Never a friend of New Year’s resolutions, I recommend another ritual that’s more powerful and has more potential than New Year’s resolutions: Choosing a word for 2014. You choose a word that will symbolize the year for you–set the intention or create a verbal amulet.
The word should be limber and supple, without any stiffness of punishment, or benchmarks to measure yourself with and find yourself coming up short.
Choose a word that has possibility for you–a word that will inspire you or keep you at peace, a word that makes you reach in anticipation or offers a rich depth of exploration.
Verbs are good, because they are action words. And taking action is a favorite step of mine to get unstuck or move ahead. Of course, there are also the state of being verbs: is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been. Small verbs, but powerful.
Other people prefer nouns–things or ideas: creativity, intuition, freedom. Nouns can be things you hold in your hands–paper, pen, seeds, feathers. Or they can be things you hold in your heart: wishes, wisdom, peace.
Now is a good time, at the end of the year, to think of a word you can hold and use for all of 2014. Choose a word that will last, that will build you up and support you. You can choose a word that is both a verb and a noun.
You can, of course, choose a description of your first inner hero to honor in 2014. Something like Stubborn Kindness (which has a long history in my family), or Explorer, or Spark-Striker.
Your word can be any part of speech, and you can use it in as many ways as you want–present tense, active voice, transitive with an object or not. Use it as many ways as you can and see how you change it and how it changes you.
If you keep a journal, you can write it down and visit it every week or month and see how that word has shown up in your life at the end of every week and how you would like it to show up the next week. You can write it on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket and rediscover it every day. Write it on a key you use every day and remember it when you unlock the door.
What is the word you want to invite into your life for the year? Leave it in the comments, and tell us why. I’ll pick two winners on Friday and will send a copy of my new book Inner Hero Art Journal to the winners–as soon as I get my copies!
—Quinn McDonald is choosing a word for 2014. Right now, she is inclined to choose an inner hero and re-visit it once a month.