The Power of A Word

10:08 AM

Have you heard about word-of-the-year idea? Simply put, the idea is to choose a word to guide you through the upcoming year. A lot of folks have adopted this practice over setting resolutions. I find it works well in tandem. The word you choose becomes a touchstone that remains with you throughout the year. (Check out Christine Kane's post for more info.)

Two years ago, I chose the word bold. I knew it was going to require courage, strength and boldness to build the new life I was envisioning for myself. I had no idea just how accurate that statement was when I chose that word! Many, many days, if it hadn't been for the thought "okay, if I were going to take a bold action, what would it be," I don't know if Imaginary Trips would have taken flight. 

In fact, bold has been so important to my life and my thinking that it has become a permanent watchword for me. A watchword is simply a word-of-the-year made permanent so that it stays a part of my thinking. As Goethe said, "Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." I would add brilliance to that statement as well. 

This past year, I chose cultivate. I come from a farming family so cultivating was quite familiar. You cultivate the land and you do things to prepare for the next growing season. Sometimes you prune the plants to make them more fruitful in the following year. It's a rather quiet process that goes on in the background but is vitally important to a successful growing season. Cultivate worked much the same way in my life this past year as I built processes and systems, pruned or eliminated steps that weren't working. All of this was/is in preparation for future growth.

To choose my word of the year, I start a file at the beginning of December and throw "possible" words into. Sort of an audition, if you will. From time to time, I'll add a few notes as to the reasons and whys of each word. Then towards the end of the year, I make some quiet time and sit down with myself to find out what my wiser self (SAM) thinks my word of the year should be (and she always knows far better than I ever could!). 

The words in my file included grow, glow, allow, joy and effortless. All good choices, but not destined to be the word for the year simply because I felt some hesitancy towards each of them. 

As I sat chatting with myself, the word move began to appear and come into focus. I asked SAM if she was sure. She smiled gently and turned to walk away. Well. Okay then. Move will be my touchstone for 2011! 

As I sat  pondering the word, I realized there are many, many applications....move forward, move physically, move mentally, move to a new business location, a new home, a new studio, a new country, a new way of thinking, move up, move down, move around, move through, re-move something that's not working, movement, motion.

The next thing I did was scribble out some "word art" using move. I find that by illustrating my chosen word and posting it in areas where I will see it frequently helps me to keep it upmost in my thoughts. Below is the best illustration of the word I've come up with. So far.
Word Art of Move
Scratch Art
Just as I asked you to join me in setting an artistic goal, I'm going to ask you to join me in choosing a word-of-the-year to guide your next year. If you decide to play, please post a comment below about your word or a link to your post on your blog!

I'm sending out kudos to Donna, The Happy PainterLisa of Greenbow, Elva of Elva's Field Notes for stepping up with setting their goals and being vocal about them! Check out this post and the comments to read what they had to say.  

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