, I’ve found that living out a word that has emotion and that is a way of being is the key to having the word ‘Stick’.

  • Tara

    I’m on board with the resolution revolution! My word for the year is fearless.

    Like Christine, I’m skeptical of the value and effectiveness of traditional new year’s resolutions. I ask my coaching clients to think about the feeling or state of being they hope to acheive through the various goals and actions of their traditional resolutions. Then we look at the wide variety of creative ways they can acheive those feeling states right now, today, as well as throughout the year. I wrote more about this in this blog post: “What To Do Next With Your New Year’s Resolutions.” Its at http://sophiashouse.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/what-to-do-next-with-your-new-years-resolutions/

    Thanks Christine, for a great post that is creating a more powerful 2009 for so many of us.

    Tara

  • vicki

    Openness.

    That speaks to me as I have been anything but open for years.

    Now to figure out how to get closer to there.

  • Isabel

    I particularly like how you use the chosen word as the stepping stone to deeper self-inquiry. I agree that investigating why that one word in particular is the one that comes up for us in this particular moment is only a clue, a key into our soul.

    I’d also add that it may be useful to notice what arises in the body as you think of your chosen word (or any word). Do your shoulders get tight? Do you smile? Do you get a headache?

    While the mind can play tricks on us, sometimes making us believe what isn’t real, the body works only with true experience. So, listening to what the body says to the words you contemplate can also be a great tool for self-knowledge.

    Great post, Christine! Thanks for something fresh for the New Year!

  • BOSSY

    Hmm. No wait — ‘Hmm’ is not Bossy’s 2009 word of the year, she was just saying hmmm.
    Actually, let’s stick with ‘hmm’. Probably most appropriate.

  • Taexalia

    What a brilliant idea 🙂

    My word for 2009 is “Story” – whatever happens tell it like it is…

    Happy Hogmanay!

  • Cheryl Finley

    Oh Christine, I am so glad that you’re inspiring this..again! And, it was meant to be! Last year I just “happened to” read about this on a friend’s blog, and the same thing happened this year! I am indeed in sync with what’s seeking me..and the energy you generate.

    My guiding word for 2009 is “Bloom!” I have an affinity to flowers and words associated with them i.e. budding, blossoming, blooming, seedling, fragrant, etc. Flowers and other nature that blooms is a strong metaphor for life to me. I witness so many things Bloom in some of unlikely places, or so it seems; but that’s a strong testimony to “bloom where you’re planted” and to fulfiling your Divine Nature, no matter what. “Bloom” has been whispering to me for a while; I’ve made many mandalas and written about this regularly on my blog(s). Here’s one brief entry I’d like to share with you: http://mandalaoasis.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-bloom-anyway.html

    Moving into 2008, my word was “Believe” which I wrote about here…it’s indeed words and art from Spirit…my Muse.. I even found the video for “Defying Gravity” to include with it. Inspiration truly is abundant! here is is…please enjoy:
    http://artineveryday.blogspot.com/2008/01/believe-defying-gravity.html

    I look forward to checking back here, to see what everyone’s up to.
    Cheers! ~Cheryl

  • Joni

    I was reading one of those grocery store freebie magazines — “Skirt” and saw a delightful little drawing by an artist, Summer Pierre, called “Resolution Revoltion”. I was able to find it online, and just finished sending it to some friends, while listening to Christine’s call…. and THEN I bumped into her blog topic here .. so BINGO, I will share the link to the drawing! Enjoy! Joni
    http://skirt.com/node/24645

  • kare anderson

    Collaboration

    In an uncertain 2009 I believe in the power of sharing ways
    two or more of us can accomplish greater things together than alone…

    – IF we get clear and specific about the methods (learning from each other),
    +
    how to find the sweet spot of mutual benefit.

    It is not a year to be about “you” or “me” but about adept groups of us.

    When we agree on actions and projects
    that enable us to use our best talents
    we naturally become higher-performing
    and happier together.

  • Jeanne Beck

    Christine, I spent this year cradling the word “fruition” with powerful results for my art and personal life. My word for 2009 is “flourish” — “to be in a vigorous state; thrive.” What a powerful image for the next chapter of my life. Other definitions of flourish are “to be in one’s prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc” and “to be successful; prosper…to grow luxuriantly, or thrive in growth, as a plant.” It will be an exciting and fulfilling New Year, of that I’m certain. Thanks for your wonderful blog and newsletter!

  • Karen

    I joke every year that my New Year’s resolution is to give up smoking. Since I haven’t touched a cigarette since college (nearly 20 years), it helps me start out the year feeling nice and successful when, in fact, I haven’t done anything.

    I have issues with anger and its flip side, anxiety. My word and intention for 2009 will be “serenity,” which is the antithesis of both.

  • Nadya

    I read about the ‘word for the year’ in a note Michele posted about her card & the process on kaleidosoul (a soulcollage group) 🙂
    I spent Nov with ‘Soul Coaching’, & have been in a spiritual book group for several years, & the word that came was ‘Presence.’ When I got to my massage haven a little later in the AM, & drew an angel card – you guessed it; “presence!” An angel bathed in light. I often draw an angel to watch over a season – fun that the angel & word match.
    Now to make the soulcollage card to go along with . . . one friend works on ‘treasure maps’ (vision boards) ~ New Years as part of her process, & have been thinking of that as well.

    thank you~

  • Michele

    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!

  • Nora

    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.

  • suzyblu

    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.

  • Tom

    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.

  • Angela Gair

    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

  • chris

    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!

  • Julie

    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

  • Peter

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

  • Ian

    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.

  • Sherry

    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.

  • M

    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.

  • Alice

    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.

  • Stacy

    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.

  • Cindy Jones Lantier

    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!

  • Debbie G

    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.

  • lisamoon

    ‘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

  • Deb

    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.

  • Lisa thedomesticdiva

    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

  • Christine Kane

    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!

  • eleonore

    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

  • Graham

    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.

  • leau

    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

  • Janet

    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!

  • Michelle

    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!

  • Christine Kane

    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!

  • Megan Stringfellow

    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!

  • Ankur

    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!

  • JoBos

    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.

  • jer

    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.

  • Belinda

    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.

  • Kim

    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.

  • Marisa

    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

  • Becky

    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.

  • ChickiePam

    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.

  • Tammy Brocker

    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

  • Kay

    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!

  • Bridey

    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.

  • Dwight

    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!

  • StaciSchoff

    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!

  • NancyCz

    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!

  • lisa

    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.

  • Deb Smouse

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

  • Josef

    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

  • fivecats

    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!

  • Regina Clare Jane

    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!

  • Molly

    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!

  • Karen

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

  • anita

    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.

  • Christine Kane

    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 —

  • Anna Garrett

    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!

  • Caren

    Thanks for the inspiration! (again) I’m still processing the effects of my word for this year (wealth), but my word for 2008 is clear. Just wrote a blog entry about it!

  • Burtine

    My word is “Release” I so badly need to do this in so many areas of my life. Thank you and have a wonderful New Year.

  • Sue OK

    Hi Christine, I have been ruminating on ways of being the past couple of days, and so your blog here is timely for me too. I was thinking at first, before I got to your list, about the word “risk” but it didn’t seem quite right to me (too scarey. i heard a deep booming voice and finger pointing down at me *thou shalt risk more in 2008*). When I scanned down your list and came to the word FUN, I knew that was it. Thank you for this, for your blog, for being here. You are one of my blogging mentors!

    Sue

  • Sue

    I had to think about this for quite awhile. I have chosen clarity as my word. It fits. If I mention this word to myself, my decisions and actions and path seem to clearly lay themselves down in front of me. Amazing! Even this morning, I woke up early and had planned to work out. My whole family including the dogs were still sleeping soundly, so crawling back into bed was very temting. I woke up enough to think of the word clarity and somehow getting out of bed became easy! I know that how I take care of my body is a direct reflection of how I feel about myself. My body has carried me through a lot. It deserves the same love in return. And this is just one tiny part of what this word will do I believe. How cool is that?! Thanks! Happy New Year!

  • m

    I think I’ve chosen my word Self Care. I’m not sure if this is different from Self Love but I know that I’m reluctant to do things taht are good for me becuse its too much ‘work’. Yesterday I thought as I’ve got a cold it might be a good idea to steam my sinuses but it seemed toomuch bother to do it.
    Well I did it this morning and it really helped. Then I did it again a few hours later. I have to get over feeling I’m not worth it.

  • claire

    I must have read about this when you blogged about it earlier this year because I’ve been thinking a lot about what my word would be for this year – and it’s WISDOM. I was only thinking a few hours ago about how that encompasses my goals – and it’s one I’m really happy about. The excellent timing of the BE-DO-HAVE model as I need something to help me choose the oar I want to use in my 2008 boat.
    Thanks.

  • Krishna

    Love this post, a word is a great idea. I started having all these smarmy, clever, arty ideas, so fake.
    But the word serenity, keeps popping into my head and holds more sincerity.
    so that will be my word.
    Krishna in Australia

  • Carmen

    BE, just be, I didn’t see this in your list. I am in this stage in my life where BE is a neccesity. Is it ok with you? I need to enjoy this moment right now, be is my word!
    This is a great post!

  • Michelle

    I struggled between three words that immediately sprang to mind. The three were. Acceptance, Authenticity and Simplify. I say with them all through a few days’ time and realized that AUTHENTICITY was to be my word.

    I want to live authenitcally…in a manner closer to my true self. In order to do that I have to accept myself and I realized that my authentic self is more are ease when things are kept simple. So of the three words Authenticity seemed to me to encompass the other two. I was suprised that the words was not already on your list but here I go into 2008 living with Authenticity/Authentically.

  • Emily

    Christine,
    This is the first I’ve heard of this idea and it sounds wonderful. After several days of considering, I have chosen two words that, for me, go hand in hand….delight and silly. I have struggled with a great deal of pain of various kinds in my life and 2007 was transforming for me with much focus on awareness and acceptance. So, for 2008, I would like to focus on the delightfulness and silliness of life instead of the pain. It will be interesting to see if this focus will bring new transformation in 2008.

  • Patricia

    hello

    I fell in love with this idea last year and chose Courage as my word for 2007. Whenever I thought of it and that was frequently, it bolstered me and my intentions very much. Looking back it has been a tough year and courage helped me through. I’ve told many friends about the word of the year too and it seems to resonate with so many of them

    My word for 2008 is Stretch. I thought of it more than a week ago and it just feels perfect for what I want for the year. Stretch my body – my work – my emotions. Get outside my comfort zone – but stretch can be a comfortable stretch or a little more intense.

    thanks for your blog. It lifts me along with your music. and stretches my thoughts..

  • Alyson B. Stanfield

    Christine, this is timely. I was just listening to a recorded teleclass about “being”–about deciding to “be” a certain way rather than accepting to be another (less desirable) way. I very much appreciate your thoughtful list. In 2008, I am leaning toward being AWARE, but I want to try it out for a day or two to see if something else is a better fit. One single word . . . it’s a commitment.

  • Judith Green

    Hi Christine, thanks for your post it really spoke to me and as I read the list I thought I am never going to be able to make a choice but low and behold one word jumped out at me and that was FOCUS. Thank you
    Judith
    New Zealand

  • wesley jeanne

    I’m new to your blog this year, so I’m new to this idea. I think it’s brilliant. I put a link to it on my blog to share with my friends.

    Since reading your post the word that keeps coming up for me is “Attention.” It must be my word. In 2008 I want to pay more attention: to my kids, my hubby, my mother, my relationships, my work, my students, my spirit, my health, my body, the world around me, my life, myself. So many times I notice I am drifting through my days, floating through my life and too much is passing me by. So many times my attention is divided, torn this way and that so that I give my all to no one task. In 2008, I hope to return to that word “Attention” again and again and bring my focus back to what matters at the time. I think I’ll write it on notes and place it around: in my car, in my office, in my house, on my computer screen. That way I can see the word and be reminded to Pay Attention.

    Thank you so much, Christine, for this wonderful idea.

  • Shama Hyder

    LOVE this idea! I think I will double words this year…”Integrity/Patience” = )

  • Terry Starbucker

    Well hello there Christine! It’s been too long since I mused on your blog- and I miss your attempts to make acronyms out of my Blogger security codes (no one has attempted it since, for good reason – that was no easy task!). Alas, I’m now on WordPress (ta da!), so that’s a thing of the past.

    As always, your posts always make me think, and this one was no exception. Narrowing everything into a single word has that “elegant simplicity” I am always striving for myself. Here’s mine:

    Om

    Since I started practicing yoga about six months ago, I’ve found that my times of meditation and the chanting of this mantra believed to be the “spoken essence of the universe” has brought me much in regards to my mental health and well being. I guess I could have chosen “centeredness” as well. I’ve learned its OK to be still, and not think about anything but what’s happening at that very second. I’ve written about “sinking into the earth” at these times of stillness and relaxation, and that’s a mental image that goes hand and hand with the sound of Om.

    I’m going to continue this quest for “centeredness” next year, with that word and sound as my touchstone. Thanks again for helping me continue to think all this through, and Happy New Year.

    See you at SOBCon08!

    Terry

  • lilalia

    My word for this upcoming year is trust. I am going to reflect, contemplate, and meditate upon the meaning of trust. I wish to find out where or when I lost my trust in myself: especially the loss of confidence in and reliance on my ability to meet life’s challenges. I plan to read, write, dance, do yoga, laugh, cry, dispute, and discuss about what trust is and rediscover that jewel my spirit once possessed.

  • Heather

    ACTION! I’ve just got to get out there, have fun, & act “as-if.”
    I’ve spent so much time laying the groundwork for action… NOW is my time. By the way, yesterday, I actually cried in a store while contemplating a $29 hat. “It’s not right to spend $29 on a hat…” ran through my mind…selfish…greedy…etc.
    I really liked that hat, though. It looks great hanging by the front door. Another triumph of ACTION. And when I got to the register, my mother paid for it anyway. Lucky girl, I am. A girl of ACTION!!
    Love to all.

  • Sue B

    I just found your blog this morning. This is a brilliant idea! I have never made resolutions because they never get kept. I think your idea to focus on one word is just brilliant!

  • Amy

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, CHRISTINE!

    My mom sent the resolution revolution to me tonight and I LOVE it! My word came to me instantly: GRATITUDE…a word I often think about but have not given the respect to that it deserves…. until this year!! I know in my head and in my heart the things that matter most, and this year I will remind myself of those things by keeping my word close at all times…not letting the other stuff get in the way. I have so much to be grateful for and I already feel the power of this thought process…THANK YOU!!

    GRATITUDE.

  • Caryn

    I love this approach. Will have to give it some thought. I usually don’t make resolutions because they never work for me. Last year, however, I resolved to lose 18 pounds and I lost 20, but that sort of thing is rare, I know, and I had a lot of support and motivation for it.

  • Glenda Watson Hyatt

    Awesome idea, Christine! The first word that came to mind was “focus”. I bounced around a few other words, while multi-tasking, before settling down to write this comment, but “focus” kept coming to the forefront. With focus, I feel I can accomplish more of why I was put on this earth, and that will create inner peace because I’m doing what I’m meant to do. In turn, that will create wealth of various kinds. I’m sensing “focus” will be quite a powerful mantra for the year. Thank you.

  • Deb

    Hi Christine,
    I have been working on my year-end review of last year’s God List. (I don’t do resolutions I have areas of focus that I am spending extra effort thinking, meditating and when appropriate doing; and I also lay out that I would like to see God to move in these areas.)

    Part of the review process is jotting things to consider for this year’s God List so they don’t get overlooked when I move to the new list-making time. Your post came up in the middle of this process and the last year’s comment about the word wealth just really struck me and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

    Finances and income are always on the list because there has to be a solution bigger than our little brains. What the wealth comment helped me see was that I always put finances on the list but it was always hiding at the bottom like this alcoholic cousin. The path we have been working (to death) has been frugality and doing less/doing without. Maybe the solution is more wealth but that is really really scary. And I just wrote a small book (obviously not related to Seth Godin) so I will close. Thanks.

  • Kathy Jacobs

    Great idea. Found your blog via a twitter friend. Will be posting on my blog in just a bit, with a link back to you and what my word is.

  • ChickiePam

    Hi Christine!
    I wondered if you would blog about this again this year. As I read over your blog and the comments, I was moved to tears. (Christine, I know you just said “duh!”, since you know me to leak a bit!) I noticed just this week that I just don’t cry much anymore. I used to cry every day, many times a day. I think I’m down to once or twice a month! Yay me! Since I’m the one with survive/easy/thrive for past words, that is a very big accomplishment for me. My tears were of gratitude and love and joy and knowledge of just how far I’ve come. I have done a great job of thriving this year.

    I have been pondering my 2008 word for about a week. So far I have many words that appeal to me, but I don’t have one that is perfect yet. I have a friend who is spending New Years with me (as she does every year) and on our “to do” list is to talk about our words and figure them out. I’ll let you know. We plan to do a lot of walking in the woods, eating yummy healthy comfort food, sitting in the hot tub and sauna and watching some good movies on DVD….general girl bonding things! Our daughters are also best friends and now almost teenagers and will be doing the same, I’m sure!

    I’m thinking about power….so we’ll see! Thank you so very much for your powerful and positive influence in my life.

    Pam

  • Lin

    First word that springs to mind for me is CONTENTMENT…had a tea party for over 80’s and we ask the oldest lady in the house what is her secret of aging gracefully. She sat…smiled…looked at me and said “contentment of the mind”. xx

  • Kai Jones

    My word is “discover.” I want to discover who I am and what I want to do with my life. I want to discover possibilities and options. Who knows where else discover will lead me? I will discover it as it happens!

  • Lisa

    I also like the word GENEROSITY. I love your blog post from last year about leaving tips everywhere for everyone, and paying the for the guy behind you at toll booths.

  • Lisa

    Great post! AGAIN! You are so amazing.

    My word is INSPIRE.

    I am reading Debbie Ford’s book The Best Year of Your Life and she talks about exactly the same thing you write about here. first you have to expose your fantasy – the thing you want accomplish. “I’ll be happy when i …” and “I’ll feel alive when I …”

    Expose the fantasy. I’ll be happy when I am paid to write as my job.

    but that’s not really it. there’s more. I’ll be happy when I’m inspiring people.

    Then the next step is to figure out the FEELING that you are actually chasing after, because it’s never the perfect body, perfect job, perfect relationship … it’s a feeling beyond the physical that each of us really wants. Debbie Ford says, once you have figured out the feeling, identify one action you can do every day to generate within yourself the feeling you are chasing. “Commit to being 100 percent responsible for creating the feelings you desire.”

    It’s great because suddenly it’s not a goal in the future. It’s something I can start doing today. No more resolutions. Just every day action.

    Thanks for being an inspiration.

  • Julie

    I was introduced to this idea for the first time in December 2006 by another blog and by the time I was done reading the entry, I knew what my word would be for 2007 – Listen. For exactly the same reasons as the person you quoted above. And WOW – was that ever the perfect word. Thanks to all the listening I did this past year (not to mention scads of praying, too) I now have my word for 2008 – Artist. It was going to be Transform, but I realized that I was running away from the word Artist much like I have been running away from my art, rather than pursuing it, which I truly feel God is calling me to do.

    I was worried that the word might be too limiting. I was wrong! One goal of mine is to clear out the clutter in my life. In order to create a studio space, I have to do just that. Plus it’ll free up my time and relieve that guilt I feel when I go to paint instead of clean. I wanted to get out more, meet some more people. Well, I’ll be taking a class in oil painting where I’ll meet more people. These are just a couple of examples. Amazing how much one little word encompasses.

    One idea that the other blog suggested and that I immediately adopted was to have my word engraved on a simple sterling silver bracelet (with the year on the inside.) I’m a very visual person, so for me it’s a good way to remember and stay focused.

  • linda

    Christine: This is so weird. I just read about your idea on Marilyn’s blog and hadda come over. I had a dream this morning where the word “ACTION” was set before me (?) on a card. hmmm.
    p.s. Enjoyed hearing you at BlogHer!

  • Christine Kane

    kathy – “abundance” is a great teacher. i can’t wait to hear what manifests for you!

    go debra! as you know, i’m very into courage. it seems like 2008 is a big year for lots of people. indeed for all of the planet, it’s a time to step forward and be courageous and know the power you have!

    excellent jeffrey!

    joel – here’s to fearlessness!

    marianne – there have been several people who have written to me with “action” as their word. It’s a great motivator!

    laine – another great one!

  • Christine Kane

    ariff – i’m glad you brought up that little inner feeling that moves you from one word to another because it’s more “perfect” for you. that’s exactly the process!

    Thanks Rebecca – it sounds like a step away from “discipline” is a good thing! a little self-care can be a better motivator anyway!

    thanks beebee!

    hi leah – now is fantastic. (one of my readers designed a watch that has “now” on it. you might like it!)

    what a lovely vignette, adam. thanks. fulfill is a great one.

  • Christine Kane

    hey tim – connection is great one. i’ll have to add it to the list. THanks for thinking of it. i watched myself get tempted to “check out” during the holidays at my family’s house. and i challenged myself to stay connected to each moment…

    thanks elaine! that’s one of my favorite words.

    amy – “audacity” is another great one for me to add to the list! Thanks!

    marilyn – a coach I know chose “leap” one year – and she made so much extra income that she wrote to me and told me she wanted to bill me because it was my fault that she had to pay so many taxes! 🙂 it’s a good one to generate movement.

  • Laine

    I think mine will be “Get Up.” As is “Get up and move.” Get up and work. Get up and be brave. Get up and take risks.

  • Marianne

    The word “action” sprang to mind immediately, and I was then gratified to see it on your list. In 2007 I had a goal to have begun recording my first full-length CD by the end of the year and it didn’t happen although I was thinking about it constantly. I have come to realize that while thinking is important, it doesn’t make anything tangible happen in and of itself. I also realized the goal “record a CD” loomed too large, even when I added the caveat that it only had to be started by the end of 2007, not finished. So this year I’m setting baby-step goals, with the help of people who’ve done it before and know what steps are required. My goal for January is to audition drummers and set regular rehearsal times with all the musicians. Yahoo! Feel the fear and do it anyway!

    Thanks for everything Christine & her wonderful blog community!

  • Joel Martin [Distant Society]

    My word is “fearless”, if you are fearless then you can do anything.

  • Jeffrey Hunter

    My word is “write.” Every day for at least one hour, with the goal being a book.

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • Debra Roby

    Courage.

    Like the cowardly lion, I seek the courage that I already possess.

    I sense that 2008 has the potential to be a life-altering year for me. A year where I cannot passively wait for something to happen to me; I must act first. To act, I must believe (leap and the net…). To believe, I must have courage.

  • Kathy

    BE – HAVE – DO is such a great way to live. Doing it backwards for so long has left lots of disappointments in it’s wake. We’re finally beginning those renovations … and a bit scared about the financing at the moment. “Abundance” completely jumped off the page for me – clearly raising it’s hand as my word for 2008. We are blessed to have so much of everything else in our lives that focusing on this abundance will surely get us through this temporary financial uncertainty. Thanks for bringing this back to your blog at a time when so many of us need to be reminded of it!

  • repressed librarian

    Thanks to you, I have chosen a word of the year for several years now, and I find it very helpful and inspiring.

    I have chosen the word “intent” as my theme for 2008. I have been thinking about this for a few weeks and had considered several options, but all of the areas I really need to work on can be improved by being more intentional in my thoughts and interactions.

    After sharing the practice of choosing a word for the year with my boss last year, she has decided to do it this year as well. I really value that we can share that one word with each other and have the added level of accountability and mutual encouragement.

  • adam

    I was scrolling down your list of words, trying to be inspired. I kept thinking, “Not that one. Nah, that won’t do. Not this one, either.” It was a bit frustrating. Surely there is one word that I can use to improve myself. I haven’t been meeting my own expectations for myself lately, and there must be some one word that can inspire me to BE better so I can DO better. After a day or so of contemplation, my word hit me over the head:

    “Fulfill”

  • leah

    i came up with my theme for the year yesterday. I’m calling it “the time is now”, but in just word it’s, “now.” i actually like it a lot as one word, as it helps bring home the many meanings of the word to me. for me, remembering and re-remembering the word “now” will help bring me back to the moment, to my breath, to gratitude, and it will also remind me that now is the time to be who i want to be, to take action, to live my dreams.

    last year my word was commitment and it rang true for me throughout the year.

    thanks again for the inspirational post!

  • BeeBee

    Christine, I’ve already passed along your blog address to oodles of friends who are delighted with your idea for one word to guide their year. I’ve not found my word yet, but I will!!

  • rebecca

    Very inspiring post. My first thought was to use that word that always makes me tense, discipline. In the past three years, I’ve made great strides in letting go of material goods that I don’t need and so called “friends” who just made me feel bad about myself. And I took a step that required great courage and conquering of a lot of fear, yet I did it anyway. But I haven’t made much headway in terms of being kind to myself. I’ve gotten several lectures on the merits of self discipline and didn’t enjoy them one bit.

    So, my word is awareness. I’m going to practice being aware of the the positive strides I’ve made in the past three years and continue in that direction. I want to experience gratitude toward myself and confidence in what I’ve accomplished. I think my awareness of the positive is always outweighed by those darn negative voices in my head. Awareness will keep me focused and on track. Thanks for a great post!

  • Ariff

    That’s a cool idea. The word ‘release’ kinda-sorta resonated with me, but while thinking about it, I’ve decided to use ‘let go.’ I find I’m too attached to results and then kicking myself for not doing everything in my to do list, or doing it amazingly.

  • Marilyn

    Christine, I LOVE this idea. I gave up resolutions years ago (they never stuck)…yet I love the idea of starting a new calendar year with some fresh focus…because my birthday is early in the year and it gives me focus for the next chronological year, too. Halfway through reading your post I instantly knew what my word will be: LEAP. Ironically, yesterday I changed my blog banner and added a tagline: “Launching dreams in 2008…” What was odd was that I had no intention of adding a tagline…I just sort of found myself doing it…without even thinking beforehand about what it ‘should’ be. I have loads of ideas…where I get stuck is in letting them loose. And I need something stronger than “release” in this coming year…I need something that conjures up NET…something that will instill enough courage to TRUST to take that next step…

  • amypalko

    What a great idea! Resolutions have just never worked for me, and I’m at the point now where I find them completely useless.
    I have a feeling that 2008 is going to be a big year for me; a year of lots of changes that I myself will effect. So my word is going to be ‘Audacity’. Whenever I feel myself backing away from a challenge, an opportunity, or the chance to do something out of the ordinary, ‘audacity’ will be my touchstone word. Thanks Christine! You are, as ever, inspirational!

  • Elaine

    Having spent so much time in Do Have Be in the past… I just know that my approach is going to be different in 2008. I am guilty of being that person joining the gym in the past and then using external excuses for not attending! My word for 2008 is ‘Effortlessness’ this word is already attached to so many good things for me and it stops me from being so hard on myself as I want to be kind to myself in 2008.

  • Tim

    Christine:

    Great post. The word I seem to be gravitating toward is “connection.” Quite simply, I want to connect more (and have more quality connections) with others – that means my boss, my friends, my family, members of the opposite sex, etc. I know I have a lot of room for improvement in this area, but when I do this, my life will improve immensely.

    Tim

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