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What's Your Word?

Whether you're in the group that enjoys the challenge of new year's resolutions or abstains from them entirely based on principle, you likely have an opinion about setting goals for yourself for the sake one full earth revolution.

What's the alternative? Pick a word for the year. I've known several people who have done this in years past and more often than not, it seems to work out well. In fact, one January three years ago, someone once joked that their word for the year 2020 was "focus." In retrospect, that sounds HILARIOUS instead of just very cheesy. The joke was apparently on all of us, little did we know. This is the beauty of choosing a word for the year instead of a particular challenge that might not align at all with what is actually within reach as accomplishments go. The future is unknown and because of that, we humans in our naive human state might benefit from staying adaptive and fluid with our goals. This is where having a word for the year works out better than "I want to lose some weight" or "I want to make more money." Perhaps your strongest desire is reduced to a single word that can take on many meanings.

I'll give you an example out of my personal experience. This year, my word is "Conserve." This all started with the personal challenge of discontinuing use of paper towels in my household. I bought a large economy pack of washcloths (same price as a large pack of paper towels, I might add). The goal was to see if I really needed the first world luxury or not. This simple experiment began four months ago. Guess what? I'm happy to say that with some slight adaptations, we are still paper towel-free. That means conserving money in my pocket, trees for the environment, and time spent refilling the paper towel holder roll or taking out the trash (small as that might be.)

Because 2023 did in fact come along as expected, I decided to carry over the concept into this new year. That means conserving my time, energy, and consumerism. This looks like worrying less about what I cannot control. Asking for help when I need it. Connecting more with others who fill my bucket. Cooking and shopping wiser to avoid food waste in a macro and micro way. And composting. Lots of composting. Hello Victory Garden in my back yard this spring!

How is it going 19 days into the year, you ask? Bumpy. But every day a little bit better because I remind myself that every opportunity is new and I have the entire year to get creative. But, because the word reaches into so many different areas, I'm more likely to stay on track with the conservation effort. Bonus points for not stressing about it as it's in the description to conserve my energy!

I encourage you to consider what your word or phrase is for this year. What do you need most? Do you need love, connection, restoration, or challenge? Give yourself 3-5 minutes of mindful reflection and I guarantee the answer will begin to present itself either partially or fully. Listen carefully and allow yourself to hear the answer without judgment. Always with compassion. Much light and love to you.

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