I am queen of making lists and spreadsheets and plans and then after 2 weeks or 2 days or sometimes even 2 hours, completely crashing and burning. Too often, my best laid plans lead nowhere.
Which is why when my roommate Christine told me that she doesn’t set New Year’s Resolutions, I was hooked! Not having a To Do list means I can never be behind schedule, right? (not quite)
Instead of setting resolutions, Christine taught me how she and her sister pick a word for the year and I’ve been doing that in the 6 years since. In 2015, my word was “Courage” and here’s what I did that was courageous:
- Taking an acting intensive at the renowned Stella Adler Studio
- Directing a play (for the first time!)
- Going to therapy (for the first time ever!)
- Writing about sex (and making a video)
- Posing in my underwear
Then in 2016, my word was “Edit” — getting clear on priorities for my work and life and being intentional about how I move through the year. I also ended up literally editing a whole lot — 20 videos to be precise.
In 2017, my word was “Believe.” As someone who spends a lot of time focusing on visible “deliverables,” I thought it was important to spend a year doing some internal, personal work. Believing in myself, in my worth, in my work, in my dreams. Which is not to say that my year of “believe” didn’t have some external ripples. It certainly did!
For 2018, I took a slight break from tradition and chose two words: “Decide & Act.” I’m in the midst of my year-end review and will be sharing reflections on the past year and what lies ahead over on Facebook and with friends via email.
So how do you pick a word for the year?
- Spending some reflecting (journaling is even better! Or reviewing past journals) on your past year and beyond
- Identify what went really well for you and where you felt your struggled
- Listen to the longings of your heart (this step is v. important!): what gets you excited? What makes you scared? (in that pointing-to-the-truth sort of way)
- Brainstorm words and phrases that resonate with you
- Combine, iterate, pivot, refine your choices and then…
- Pick your word
For 2019, I’m actually picking a quartet of words: Structure, Space, Strength, and Stride.