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?