Healthy Body  >  How to Choose Your Word for 2017 {+ A Giveaway!}

How to Choose Your Word for 2017 {+ A Giveaway!}

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As you begin to plan for 2017, do you feel excited or apprehensive? Invigorated or exhausted?

With the new year barely a champagne toast away, many of us are thinking about our resolutions. Get healthy. More exercise. Cut out sugar. No refined carbs EVER! And we might just try to implement those big changes and lofty goals all at once, going from zero to 60 in a matter of days.

Not surprisingly, this rarely works. We burn out, or pull a muscle, or unhappily binge-eat a batch of fudgy grain-free brownies over the sink.

How many times has this happened to you? How many times have you broken your promises to yourself? That this time, it’s going to stick. That this time, it’s going to be different.

I know, because I have been there, too – over and over again! Coming up with my New Year’s resolutions became an exercise in shame and disappointment; it seemed to highlight all the ways that my previous year hadn’t quite measured up. Add to that the stress of planning goals and changes for the next year, and it was truly a recipe for disaster.

But at the end of 2013, I shifted the way I thought about my coming year, and instantly, everything felt different: easier and more loving.

What did I do? I chose a word of the year. 

In 2016, I picked the word spaciousness. In 2015, I was guided by the word trust. The year before that, my word was simplify. And savor kicked the whole ritual off back in 2013.

My “word of the year” anchors my daily life. It helps me focus. It guides the work that I do, the choices that I make, and the way that I navigate my days, every day. When I feel adrift, I remember my word of the year and come back to myself – and my goals for the next 12 months.

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My word for 2017? Ease. (Sounds nice & relaxing, doesn’t it?)

Ease means making things easy for myself, instead of stressing about every single little detail. It means having less on my to-do list each day, so that I have more opportunities to spontaneously go into the woods with my pups or take a leisurely stroll through the farmer’s market.

It means fearlessly posting that beautiful photo on Instagram without agonizing over every word of the caption, and boldly sharing what’s going on with me on Twitter without sweating over each of the 140 characters. It means prepping food on Sunday in a non-stressful manner...thus making it easier to toss together meals for myself and my family throughout the rest of the week.

It’s resisting my tendency to overcomplicate, overthink, map out to the nth degree, and micro-manage every single last detail. It’s telling myself to relax comfortably into the unknown and make room, to allow things to unfold as they may. At its core, ease is greeting life with an open mind and an open heart – letting it happen, instead of worrying about things that I can’t control.

But the word that works for me is not necessarily the word that works for you. Maybe you’d like 2017 to feel focused, or connected, or inspired. Or perhaps you want more joy, or to be more playful.

Choosing a word of the year has grounded me and changed the course of my next trip around the sun—and I know it can do the same for you! Here are three steps that will get you started.

Think about how you want your life to feel. In order to keep traditional resolutions, we often end up counting calories, dollars, or social media followers. We track numbers, then assess our success based on those stats. But when you navigate your new year with a single word as your beacon, 2017 slowly shifts into something easier and sweeter. A “successful” year is a year that feels the way you want it to feel.

Peer through the window of your Future Dream Life and really imagine the specifics.

How do you want your life to feel? Do you want to feel free? Supported? Seen? Imagine the way you want your heart and mind to feel, every single day, then choose a word accordingly.

Trust your intuition. Choosing your word of the year is a lot easier than you might expect. You don’t necessarily have to labor over this decision; you likely don’t need to turn this over in your mind a thousand times.

Really think about the last year. What worked? What didn’t? If you’re honest with yourself, you probably already know how you’d like next year to be different. If a word immediately springs to mind and it feels right in your gut, you’ve found your word. Go with it!

Consider how you can apply this word to your whole life. “Supported”’ at home means something different than “supported” in your professional life. And “connected” to your body is different than being “connected” to your partner.

How does your word apply in the context of work? At home? Does it affect the way you move your body, or the choices you make around food? Will it change the way you use technology?

When you take the time to imagine the way your word applies to all the areas of your life, you’re ready to make that word happen everywhere.

Now it’s your turn: To encourage you to find your word for 2017, I've partnered with the coolest (and hippest!) knitting company, Wool & The Gang, to give away a ME Time Scarf Kit! All you need to do to enter is share your own word of the year in the comments. I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday, December 26th. Good luck!

From my home to yours, I wish you a year filled with health and happiness...and just the right word!

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