Choosing one word for the year ahead

Photo by  Brooke Lark  on  Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Do you struggle with keeping New Years resolutions? Are you ready for a new way to tackle what you want to achieve in the new year?

I no longer make lofty New Years resolutions I will never keep.  Instead I choose a single word. 

The concept is a simple one:  choose one inspirational word to accompany you throughout an entire year. The word illustrates your goals and accompanies your decision making throughout the year. 

I first came across the concept during my scrapbooking days from memory keeper Ali Edwards, she calls it “One Little Word”. The word can apply to many aspects of your life and becomes a mantra to live by throughout the year.  By choosing just one word, you can’t fail you new year resolutions (and they’ll be that much easier to remember too)!


Over the years, my words have started to build on each other. From my 2016 word of SIMPLE I moved into 2017 with the word FOCUS. I have spent the last 12 months focusing like I have never focused before. I have focused on developing my ideas, my health, family and creativity. I went back to basics to and rediscovered my love of photography. I focused on my writing and yoga.

But with extreme focus evolved another problem, managing my time. It became too easy to focus on things that I felt were important at that moment, but that led to bad time management and losing that SIMPLE mentality I adopted so well in 2016. Because of that, my 2018 word is …. 


I will:

- Manage my time better

- Stop wasting time (I am talking to you iPhone!)

- Schedule more down time

- Prioritise time for me

- Focus my time: when I am working I am working, and when I am with the kids I am with the kids. 


In the past I have chosen a word but also took on an exhaustive process of documenting it. I eventually became overwhelmed and that overwhelming feeling kept me from doing anything at all.  In 2016 I finally decided to simplify the process.  I now choose a word, make it visible in my life, and leave it at that. Why complicate things that are actually mean to make things more simple!  

-Because what I want is action, not just reflection. 


So if you are time poor but really want to make a change in your life this year, consider choosing a word for 2018.

All you have to do is: 

1. Choose a word

2. Make it visible. 



How can you make it visible? Here are some simple ways:

1. Write your word on a piece of paper and stick it to your bathroom mirror

2. Make your word your screen saver on your phone or computer

3. Make a mood board or collage

4. Frame your word and place it on your desk

5. Paint or draw a reminder of your image

6. Create monthly reminders of your word in your phone or paper planner 


Have more time? Want to go deeper? Here are some more creative ways:

1. Start a daily/Weekly journal writing about your word

2. Take a class like Ali Edward’s “One Little Word” class. 

3. Take a photo each week/month to document your word


Whatever you do, the most important thing is to find a way to keep your word visible throughout the year and that word will slowly become a part of you. 

Last year just realising this and having my word art next to me at my desk, was a gentle daily reminder I desired focus in my life. 

My good habits continue to grow and although I am still a work in progress (aren’t we all), when I look back on 2017, it makes me proud and happy to know that instead of being stuck, I put the car into drive slowly and but surely moved forward.  And I am proud of myself because I continue to do so. 

Do you choose a word to guide you through the year? Share it with us in the comments below as well as how you make that word visible to you during the year. 



Kristin ReinhardComment