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One Word 2011 and 2012

This time last year,  I was reading Freshly Pressed or tag surfing. No matter. I stumbled across a post about choosing  a one-word mantra for the year instead of setting resolutions. That resonated with me immediately. I’d stopped setting resolutions years ago. Every year, I’d identify what went well and areas where I wanted to move in a new direction, but never set any concrete to-dos. So, the one word idea really suited me.

Words like perseverance and strength popped into my head. Those are words that were profound for me and comforting. Easy. They just didn’t feel right. I decided to let a word choose me rather than me choosing it. I put it all out of my mind knowing that my word would come to me eventually. And it did.

I was cleaning my room when it hit me. I wrote “open” on a notecard and tacked it to my wall. I stared at it. The word didn’t seem very deep and certainly didn’t make me feel much of anything. I stuck with this one because it presented itself with such clarity that there could be no other.

When I look back over this year, I can truly see how being open has served me.

  • I stopped “shoulding” all over myself. I had to let go of preconceived notions, self-imposed limitations, and just plain old fear.
  • I’ve met lots of new people– online and in person.
  • New experiences galore. I went to a taping of  a tv show. I’ve tried so many new foods and cooked tons of new recipes. I’ve participated in Row 80, other writing challenges and workshops.
  • I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost this year in total, but I know I’ve lost forty pounds since mid June.

Those are just some of the results that have come my way from just being open to new ways of being, doing, and thinking. The one-word mantra worked for me. It is now my tradition. With the new year a few short hours away, my one word for 2012 is already written across my heart. Soon, I’ll write it down on a notecard and tack it  to the wall.

The word of choice–action. It came to me sometime in October in the midst of NaNo mania. I am a thinker and a dreamer. I’m good with ideas. I love to read, write, and converse. I’m not always so good about bringing my ideas to fruition, at least in my personal life anyway. So, I need to focus on doing more, completing more instead of  just starting things. That requires action. There you have it. Bring on 2012! Happy New Year!