Happy New Year, insanely interesting Writerly Women! The only thing I like better than starting a fresh season is starting it with all of you. I'm serious about that. Even just your comments to each other regarding the last post about "Borrowing Faith" proved that we ARE a community and we can make a difference to each other. That doesn't even require a Resolution. It's simply a fact.
Speaking of resolutions ... only 9% of people who make them on January 1 actually keep them. That's actually a higher percentage than I suspected, to tell you the truth. However, having one word that guides you through the year has been shown to be pretty darn effective, and that makes sense. Seriously which is more compelling:
* I'm going to lose fifteen pounds, write 100,000 words and read my Bible twice a day?
* I'm going to attach myself to HOPE this year?
And here's the deal: if you focus on HOPE and do only those things that express or reflect that hope, you will probably believe you can lose needed weight, write your best stuff and deepen your relationship with the sacred text of your faith. That's because, having just one word as your frame of reference:
* Takes away any possibility of failure. Really, how do you measure how much HOPE you have? And if you can't measure it, you can't fall short.
* Widens your range of opportunities. You aren't just tied to working out in your basement and giving up sugar. HOPE gives you the courage to try some new foods, take up Wonder Walking, look for a style that looks good on YOUR body.
* Makes your outlook more positive. Resolutions like the ones we're using as examples suggest that we have been lacking. A guiding word speaks to what we want more of.
This approach is perfect for us. We are wordsmiths. We know how to choose the perfect word that precisely fits our meaning. Why not put that gift, that skill to work for ourselves and, ultimately, everyone around us. I mean, who doesn't want to be around a person who is moved by HOPE or LOVE or HONESTY or GRATITUDE or VISION?
And because words are our forte, we can be even more precise in our choices than our accountant and engineer friends. My word for 2021 is ESSENTIAL. I want to attach myself to those things that are authentic to my essential nature -- the people I'm with, the work I do, the personal passions I pursue, even in the way I shape my home.
When my almost-ten-year-old granddaughter and I were trying to discover her word for the coming year, I asked her some questions which might be helpful to you too in case no marvelous piece of vocabulary pops immediately to mind.
- What do you want to do MORE of this year?
- What do you want to be like at the end of 2021?
- What are you dreaming of or hoping for right now?
- What perfect word describes the essence of you?
- (We can add, of course, what word comes to mind when you meditate on this with God?)
(Incidentally, her answer to all of those questions was an honest, "I don't know." She pointed out that she is pretty happy right NOW, so that became her word.)
That's not all. Because we are creative women, why wouldn't we turn our chosen word into a visual of some kind that we can envision, especially when supporting that concept becomes challenging? It doesn't have to be a work of art. It just needs to reflect you and what you're about this year.
2020 has been a difficult year for the entire world, and we can't count on the fact that when we wake up tomorrow morning, all the remnants of the last ten months will have disappeared. Even on Inauguration Day or when we all get vaccines we won't see a dramatic change at once. But each of us, as Gandhi so wisely said, can be the change we want to see in the world.
One word at a time.
Your challenge: pray, meditate, ponder, write and discover your word. Share it with us, and if you really want to commit, create a visual, take a picture and email it to me -- firstname.lastname@example.org. I can think of few things more encouraging than a gallery of the lexicon that will take us into 2021.
Again, Happy New Year, Ladies. Happy New Year.