words of the year

Three Words for 2015

I'm a bit late with my words this year.  It's sort of because they have been rolling around in my head and sort of because I was doing other things and not thinking about it.   But here we are at last.  We got here. Or more to the point, I got here.


At least I didn't choose wine as one of my words of the year.

Some backstory: Every year I choose three words to guide me in the new year.  Most people these days choose just one word, but ever greedy and grasping for more, I follow Chris Brogan's lead and choose three.  

Some years the words stick with me and guide me all year long and others I tend to forget them by mid-January mid-February.  But I still think that even if they aren't front and center in my mind, they are invisibly guiding me.  Which reminds me of a story.  (You probably knew there was one coming, right?)

Years ago, when I was a fledgling writer, I was involved with a local writer's group, and it was my job to accompany an at-the-time famous author around at her workshop.  This actually turned out to be complicated and confusing because she was married, and not just married, but married married, as in one of those people who is always spouting off about how great her husband was and how fantastic their marriage was.  Said fantastic husband was due to accompany her to the workshop. But then she called us and explained that no, the husband would not be with her, but another man would–her lover.  But then when she appeared for the workshop, she was with the husband.  Like I said, complex and confusing.  I never did figure out what happened there.  

Believe it or not, that's not the story I meant to tell.  The story I meant to tell is this: the famous author mentioned that when naming a character, it is a good idea to consider the meaning of the name.  Not because your reader is going to necessarily know that, but because that meaning subtlety imbues the character with that meaning and the reader will subliminally pick it up.

And that's how I feel about my three words of the year.  Even if I forget them in my conscious mind, they are there guiding me in my subconscious.  And I can use all the subconscious guiding I can get. And now, since this post is going in directions I didn't anticipate, let's just cut to the chase, shall we?

My three words of the year are practice, possibility, and permission.  Yes, all Ps.  Isn't that great?  I love when that happens.  

Practice.  I mean this in terms of a writing practice, as you likely guessed.  A writing practice that I do every day.  I pretty much do this now, but it is something I want to do more of.  At the moment, I get up early and write–most days.  Every once in awhile a ringer thuds in and I find myself cruising the internet for an hour before I realize what's happened.  I'd like less of that in 2015.  As I write this, I'm realizing that this is the best word for a year ever, because really, practice is everything.

Possibility.  Because, duh.  I want 2015 to be rich with possibilities.   Splendid stuff I've not even yet thought of.  Wonderful surprises.  Glorious opportunities.  Fun and festive events.  Got that, universe?

Permission.  Okay, so this one takes some explanation.  I kept thinking that my third word would be rejection.  I know, but hear me out.  My thinking was that if I was putting work out in the world, asking people for things (like to host a book signing or a reading, for instance), and creating new products a lot, as is my plan for 2015, I would be sure to get some rejection.  And this would be a good thing, because it would mean I was putting stuff out there.  But then I realized that stating I was looking for rejection was not the best message.  So I spent some time looking up likely antonyms that would get the idea across and came up with permission.  As in permission to put tons of stuff out there without worrying about failure and rejection.  Plus, permission starts with P.  So its perfect.  And I will stop now.

There you have them.  My words for the year.

Here are posts from previous years:

My Three Words For the New Year (2011)

Three Powerful Words For an Amazing New Year (2012)

It's One Powerful Word For the New Year (2013)

Three Words for 2014

And a post on why you shouldn't choose a word or words, just for fun.

Are you choosing a word?  Or words?  Care to share it?

Photo by jurvetson.

Three Words for 2014

Words_letters_printing_265580_lMan oh man.

I went upside down and all around over this post.

Every year I choose either a word or three words.  The idea is that the word or words will guide my thoughts and actions as I navigate through the upcoming year.  

Choosing the words is an interesting process. Usually, they just come to me and I know intuitively that they are the right ones.  There's a kind of clunk inside me when the word comes and I know it's the one that is meant to be.  Last year, I chose one word.  The year before, there were three. And the year before that, three as well.

This year I struggled to arrive at even one.  Nuttin, and I mean nuttin, was coming to me.  I thought of plenty of possibilities but none of them seemed right. No clunk was forthcoming.  

I thought about gratitude, because I am so freakin' grateful for my life and all the people in it (including you, dear reader), and I thought about freedom and I thought about service and I thought about happy and I thought of all kinds of other words that went in and out of my brain so fast they didn't make an impression.

And then, this morning, out of the blue, they came to me:

Aligned. Focused. Zealous.

Taken one at a time, we have:

Aligned.  I want my actions to be in alignment with my strongest held beliefs around creativity, spirituality, and how I spend my day, hour to hour, moment to moment.  I want to spend time writing every day, no matter what, and I want to keep up with my meditation practice and spiritual studies (both of which have been somewhat lacking lately).  I want to eat the kind of food that I know nourishes me, and move my body in ways that will make it feel good.  And most of all, I want to act in alignment with my highest and best self.  

Focused.  This is the key to a successful writing life.  Actually, I'm pretty sure its the key to a successful life, period.  Sometimes I'm really good at it.  Sometimes my brain is all over the place. Working in bursts helps me, does it help you? I set the timer for 30 minutes and in those 30 minutes all I do is writer, period.  But sometimes I resist even doing that.  Sigh.  I have a rebellious nature–and it sucks when I rebel against myself.  At any rate, I want me more focus this year.  I've got a gazillion projects I want to bring into the world.

Zealous.  I believe this is my new favorite word.  Here's the dictionary.com definition of the word: (adjective)ardently active, devoted, or diligent; full of, characterized by, or due to zeal. Synonyms: enthusiasic, eager,fervid, fervent, intense, passionate, warm. Antonyms: apathetic; lackadaisical. Now who among us would not want to be zealous?  I want to be zealous for my writing, for my leisure pursuits, for my family and friends, for my life.  And when I think about it, I pretty much am zealous for all those things–I just want to make sure my actions are in alignment with my zealotry.

Phew.  I made it.  And I am zealous for my three words!

What about you?  Do you choose a word or words for the new year?  If so, what might they be?

Photo by Daino_16.