Friday, May 17, 2013


Several weeks ago I read a book called, One Word That Will Change Your Life.  I usually stay away from books that make such big promises, but I was interested in the premise. The idea is that instead of creating new year's resolutions (which most people don't keep anyway) or a long list of goals, you choose one word that will be your focus for the year.

I've done that before, chosen a word at the beginning of the year that represented what I wanted to bring into my life.  Unfortunately I have not been good at keeping focused on that word throughout the year. So I read through the book (it's a quick read - it took me about 45 minutes) and felt compelled to try once again. 

I spent an hour reflecting and answering a few questions in the book designed to help people choose their word. My word became apparent through my writing.  After a month long flu/ear infection, eight months of feeling stressed about work and a general sense of disconnection, I realized that I needed to make some changes.  Renewal - body, mind, spirit - is my mantra.  (I know, that's four words. But I wanted the reminder of all three components.)

The book had some ideas about how to keep focused on the word throughout the year. One of them is to place your word prominently throughout your house.  I've found that loses effectiveness over time for me.  It's easy not to see it when it's always there.  I decided on a different approach.  I wrote up a number of statements/affirmations/actions related to renewal.  Then I spent an hour setting up four months of scheduled emails with those statements.  Every week, I automatically receive an email reminder of some aspect of renewal. The weekly reminder is valuable.  It does help keep me focused on my word. But even more amazing, the statement in each week's email has been exactly the message I need at that time.

So far, it's going well. I have made some positive changes in my life and I already feel a sense of renewal.

Have you ever tried something like this? How did it work out?  What is your "one word"?


  1. 'Stillness' is my word for this year and I was sure it felt right but seemed also not to fit. So far I have found stillness to be a very important part of my days...not quiet time, or meditation but a stillness that I have rarely felt before. I'm sticking with it and letting it show up but I could use some tools and maybe this book would be helpful. Good luck with your word choice!

  2. For the past two years my "word" has been Dare/Dance and it has helped immensely when I have remembered it, but it is the remembering that is the problem. I have a cleverly designed sign with those words up on my design wall but I don't always see it when I need it. I like your e-mail solution.

  3. My word for the last several months has been "What If". I know. That is two words and it is really quite ordinary. However, I wanted to remind myself to ask that question. The words are posted everywhere. I write them on index cards and stick the cards in the edges of mirrors, on bulletin boards, in the pages of books and so forth. They often pop out at me from somewhere unexpected. I haven't read the book you mention.........

  4. Hah! I decided to come up with a word too this year... it's "Play", because I get so caught up in trying to accomplish all the time, and needed time to just play. I have written it on the white board next to my computer, and see it whenever I look up at the board which is often. I have endeavored to find fun things to do that are relaxing and enjoyable, but they also are teaching me new things, helping me to break out of my rut. I wish you great success with your renewal... it is so very important for us to take care of ourselves, so we can live life to the fullest! I've been on that path for quite awhile now, and it has made an immense difference in the quality of my life! May it do the same for you!1

  5. Thanks so much for your comments! I loved hearing about each of your words.And how interesting that so many of you are doing this, too. Sara, I love the idea of reminders hidden away to find when you least expect it. I may try that! All the best to all of you with your "word" this year.

  6. This is real interesting that you post this. I have been hanging on a word this year, without even realizing it, to be rather honest with you. "Movement" has been my subconscious word du jour. This word really hits home-base within a few aspects of my life. As far as my art is concerned, it has really helped me push beyond my own scopes of comfort. I am now outside the box!! YAY!! As far as my personal business goes, that is now in development as we speak, yet another YAY!!


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