What's your one word for the new year?

For the past two years, instead of making a bunch of New Year's resolutions that stress me out and make me feel guilty, I've simply picked one, single word as my focus for the new year. Previously, I've used "support" and this past year, it was "ease." I can happily say I found surprising sources of support for some unique challenges in 2006, and despite some high benchmarks for 2007, I often marveled at the ease with which my life was proceeding.

I think this technique is like planting a little subconscious seed in your brain — part of your attention starts working on making it happen and suddenly, voila: new opportunities are revealed.

For 2009, it's going to be "success," even though part of me feels like that's cheesey and too rah-rah to say publicly. No matter. It's what I'm hoping to create in my life in a number of ways, so "success" it will be!

What would your word for the new year be? What qualities or experiences are you hoping to cultivate as you move into another annual cycle? Where would you like to be in your life this time next year?

I was inspired to try this idea after reading about it in our local paper (sorry, can't find it in the Austin American Statesman online archives or I'd link to it). Various Austinites had tried words like "act" (to tackle procrastination), "connect" (for someone who felt like they were whizzing through their lives and not taking the time to really tune into their children, spouse or friends) and "smile" (for someone who felt bogged down by seriousness and work).

They reported on their experiment a year later and to a person, they all had great results and some of these folks were skeptical to start off with.

I'd love to hear your words, and if you feel like sharing, why you've chosen them….

© 2008 Jennifer Newcomb Marine     All Rights Reserved

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  1. Thank you for this very cool suggestion…I like to spend time reflecting at the New Year and usually journal about it in some fashion but I get the power in your idea and SO…my one word, which is the first that came to mind, is STABILITY. I looked up its definition and synonyms and needed to look no further for a word that captures the essence of my inner need and vision… “the strength to stand or endure, firmness; the property of a body that causes it when disturbed from a condition of equilibrium or steady motion to develop forces or moments that restore the original condition” As a newly Registered Nurse in an acute care setting I am so overwhelmed at times on every level and hit on all sides that it’s all I can do to just hang in there while praying for God’s assistance. I would modify the last part of the definition, however, from a restoration of the “original condition” to one of an ‘improved condition’ because certainly I need to grow in knowledge and love and strength of character, not simply continue being who I’ve always been.
    The definition continues with “resistance to physical disintegration”…yes, there’s some truthful and fun humor in there somewhere…”help! i’m melting…aggghhhh”
    My beautiful son, Jonathan, said it best, though, last night. He summed up his wise and compassionate moral support in adding, “Mom, it’s like that U2 song, ‘Just don’t let the bastards grind you down’”.
    So anyone reading this, if and when you think of nurses out there in hospitals and such and how we need them to care, not as robots in part of this Big Machine, but in the way of our shared humanity, please send me your good thought of ‘stability’ and I in turn, will be standing by someone’s side, someone that you could possibly love.


  1. [...] You can read more about previous words here…. [...]

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