One Word for 2017

unique, change, words, Seuss

This quote (by one of my favorite authors) reminds us to fully embrace our ‘You-ness’ and be unique.

How will you blend your special gifts, strengths, and experiences, to continue being a ‘one-of-a-kind’ person in 2017?

I find that using a theme word for the year is a helpful way to guide my growth as a unique person. I highly recommend it if you are seeking a new perspective about your work, or life overall.

The three step process outlined in the book One Word to Change Your Life tells us how to receive a word that God, the Universe (or whatever you call that which is bigger than us) intends for our growth. The process is simple, yet important to follow because this is not about picking any ole’ good word. It’s about receiving the word uniquely intended for you. The three step process works like this:

1. Look within. Set aside time to be quiet and ask yourself these powerful questions:
What do I need? Not what do I want, but what do I truly need?
What’s in my way? What’s blocking me?
What needs to go? Or, what do I need to release in order to move forward?

2. Look up. Prayerfully ask, “What do you (God or the Universe) want to do in me and through me?” Be open and pay attention for the answer. The word that surfaces may not be what you expect. In fact, your mind may reject the word provided, but if your heart and soul knows that it is your word, then go with it. Even if the word doesn’t make sense initially, try to remain open and curious to see what insights await you.

3. Look out. Live with your word for the entire year. It’s important to stick with it because there will be lessons that will be learned by applying it to everyday highs and lows.

My first word was BELIEVE and I found it very easy to identify all that I believed in…faith, love, honesty, kindness…the list went on and on. Midway through the year, however, I started to see my unbelief, those times when I felt weak, vulnerable, and insecure. It was uncomfortable to realize the person I didn’t fully believe in was me. My word helped me recognize how self-doubt limits me at times and I found the antidote in faith. When I feel weak and unable to go on, God provides the people and resources that I need. I learned that the more I look for that provision the more I see it, again and again.

The next year my word was FOUND. This word helped me identify the actions, solutions, thoughts, and approaches that work best for me, and to release those that do not. I learned how to more consistently rely on what I have found to be true. I trust my intuition more, spend less time comparing myself to others and feeling lost. I know where the source of my inner strength lies and encourage others to find their own resilience through strengths coaching and my book, Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith. FOUND was a very relevant word for me in 2014.

In 2015 my word was HEAR. Initially I thought this word was a bit odd and uninspiring. Nonetheless, I went with it and learned to pay attention to the messages that I allow myself to hear from others…and from my own self-talk. I started to consciously block harmful or negative messages and tried to open my ears to listen for positive and/or divine messages. Interestingly, I heard many of those messages from family, friends, clients, and other people who may or may not have known they were a conduit…giving me exactly what I needed to hear on any given day.

In 2016 my word has been ASK. I’m a recovering independent woman who is learning the value of being interdependent. I have a tendency to ‘just do it myself.’ It’s hard for me to ask for what I need. My word has reminded me to practice asking a lot this year. I’ve learned important lessons not only about asking but also about waiting patiently and receiving.

After spending an entire year with each of my words I find that they become a part of me. The habit of using them to gain perspective and a sense of direction continues long after the year is over. Each word has helped me grow wiser and more self-aware.

As 2017 begins, I’m going through the process to discover a new theme word and I invite you to join me. You can learn more about the One Word Process in the book One Word to Change Your Life by Gordon, Britton, and Page. Once you’ve received your Word, be sure to share it with others to form a support or stretch team that will help you stay on track throughout the year.