December: Running Toward 2015

Rabbit, rabbit. OK, that’s taken care of. (It’s a wish for good luck for the whole month. You can read more about this English custom at Yankee magazine.)

sower2014 is heading toward the end of its run and into a new year. Now is a good time to start thinking of a new word for 2015. Don’t share yet–there will be a blog later in the month with a random giveaway, in which we talk about words and choices.

You can, however, post your old word (someone might want it for next year), and mention how the word worked for you. Good, bad, or indifferent, keeping that word in front of you is an excellent way to steer your life.

Maybe you changed your word, like I did. The first one (scatter) wore me outDistill and the next, a metaphorical opposite (distill) served me in many ways. It still is serving me, and I’m glad I changed.

Whether you are a writer, an artist, own your business, are independently wealthy, it’s good to ask yourself a few questions before you start next year. A few questions will help you decide where to spend your energy well, and unless you are too young to read, or you are a kitten, your energy is limited.

What’s the most surprising thing you found out about yourself this year?  When did it happen? What surprised you?

What do you want to change about yourself in 2015? Even if your plans are to change the world, the best place to start is with yourself. You’ll probably need some tools and protective gear for big changes.

What steps will make that change happen? No good engineer works without a plan. No good artist does, either.

How do you plan on putting those steps into action? A plan without a deadline is a daydream. What are some milestones and what are realistic time periods?

Who will be your support in making change? We don’t live in a world alone. Your change will ripple out and find support and criticism.

If you plan on taking on more of something (more work, another child, helping a parent), what will you give up to make room for this change in your life? This is an important part of taking on something new. Your time won’t magically expand, so it’s good to think about what you will let go.

—Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach who gets very busy at this time of year.

 

 

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20 thoughts on “December: Running Toward 2015

  1. My word(s) was Gratitude/Giving. I know it’s two but I felt like it was two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other. I kept a journal for it as well. I would write down not only the things I was grateful for but what I could give as well.
    There is an ebb and flow to life and the same goes for giving and receiving. One does not work well without the other.
    I know I chose well because now at the end of the year, I am a bit reluctant to give it up.
    (sorry I’m late to the convo, I catch up with my readings on Sundays)

  2. “Prosper” immediately turned into “Live long and prosper” á la Mr.Spock and finally found its final version in “Live what you love”, which is indeed quite a good related concept to prosper.
    From this end of the year I can say it worked better than I had realized.

  3. I am a bit late like usually as I save the important messages for a quiet moment.
    My word of the year “little by little” has served me very well and I took lots of little steps this year (although I always think that it might be even more). I added the word “passion” later in the year as my life needed a bit of “spice”.

    This is the first year I actively keep and remember a word of the year, and this certainly is your merit Quinn for some amount. It is the first year too I keep a daily journal and when I leaf through it I can remember every single day of 2014.
    So the questions at the end of your post come very handy and I’ll do some thinking about them….

  4. My word for this year was/is ‘open’ and it has served me very well. I have tried new things, have taken in experiences, visited new places, tried to be less judgemental and more openminded (difficult, but I do try), been more open to myself (if that makes any sense). It’s a very multifaceted word and could probably serve me for the rest of my life.
    I am thinking about a new word for next year and think I know what it is too, but have not fully decided yet. I like the set of questions at the end of your post, I’ll be journaling on those!

    • If you master the less judgmental part, come by and tell me how. I thought I’d put a lot of different things together for this post–all about writing and imagination. Glad you liked it!

  5. Oh I love this! Especially the last one about how will I make room in my life for the proposed change in my life. I like that because it’s something I was thinking about just yesterday as I am making a change and fitting something extra into my year. Thankyou for all the thought provoking q’s, they are certainly needed along with new directions!
    And I didn’t know about ‘rabbit rabbit’ (being in Australia and all) but my kids have always said ” I love white rabbits, I love white rabbits” when sitting round a campfire and the smoke comes their way. It’s supposed to make the smoke go the other direction and they are sure it works!!! At least, they were sure when they were younger….it seems now they are older they have less imagination!

  6. I’m taking Routine for mine in January: our schedule is changing (and my husband’s job is changing) so we need to establish a routine again for the first time in seven years. As for rabbits, they’re a common good luck symbol in England because rabbits are fertile and prolific and were a good source of protein for the poor (poaching rabbits was an easy way to add to the pot). My family is from England, but I’d never heard of the rabbit thing, so you must be from the south of England as there are Tinker’s Rabbits on the ceiling bosses of a lot of the southern churches.

    • I’m so happy for your more regular schedule. Must be such a relief! We had a garden at home, and rabbits attacked all the greens. My father bought me a small rifle, taught me how to clean and use it, and then showed me how to skin and dress a rabbit. My mother warned me that if I knicked the gall bladder, it would ruin the meat. She told me that the only acceptable shot was a head shot. So that’s what I did–and we had meat we would not otherwise have had. Hasenpfeffer is still a dish I can cook and enjoy–although we often use pork loin instead.

  7. In my family, on the last night of the month you said “hares” and then “rabbits” the next morning . . . it still makes me feel good but perhaps it’s just a fleeting feeling of (minor) accomplishment or maybe nostalgia. (A little research has led me to believe it should be the lunar month though and has it’s roots in Druid lore . . . and the spring equinox in particular. Dear, dear, how sad, never mind!)

    Those questions Quinn . . . I know that you know that I’m going to have to think about them as the year took a swing in an entirely different direction of MY choosing! I try to keep to the KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetheart) principles and it worked so well with the paid day-job that I simplified it out of existence!

    I’m wondering if I will keep KISS or kiss it goodbye.

  8. I did grow up with the ‘rabbit’ thing here in England, not a very regular thing, just random people around me. However where I came from everyone said ‘white rabbits’ on the first of the month.
    At school there was also a tradition of ‘pinch/punch first day of the month’ No idea what that’s about either!
    And..my word(s, is it ok to have two?!) for this year, were ‘breathe’ (as in, stay calm and just….breathe) and then..believe (that everything’s going to work out ok) So far so so good.
    As I read this post my word for next year came into my head, spooky. I’ve never been a word for the year person before, so this is a bit of a novelty for me.
    Hmm, not sure what I need to give up, very good question…

  9. Well, there you go! I have never indulged in rabbit rabbit – didn’t even know about it. Now that I’ve read the link I realise I don’t need it. I shared it with my DH and we laughed out loud – neither of us, both brought up in the UK since birth – have heard of the tradition. Hope this will make you smile too.

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