One Year, One Word

The January Hangover is a real thing. After months of planning, executing and surviving another magical holiday season, it ends like a down on a thistle. The kids are crazy-eyed, over-sugared and one sibling-rivalry away from a complete meltdown. And parents are left holding a lawn waste bag filled with hours of wrapping paper labor. 

The Christmas lights need to come down in temperatures no less than 30 degrees colder than when they were put up. The loose Styrofoam that protects the sweet nativity looks like snow as the scene comes out of the box and like anthrax when it gets put away. 

For a majority of us, the last few months we have overextended ourselves physically, financially and emotionally. Ringing in the New Year exhausted, 5 pounds heavier and a tad bit resentful. Happy Friggin’ New Year!

The start of school rings in the hope of new beginnings ( , not January. Most of us moms are grateful to have survived the holiday without too many incidents from drunken Uncle Eddy and eye rolls and judgment from Mother-in-Law. 

But what if we quickly skip over the January Hangover and just get right to our intentions for the next year? Goal-setting, but NOT in a major resolution declaring, life-over kind of way. 

Many ambitious New Year’s resolutions are broken by February. If my self-confidence was based on successful execution of resolutions, I would live in a hole and never speak to another human being again. 

My mom first introduced me to the concept of a “one word” year. She would set a word of intention for the year and make a vision board with images supporting that word.  My mom was new-age hippie chic before it was a thing and Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple. 

But, one word to focus on to help guide decision-making and shape the year is completely manageable. The word is a reminder of positive changes you want to make in a subtle, non-rigid kind of way. 


Do not overthink choosing your word. Remember in Harry Potter that the wand chooses the wizard, not the other way around. 

Think about some of your goals or qualities you want to cultivate in the New Year. Are there circumstances you would like to change? Are there certain areas of your life that need attention?

Embracing a word for the year might take awhile or you might decide by the time you finish reading this post. When asked to set an intention for my yoga practice last month the word “peace” came to mind. Recently, one of my SoulSisters sent me an online quiz to identify my word for the year and there it was again…“peace.” 

Below are words to help you generate ideas. Pick a few, write them down and post them somewhere. You will know your word when you find it.


I stopped sharing my New Year’s Resolutions over a decade ago. Why do I need to be reminded by others of my inability to keep them? “So, how is the working out three times a week going?” Ummm…it’s not.

Sharing your word with others helps not only with accountability, but also connection. Every time I see the word “joy” I think of my mom and one of my SoulSisters, both chose that as a word of intention. Feel free to share your word on this blog, just comment below. Last year I learned hand lettering and posted a picture of my word on Instagram. 


Periodically check in with yourself. Are you using your intentional word as a guide in decision-making? Is the word in the forefront of your mind? 

Last year, my word was “discover.” With all my kids in school fulltime, I wanted to discover more about myself, hobbies and the new area we live. Many of the decisions I made were around my guide word. Thinking of the intention, I forced myself to branch out of my comfort zone in self-exploration, hobbies, activities and relationships. 

Keep it simple, sisters. Think about the next year, think about your intentions, name it with a single word, and then go enjoy your life leaving the post-holiday blues behind.

~Be Good to Yourself~





























One Comment

  • BF

    2017 was “Gusto”. I nailed it
    2018 was “Balance”. Not even close
    2019 is “Calm”. Remains to be seen.
    Why am I not surprised you do this too?