Many years ago, thanks to initiative from Susannah Conway and Liz Lamoreux, I gave up setting New Year's resolutions in favor of selecting a "Word of the Year."
I've really come to appreciate how focusing in on one word provides guidance for how I want to orientate my days, and, more broadly, live my life.
Last year my word was courage. And, boyhowdie, in looking back, I can see how courage flowed through the entire year.
As I wrote back then, I knew I wanted a strong word. Something to push me to take challenges, to have tough conversations, to leap sometimes without looking.
Courage, also, to me spoke of approaching challenges with heart. Not ignoring or stuffing any fear involved, but intentionally moving forward through compassion, both for myself and for others involved. Taking the risks necessary to grow and change, and come out the other side a better woman.
I'm proud to say I did a lot of that. And I think I am a better woman for it.
Having courage as my word of the year was so beneficial that part of me wanted to hang on to it through 2016. And when I consider the signs around me, I can see how courage is still playing a major role. (Of course, I'm not sure you ever really "get rid of" any of your words.) But I also know I have somewhat different needs this year.
Courage was about overcoming fear — an internal issue, yes, but in many ways, externally motivated.
For 2016, I have chosen to come back home, literally and figuratively.
I have chosen "nourish."
Nourish allows me to focus inward. To take care of my body — from what I eat, to how and when I move, to honoring this form that carries my heart and soul as it is, here and now.
Nourish allows me to focus on my home. From mindfully caring for the space where I spend much of my time, to taking into consideration the "stuff" inside — Do the things within make me happy, are they beautiful, do they bring pleasure?
Nourish also allows me to focus on healthy relationships. Am I nourishing those around me, my husband, my friends? Am I being nourished in return? Am I giving Lucy the care and love that she needs?
I know that nourish is not going to be easy for me. But then courage was not easy for me from the get-go either. It's all just part of this thing we call life.
Did you choose a word for 2016? I'd love for you to share it in the comments below. And of course, just because it's now February doesn't mean you can't still choose a word.
(If you'd like some guidance, it looks like you can still get in on Susannah's free "Find Your Word" 5-day email workshop. I highly recommend this process.)
P.S. Thanks to Jo of The Darling Tree for the nourish art above. She does beautiful web design work and art. Check her out!