Word for the Year

January 4, 2012

A few years ago my best friends and I tapped into a new way of making New Year’s resolutions. Instead of the usual hope to lose a few pounds, be more productive, or find meaningful relationships, we decided to choose a word of the year.

As a writer, this idea made me mucho manic. How could I possibly choose just one word to follow or resonate with the entire year? I’m a woman of words. Choose one? For 365 days? No way. But my friends urged me forward. The first year, our initial list looked like something construed by Hallmark’s creative team. The brainstorm included, but was not limited to, the following:

Inspiration                   Peace               Forgiveness

Imagination                 Joy                   Clarity

Motivation                  Trust                Purpose

Intention                     Faith                Humor

Kindness                     Love                Light

Gentle                         Be                    Gratitude

Believe                        Energy             Creativity

The first year I chose clarity, and throughout the year, I found it again and again. It hung above my head and pushed me through indecision and inner turmoil. Sometimes, when life seemed brutality murky, I didn’t understand why I’d chosen the word. But in the end, it made sense.

Last year, I picked light. Wouldn’t you know? It became one of the darkest years on record. Three kids started three new schools, a few health issues surfaced, rejection piled up, memory of my Dad haunted me relentlessly, our dog of 15 years died, as did my cousin and more than one local friend. Where the heck was the light? By early December I felt drowned and defeated. And then, like Christmas magic, the light appeared, dimly at first. I stopped fighting the yuck, my brain began to move beyond, the grief settled, and divine spirit grabbed a hold. Just like that the light brightened.

It’s amazing what just ONE word can do. If you’re a writer it won’t be easy, but give it a try. Choose a word to tap into throughout the year and see what it brings. My word for 2012 is SPIRIT. Good luck and have fun!



  1. I love this post. My word, I think, will be patience. Did I choose to quickly? Am I too impatient to put thought into this? Am I running off to the next email to quickly? You better believe it. Patience. My word for 2012.

  2. Nice post.

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