What’s Your Word for 2014?

“Each decision we make, each action we take, is born out of an intention.”

~ Sharon Salzberg

What’s Your Word for 2014?

By Andrea Novakowski

At the beginning of each of the past two years, I’ve come up with a word using Christine Kane’s powerful workbook, “Your Word of the Year Discovery Tool.”  Last year, I chose the word spaciousness. It became an impetus for doing things differently, and it led to me making five changes in my business (read about these changes here).

Why not choose a word of the year for yourself? This word can inspire you, guide you, and provide the platform upon which all your goals and actions sit. It’s also a mantra that grounds you and reminds you of where you want to go.

My word of the year for 2014: Adventure.

It makes me smile every time I say it. The word applies to all aspects of my life – not just business, but also personal. It influences my roles as business owner, wife, mother, sister, friend, and colleague. I chose adventure because I was starting to feel that my life was too full of routine and structure. True, I depend on those things to help my business run smoothly, but this is my 17th year of coaching and I wanted to shake it up a little, to experiment, play, and be spontaneous. Adventure offers me a chance to consider my tasks, ideas, and clients from a different perspective.

In her workbook, Christine says your word is meant to “teach you about you.”  My learning began the first weekend of the new year.

It was Sunday and I was getting ready for my work week, reviewing my goals, creating my to-do list. My husband, Bill, who is always up for an adventure, suggested we walk the dogs. I started to respond that I’d love to, but I really needed to be responsible and plan my week.

Then I thought, wait. My word is adventure. I told myself, “Go out and play with the dogs. Be in the sun and enjoy.”

Just as we were leaving the house, our neighbor called to invite us to go cross-country skiing in the fields next door. I actually laughed out loud. It felt like a test. Should I be my usual responsible self, or should I choose adventure?

Adventure won out. We went cross-country skiing – and had a wonderful time.

So what happened to my planning? When I got home, I took my now-energized self up to my office and spent a very focused 30 minutes assembling my plan for the week. Done! Adventure’s my word and I’m sticking to it.

I’m fully aware that more challenge lies ahead. My sense of responsibility will continue to bump up against my new intention, and I’ll have to continually negotiate with myself, at least until adventure becomes more of who I am. Until then, here are the steps I’m taking to help keep my word of the year alive.

  • Share my word with other people.
  • Invite people to create their own words.
  • Post my word where I’ll see it every day: on my calendar, my screen saver, my mirror.
  • Create a vision board using my word (I’ll show you how do this on the March 28th Tip)
  • Discuss my word with my coach.
  • Explore it with you, my Tip readers.

And now here are some questions to get you thinking about your word of the year.

  • What do you want more or less of in your life, professionally and personally?
  • What would help you lean toward this opportunity for growth?
  • Which part of you is out of balance?
  • What would energize you?

Write down all the words that come to mind as you answer these questions. Add any words that appeal and resonate for you. You may end up with five words; you may have 50. Keep trimming down the list until you’re left with just one word. Your word. You’ll know when it’s the right one. You’ll feel the energy when you say the word to yourself.

Your Call to Action

What steps and support structures can you create to help you live your word?