Wednesday, December 30, 2015

This year's word is...

by Liz Flaherty
         
 It is during this last little piece of the year that I choose my word for the year to come. I don’t know when this little ritual started, but it replaced New Year’s resolutions for me and that was a good thing--it cut way back on my failure rate. I don’t even know all the words I’ve used. I know Joy was one, because it was and remains my favorite word. Magic was another. In 2015, it has been Expand which has been good not only for me but for my pastor who had such a good time with it.
          This morning I went back and looked at my plans for that word. They were as follows:

1.     Expand my faith. No, I’m not going to proselytize or otherwise hit anyone in the face with it, but I am going to give it a bigger space.
2.     Expand my spirit. I’m a Pollyanna. I’m a happy girl who can find the good in almost any situation. I’m going to stop being embarrassed about that.
3.     Expand my vocabulary. I just love words, don’t you, and I don’t know enough of them. The fact that my...er...maturity is causing me to forget a lot of them necessitates me latching onto more and using them in fun places when I—
4.      –expand my writing. I’m not sure how, yet, but it needs to grow.
5.     Expand healthy diet and exercise, because other habits have caused a great deal of expansion in areas I don’t care to discuss.
6.     Expand the width of my mind. It’s so easy for it to narrow up, to think experience always equals rectitude, to close against things that are new or uncomfortable.
7.     Expand my horizons. I want to go somewhere I haven’t been, see things I haven’t seen.

          Globally, 2015 has been a time of tumult and terror and immeasurable pain that hasn’t stopped yet. Politically, it seems to have been year of greed and lies and meanness—I think some of “them” could do with my list. Personally, it’s been...wow, a great year. Not that I was completely successful in my quest with my word (see #5), but for the most part...yeah, I’m happy.       
          So what now? What word can I attach to in 2016 that might make me kinder, more productive, more giving? Might make me drop back some on the use of the words “I” and “me.” (I use them so often I sometimes start sentences with “You know it’s all about me...” Embarrassing!)
          And I have it. One of my very favorite quotes is from A. A. Milne:

          “What day is it?" asked Winnie the Pooh
          "It's today," squeaked Piglet
          "My favorite day," said Pooh.

          My word for 2016 is Today. I can’t do a single thing about tomorrow, and it’s way too late for yesterday, but for Today, I’ll do what I can.
          Happy Heartwarming New Year to you. Do you make resolutions or have intentions? Or do you have a word for the year, too? If you feel like sharing, we’d love to hear it.

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Isn't this lineup a great way to start the new year. If you don't have yours yet, don't wait. If you find them in a Walmart near you, give us a shoutout--we are so excited!


52 comments:

  1. Sounds a bit like a dose of Mindfulness to me, not that there's anything wrong with that. There's a lot to be said for being 'in the moment.' I'm sure it'll make us all more productive if we can do what we're 'supposed' to be doing, when we're supposed to be doing it. So yes, 'Today' works for me too.

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    1. I imagine I will have a year when "mindful" will be my word (I've given up on focus). My primary reason for choosing "today" was that I've wasted too many todays because of regrets over yesterdays and concerns over tomorrows. Thanks for coming by, Madeline!

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  2. "Today" is a wonderful word Liz. This year I've chosen two words...because to have one you need to also need the other. My words are "boldly" and "compassion". As you said, the world has seen so much pain and unrest this year, and I see more coming. So this year I hope to boldly stand for what I believe, attempt, or what ever comes along....but do it with compassion and help others as much as possible along the way. It's amazing how much just a kind word or simple action can bring encouragement to someones journey. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

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    1. Same to you, Brenda. I think that's a great word combination and I have no doubt you'll pull it off.

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  3. Great post, Liz! I have never made a New Year's resolution, but I love your idea of a word (to guide behavior, as I see it) for the year. I might just have to steal your word! :-D

    Thank you for the shout out for our January releases!

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    1. I'm not sure, but I think I initially borrowed--okay, stole--the idea from Holly Jacobs. It just works so well for me, whereas I bombed at every resolution I ever made!

      I am so excited about the Heartwarmings being in stores--and January's books are a great lineup to start with! I can't wait to hear from people who've found them.

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  4. love this post, Liz! Thanks for sharing. I'm still coming up with my word...

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Kristi. I was on it this year! :-)

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  5. Excellent post! In 2015, I set "Onward" as my word. I like the idea of creating plans for the word...something I will do more of in the future. As for 2016, I'm still tossing several words up in the air. Thanks Liz! :)

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    1. Oh, excellent word! Let me know what you use for 2016.

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  6. I enjoyed your post, Liz! The word that comes to mind for me is "intrepid." Fear and doubt have dogged me my entire life, it seems. Time to let all of that go and yes, live in the moment, acting rather than reacting. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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    1. Oh, Ashantay, that's a great word. I hope I use "fearless" one day not because I think I'll master it, but to remind myself that fear has nothing to offer to life.

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  7. Today is a good one for keeping you in the "now." According to Facebook, my word for 2016 is "Innovation," which works for me! Happy New Year!

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    1. Yay, Cheryl! Happy New Year to you, too.

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  8. Love the idea of a "word" resolution. And "today" is wonderful.

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  9. I'm printing out your list and using it too. We are soooo much alike.

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    1. We are, aren't we? And I'm glad for that!

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  10. So identify with your word for this year. I'm so bad to project fear into the future even though I'm like you--a pollyanna. I see the glass as half-full and filling. I've been choosing a word for the year for a while now. One year it was humility. That was a hard one for me. After writing 3 books and a novella this year, my word for 2016 is Rest. And I'm going to take a cue from you and make a list of how I'll embrace that word.

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    1. It's so hard to know when you need that one, isn't it? Rest well, Pat!

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  11. I don't like to do resolutions either, it seems like you doom them to failure. I think my word for 2016 will be mindful. I will try to be mindful to my own needs as well as the needs of others. We'll see how it goes.

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    1. Madeline mentioned that one, too. I think it's a great word!

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  12. Great post, Liz! I don't have a word yet--I'm working on it. Working on a lot of things actually, so hold a good thought, okay? Happy New Year, my friend!

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  13. So enjoyed this, Liz. I have sometimes made resolutions, mostly about losing weight and eating better---all of which seem to fall by the wayside within half a year. I like your idea or Holly's of setting one word for the year. Mine will be "stretch". As in body, mind and soul. Happy New Year.

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    1. I hope that works as well for you as "expand" did for me--it was the first time I STAYed conscious of the word.

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  14. Love your idea, Liz. I never make resolutions, but a one word 'focus' is an excellent way to guide us through the year. Now I have to come up with that word! Breathe or enjoy are my top picks.

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  15. I really enjoyed this post, Liz. I like resolutions. There, I said it. Because even if I don't completely fulfill them in the manner I'd like, I always feel like I've made progress. Of course, I don't choose ones that I know are out of my reach (aka impossible) like losing an entire dress size or keeping my house clean. How have I never heard this word idea? I might have to explore that for this year!

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    1. It can work and I've never felt like a failure because of it--two good things for me. :-) Thanks, Carol!

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  16. My favorite word is "audacity" but I have not lived up to that word in years. Sadly, life has a way of knocking us down and causing us to doubt ourselves. I want 2016 to be the year that I become more alive within myself so that I can accomplish my hearts goals.

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  17. I love this word for a year idea. I'm going to give thought to my word, and then apply it as you've shown us in expand. Thank you for the tip.

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    1. I hope you have a successful word (that sounds silly, doesn't it?) Happy New Year!

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  18. I think I'm going to go with "LIVE". I've found myself getting so bogged down with 'stuff', locked inside, worrying about things I can't control. It's time I took a little "me" time, which will make all the rest of it easier to manage. Thank you for this idea! I'm going to make a sign right now and put "live" up on my mirror so I see it first thing in the morning. Happy New Year, Liz!

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  19. Great post! I like your word! I don't know for sure, but I think I'll go with POWER. As in I have the power over me. My life. My thoughts. My career.

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    1. A good thing to remember--and remind yourself of! Hi, D!

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  20. Great post, Liz! I'm not a resolution gal myself. Many years ago I began the one word tradition and it hasn't failed me yet.

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    1. Yes--you're not setting yourself up to fail when it's just one word.

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  21. What a clever way to think about things

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  22. I like all of your resolutions, Liz. My main one, in the realm of writing, is to write more--and write first before I tackle anything else in the morning.

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    1. I'd like to do that, to write BEFORE Facebook and email, but I don't do it. It might be something I work on. :-)

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  23. Liz - you're brilliant, as usual. I always make a resolution and often fail, but apparently I'm a lot less hard on myself than others because I keep doing it. My word is COMPASSION and I'm going to add it your word - COMPASSION TODAY! I like it! Sounds like action. I also love your plan for last year. It matches mine for this year. HAPPY NEW YEAR Everybody!

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  24. Wonderful post, Liz! I love your word but I guess I will go with three words - TAKE IT IN. I think too often I am so busy buzzing here and there, I forget to take it all in. I want to be able to enjoy the little moments :) Happy New Year to all our Heartwarming readers and writers!

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    1. That works--goes along with some smelling the roses time, doesn't it?

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  25. No, I don't make resolutions so I really appreciate a word for the year, and yours is perfect. I often tell people I have to take one day at a time, so the word "today" really resonates with me. I stay in the day and try not to think too far ahead about things. I'm going to embrace that word for 2016. Thanks.
    As for Heartwarming books in Wal Mart stores....hurray!! I will certainly post any sightings. I am so happy for all of you. ( :

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    1. We so appreciate you, Laurie--your support has warmed all our hearts.

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  26. Oh, Liz, I so appreciate your wisdom! Thank you for sharing this piece with me. You help me see why I have chosen to comfort myself Today. :) And to comfort others today, too.

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    1. I appreciate yours, too, and thank you for the years of pleasure your writing has given.

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