One Word

We are officially two weeks into 2014. I have never been very big into making new years resolutions, mostly because I can never seem to make them stick. A few years ago, I started a tradition of choosing a word for myself each January - a word that I will focus and reflect on throughout the year. This Word of the Year idea wasn't my own and I cannot remember where I first picked it up. I have loved this tradition and will be continuing it into 2014. So far, my words have been generosity (2011), intentionality (2012), and gratitude (2013). These words have each integrated in my life and have helped me focus on where I want to grow and the characteristics I want my life to exude.

How can one little word make a difference? Let the word speak into your life and reveal a little about the person you are becoming.The word isn't just a word, it's a way of cultivating your best life: a life filled with joy even though sometimes life is bittersweet.

This past year "gratitude" found its way into the small parts of my day. I learned that gratitude is less about thanksgiving and more about a way of life. In thinking about the past year and my efforts to keep gratitude at the forefront, I learned a few things along the way:

1. Gratitude is being mindful and present. When I am hurrying from one thing to the next, I am loose touch with the present moment and all it has to offer (even if that is simply washing dishes). Gratitude realizes the power of now.

2. Gratitude is the giver of joy. Theodore Roosevelt had it right when he said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Sometimes it's easy to loose ourselves when comparing our life with others. However, if comparison is the thief of joy then gratitude must be the giver of it.

3. Gratitude is a conscious choice. Sometimes choosing gratitude is hard and my pride gets in the way. However, you always have a choice at the way you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude and it will make all the difference.

 After some thought and consideration, my word for 2014 is connectedness. This means connecting with the people in my life by truly being present when I am with them, and it means connecting with friends I haven't met yet by being open and receptive to learning about new perspectives. When you're connected, you are not rushed or hurried or too busy. Rather, connectedness invites people in, and reveals authenticity and openness. I am really looking forward to seeing how connectedness introduces new ideas, thoughts, and appreciations in my life over the next twelve months.

 If you haven't tried this yet, I hope I have convinced you! Think about what your word would be for the year and give it a try. There isn't anything formal or fancy about it; you could put your word on the refrigerator, frame it on your bedside table, or write it on a post it note on your car visor. I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories as you experience them. So, what is your word of the year? Leave me a comment or drop me a line and tell me your thoughts. Let's connect! ;)

Photos by the amazingly talented husband and wife duo at Blest Photography.

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  1. Your post is full of rich and rewarding insight. I love the way you look at life. I am now entering into deep consideration and thought to determine what my word for 2014 will be!

  2. What a great word for 2014! Such a simple concept, yet we make it so difficult with our daily routines, schedules and 24-7 access to Internet, texting and social media. How wonderful to imagine everyone making a conscious effort to be more connected. May 2014 be your best year yet full of new and meaningful connections:)

  3. What a great way to enter into the new year! I love the idea of committing to paradigm shift instead of trying to change a bad habit.

    On another note-the pics are just adorable! :)