My Word for 2016 is Flourish! (Image by Dominique Knobb)

Do you choose a word to inspire, enhance, and inform your new year? It’s a popular practice now – at least in my crowd. I’ve been choosing a word since 2010 and I’ve learned a few things along the way about how that word can really motivate me…if I let it. Year one went like this: chose a word, define it for myself, do some journaling about the word and how it makes me feel, promptly forget all about the word. Until December when I thought…what was that word??

The next year I did a fun, year- long practice with the lovely and talented Ali Edwards called, One Little Word. I recommend it highly. That got me thinking about how I wanted to interact with my word through the year and how I could use it to help me be the person I wanted to be by December (or March, or June). I’ve been playing around with this ever since.

I’m going to share with you the ideas that have been useful and meaningful to me in a blog post each quarter. These are suggestions for playing with, using, and learning about your word, and I’m hoping some of them will resonate and be of help to you. Plus, they’re just plain excuses to create something fun!

First, I create a sort of mantra with this formula: I am __________(your word), as I embody: ___________, ____________& ____________. (This could be whatever comes to you, or it could be words that relate to and support the theme of your word, etc. I used words that describe what flourishing this year means to me).

My mantra is like this: I am Flourishing, as I embody: opening up like a flower, boldly expressing the true me, a prosperous life, & actions that feel like thriving.

Next, I asked the questions below and journaled about them. Just fill in your word where I have the word flourish(ing) – this may take a little fiddling with the sentence, depending on your word, to make it work.

  • What does it feel like to flourish?
  • Have I flourished today? How?
  • What does my life look like when I’m flourishing?
  • If I’m flourishing how do I look?
  • When I’m flourishing I ________.
  • What plans do I have for this year that feel like flourishing to me?
  • What can I add to, or subtract from, my life to help me flourish?
  • What small action step(s) can I take now based on the answers to these questions?

These questions are meant to open you up to your word and explore what it means in your life now, and going forward. They can suggest steps to take in order to really live your word this year – starting now. Since I answered these I’ve been making lots of room in my life, starting with my home, by really clearing out the old weeds and debris that make flourishing more difficult. It was clear to me that for this word to take root I need a clear space. And does it feel GOOD!

I have several practices I use to embody my word during the year, they’re fun and also a big help in bringing me to the life I’m dreaming about. I’ll share more with you next quarter, but here’s a link for an inexpensive course with the truly delightful Jamie Ridler to create vision cards using the information you gleaned in the questions above. Creative and so,much fun! And a great way to keep these ideas front and center so next December you aren’t wondering, “What was that word??”

Lots of Love,