Sanctuary. Recharge. Nourish. Emerge. Bond. Clarity.
Realize. Self-Love. Ritual. Bloom. Create. Hope.
Can a simple word change the course of a life? Yes. Every year, we face critical decisions and pivot points that affect the trajectory of the remainder of our lives. Having a clear intention for your year, and your life, can make all the difference.
This simple process lead me to raise millions of dollars for war-ravaged women in Congo and Somalia, publish two books, earn a Harvard degree, launch new campaigns, and find love.
But how do you pick out your word? For me, the word process began with a simple question: What big new thing do you want for the coming year? It evolved into the question: What is your theme? Another way you can ask yourself: What is your one-word mantra for the year, your polestar?
Tips for Choosing Your Word:
Keep it positive, always. For instance, the cliché New Years Resolution is to “lose weight”. You could say thin, but it is kinda cold and harsh. But what about Nourish? I know someone who lost 60 pounds- and kept it off- using this word. She focused on nourishing her body with healthy food and exercise, not depriving it to achieve some external measure.
Have notepaper and a thesaurus on hand. Look up families of words and explore. Scribble down any word that stirs you. Fill the page. Then narrow it down.
If you’re stuck, ask yourself, what do you want to grow beyond? Use the thesaurus and start with antonyms. For instance, have you been feeling lethargic or depressed? Look it up: I get Awaken, Vitality, Vigor, Energy…which leads to Moxie, Fire, Zest, Verve. Navigate according to what you crave most deeply. After a long bout of chronic instability, my word was Sanctuary. And I got it that year- a beautiful home and a relationship that both proved a true sanctuary.
Wherever possible, make it actionable. When there is a choice between a verb over a noun, chose the verb. So, you could chose Realization, but why not Realize? Sometimes there isn’t that option, literally or a word in a certain form is calling to you like no other, in which case, there you have it!
2 responses to What’s your word for 2016?
My word for 2016 is “Furtherance” (the act of furthering; promotion; advancement.). Yes, it is a bit bold, right now I need to speak, think, & act – boldly. Two years ago I was struck down by a physically debilitating disease that has no cure, followed by a minor heart attack. Trying to overcome the pain & fatigue of the disease I was battling led to issues with depression, & made it increasingly difficult to be consistent on projects that were important to me. I began to lose hope. In the last few months I’ve seen some tremendous change that I had no hand in. People that shouldn’t have been in my life, were removed. Others that were positive, & could converse about subjects deeper than last night’s supper, made their way in. Acupuncture & other eastern medicine entered my life. My estranged sister & I have been reunited. I feel as though I let so much go in the last 2 years, but I’m ready to start taking it all back & moving forward from there. Time for some advancement & promotion. I’m here to learn, to heal, & to help.
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Thank you for this process, dear Lisa. The holidays went by so quickly, I only started mine for real today, and it is already opening wondrous new ground, seeding the sweetest vision ever for my life, and what would truly be the year of all years in an already rich life. My word for the year: CHRYSALIS.
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