My word for 2014 is Spaciousness.

Every year I choose a word that acts as a theme for my year (thanks to Susannah Conway’s Workbook.)

In 2013, my word was Creativity.  As my corporate job was winding down, I felt this intense urge to stretch all my creative muscles that I’d held back for years.  I pledged to do lots of Vintage Amanda projects (done!), take weekly artist’s dates with myself (only managed a few precious outings), and focus on bringing creativity into every element of my life (still a work in progress- but it felt great!)

This week I was talking with a client about setting New Years goals vs. choosing a word.  How we feel obligated to set goals for the year – but then they fizzle out after a month or two.

So often with goals, we set unrealistic expectations – they’re very black or white – and more often than not we miss our goals and then feel bad about what we did achieve.

The thing is, a year is a long time.  A lot can happen in a year.  It’s hard to know exactly what we want in January.

Like Danielle LaPorte says – it’s more about how we want to FEEL, than what we actually achieve.  And the route to feeling how you want to feel can be reached via many different routes – not just a specific goal to tick off the list.

That’s why choosing a word is so helpful for me.

When you know your word, you:

  • take little actions everyday to achieve and feel and be your word, you don’t need to wait until December to declare success!
  • find it easier to make decisions: will this choice take you towards your word, or away from it?
  • feel inspired and focused for the year – because you are exploring all the facets of your word.  No one can tell you if you’re doing it right or not – it’s your word, and you can live it how you like!

It’s a really simple practice that works for me, and sets the tone for the year.

In 2014 my word is Spaciousness.

Maybe because last year was so bursting with creativity and changes (major career transition and getting married!), I feel like I need space to breathe this year.

For me, spaciousness means:

  • Feeling like there is always enough time for everything that’s important.
  • Leaving empty breathing spaces in my schedule, everyday.
  • Creating more physical spaciousness by decluttering.
  • Simplifying my obligations and commitments to the ones that are most important.
  • Creating mental space by disconnecting from technology every Saturday (this may be the hardest one for me!)
  • Finding areas where I can let in fresh air and sunshine and the potential for new friends, experiences and opportunities.
  • Letting go of thoughts like Oh I already know that. and being open to new experiences and learning.
  • Creating space in my body and spine through daily stretching and yoga.

One week into the year and I’ve managed technology-free Saturdays and some decluttering … but my schedule has been beyond crazy busy this week.

This is where the beauty of choosing a word happens. Instead of declaring that I’ve failed because I overfilled my schedule, instead I can ask “Where did I bring spaciousness into my life this week?” – and see that I’ve already made some progress.

It feels a lot better than just setting a list of goals.

If you have a word for the year – share it in the comments below!  How have you already lived your word this year?

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21 Responses to Spaciousness.

  1. Brittany says:

    I really like spaciousness, such a good word! I’m always battling with time, too. My word for this year is awake. Last year my body was very out of balance and I ended up sleeping a lot in my free time, so I want this year to be the exact opposite. I also just want to be more present in general.

  2. Gail says:

    It is important to me to find ways to lead a harmonious life. Eradicating as much clutter (physical, mental and emotional) from my life. Being the person I know I can be both to myself and to my loved ones.
    Respecting and loving the world around me. Living my life within my capabilities while stretching my limits when I can or need to.

    Thank you Amanda for such a wonderful post!

  3. Annie says:

    2014 is my year to prepare for a professional move from employee to entrepreneur actively pursuing a life style that feeds my soul. To transition from “must do” to “can do”. To transition from “should” to “could”. To transition from “want” to “need” and recognize the difference. To say good bye to what I have known for so long and say hello to the possibilities I have dreamed of even longer.
    Thank you for asking!

  4. My word would be Salvation. Spreading the good news to those I encounter. Allot of times
    I wish I had said something, but didn’t think of it at the time. Never too late to do the things we want to– or should! Blessings to all-and happy new year!

  5. Mary says:

    I’m late getting this in here…but my word for 2014 is hygge. It’s a Danish word that basically means coziness…but even beyond that. It’s an extreme feeling of contentedness and the feeling of being heartwarmed. But it’s easier to just say hygge!

  6. […] a lot about balance these days, as my life has changed so greatly in the past year.  As I try to cultivate more spaciousness in my life, I find myself either overbooked or bored. (And I’m rarely bored.) so I know I don’t […]

  7. Tamera Lou says:

    RELEASE…that’s my word and I’m sticking to it!!! I know that in order to embrace all the new and creative plans God has for me I have a lot of releasing of the old junk in my brain{the stuff that drags guilt into this pretty little head!} Im making room in my mind and heart for a beautiful new year by Gods wonderful grace and design for me, hence, those around me will reap blessings too! Joy is contagious!

  8. Farida says:

    Thank You,Amanda
    My word is Surrender.I need to practice surrendering to a higher power .To let go and let God.

  9. V-Ann Davis says:

    Order, that is my word for the year…
    I need to get my life, home, children, marriage…you name it in order and I am believing that this is the year it will happen.

  10. Hope says:

    Leigh…I love your courage. When I read Amanda’s suggestion, I immediately began scanning through my vocabulary looking for the word that would fit the steps I need for 2014. Courage to step out and begin to live again regardless of the difficulties I encounter. So…Leigh I would like to join you and have a year filled with courage.
    Thanks Amanda!

    • Leigh Gleeson says:

      Thanks Hope
      If I feel apprehensive I will know that you are being courageous about something too and that will motivate me!

  11. marina says:

    I also choose simplicity. I am reading a book by Richard Foster on it. I have too many books and hobbies. Thank you for this alternative to resolutions, I had already decided not to make any this year, but didn’t know what to do instead. Bless you.

  12. irene says:

    Economy is my word. That means i am going to spend much less mony on shopping, bying things i dont need. I am going to use more of all the clothing i am not using, means many beautiful chloths and things who just hang in the closeth. And i am going to save money and not worry so much when the bills come. Economy is my word :-)

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks for sharing, Irene! Something to think about – does “Economy” make you feel excited and expansive, or restricted? You could choose a synonym for it like ‘resourceful’ or something with a more positive spin, if it feels right (totally up to you – it’s your word! Just my 2 cents.)

  13. Jen says:

    Mine is…..SIMPLICITY……I am a mom, who after years of staying home mostly, am working full-time as a teacher. I have realized that I always make time for the things that aren’t the most important to me and I have become frustrated with that. Why do I always make time for working and put my family off, or my workout off??? “No, honey. Mommy can’t play right now because she is busy planning for school.” No more!!! My wish is to make life so simple as it was when the babies were little…perhaps a tiny bit today…and another bit tomorrow. In fact, today after school, the kids and I are going to workout together!!! Two birds with one stone, as they say! :-)

    • Amanda says:

      Isn’t that funny how we tend to prioritize things that aren’t actually our priorities. It will change now that you’re aware of it, step by step. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Leigh Gleeson says:

    Hi Amanda
    Thanks for this wonderful idea (and page etc.). My word is COURAGE which came straight away. 2013 was a year of criticisms and disappointments and I reacted with love and grace instead of fear at every turn. I am exhausted but proud of myself. It is continuing to a point; but I feel the tide is turning…slowly.
    So, 2 weeks into 2014 and a week since discovering this tool, I am out cold canvassing for a job (scapegoated and frozen out last year, so time to GO!), growing a medicinal herb garden, accepting childlessness and peri-menopause, buying a house on my own, and I next week I am going to ask a man out on a date.
    I think he will say No, but I am going to ask anyway as I want to feel brave. I will be so so so upset if he says No, but I will be twice as proud of myself for trying. If I can do that I can do anything.
    What a way to start the year?!

    • Amanda says:

      Leigh – thank you for your honesty and sharing your courageous plans for 2014. Good for you! Celebrate even these steps you have taken in the first 2 weeks – that’s what’s so wonderful about a word – you can celebrate achievements as you go along. Remember it’s all just practice, practice, practice and experimenting with things to discover your best life. Let us know how you get on!

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