Instead of setting resolutions for the New Year for the last 11 years I’ve chosen one guiding word to set intentions for the 12 months to come. I first started doing this is in 2007 when I was heavy into crafting and scrapbooking. I first saw the one word concept on Ali Edwards blog and immediately connected with it. My guiding word over the years have included:
- Focus – 2007
- Change – 2008
- Adapt – 2009
- Balance – 2010
- Achieve – 2011
- Grow – 2012
- Challenge – 2013
- Thrive – 2014
- Light – 2015
- Aloha – 2016
- Do – 2017
In my experience the words take on a their own energy and what you envision initially, isn’t always where you end up at the year’s end. They tend to guide you where you NEED to go and grow towards, rather than necessarily where you’d WANT to be.
How do I choose one guiding word for the year ahead?
Since my first year doing this in 2007, only once have I consciously chosen the word. Usually the word finds me. Personally I find that around mid-November something will be stirring, as for me that’s naturally a time when I’m in transition. My birthday is in December and usually by then I’ve settled on a new word for the forthcoming year. In fact, due to my December birthday I often find myself beginning my year at my birthday rather than January 1st. Tip: Starting your year on your birthday is also an option if the whole “New Year” part doesn’t resonate with you.
At the end of fall I will typically have a few words I’m tossing around in my head. For 2017, the year of ‘do‘ other contenders were open and practice. If you find a word calls but isn’t quite right then I suggest looking in the dictionary for synonyms. These synonyms can even become companion words, that add different and unique aspects to the original word. This is something I am doing this year.
My guiding word for 2018 – Explore
Sometimes a word just jumps out and grabs you, sometimes it might whisper softly but consistently. For me, this years word was definitely the former. “Explore” began to make an appearance around September/October which is earlier than usual for me. I don’t even remember where I first heard or saw it, but it popped up and I immediately gravitated towards it.
2017 was a year of doing things I kept putting off. Like revisiting Florida, starting the RYT 300 and having my wisdom teeth surgery. It was a year of losing family members, gaining new friends, and learning a lot about myself in the process. During the year my career shifted from group fitness, personal training and yoga teacher to just: Yoga Teacher. For 20+ years in the fitness industry I’d taught many formats and now I have decided to dedicate my career to yoga and only yoga. I always felt like I spread myself too thinly, and now it feels like a time when I can go deep. Very deep.
What does it mean to EXPLORE?
When I initially heard the word explore it made me think of unchartered territory, new beginnings, a fresh start. That’s where I feel I’m at, a beginning. I taught my last non-yoga class in October and just having yoga to focus on has been incredibly freeing. Not only does it allow me to focus my business purely on one niche, but it gives me freedom to pursue other interests. Whether that’s rekindling old passions or trying new and exciting things, I’m eager to see where my one guiding word leads me in 2018.
I mentioned that using synonyms can be a good way to find a word but it also allows you to open up a word and discover new meanings or nuances to a word. I haven’t done this in previous years so I figure what better way to explore than add some companion words for 2018? Synonyms and companion words for explore include: Analyze; Examine; research; hunt; discover; journey; travel; enquire; investigate; study; question; There is a lot of room for play, creativity and reflection with one guiding word.
How I’m connecting to my word this year
In contrast to previous years words, I’m letting go of perfection and allowing myself to freestyle it through the year with a vision board and junk journal. If you haven’t heard of junk journaling before I’ll be sharing more details on that in another post soon. Vision boards can be a powerful way to change your life regardless. I’ve already made my vision board and hung it on my office wall, the junk journal will be a work in progress for the whole of the year.
I’ll be sharing more on my One Guiding Word for 2018 as we progress through the year.
If you could choose one guiding word for 2018 what would it be?
How do you explore in your life?
What changes do you want to make in 2018?