I was recently listening to the Pantsuit Politics podcast. It’s an entertaining podcast where two women (a conservative and a liberal) talk about politics. I enjoy spaces where different political opinions, or differing ideas in general, can come together and thoughtfully discuss their differences with respect and eloquence. Our society needs more dialogues like this and I encourage you to check it out.
Anyway, while listening to that podcast they introduced me to the idea of a word for the year.
The Word of the Year
This is an idea that was popularized by Ali Edwards. At the beginning of the year, you pick a word that will be your focus for the year. This is a word that you will focus on, live with, and incorporate into your daily life.
I loved this idea and have thought it about over the last few days and considered what I want my word to be for 2018.
At first, I was really leaning toward the word intention being my word for the year. I want more of my actions to be done with intention and I want my time to be intentionally spent rather than just giving in to inertia. However, a few days ago I was reading a book and a quote by Margaret Thatcher stuck out to me: “‘No-one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.”
That quote is talking about a different context for sure, but the point stuck with me that intention is great, but intention alone is not going to create action or change. Intention itself is not productive, and one thing I want in my life is meaningful action.
Other words I considered included:
But none of those really captured what I see happening in the coming year and what I want to accomplish.
To pick my word, I went back to my list of goals for 2018.
Ultimately, I settled on the word appreciate because appreciation and gratitude are two qualities that I am actively trying to incorporate into my everyday life. There are also many nuances to the word appreciate and I want to incorporate all its possible meanings throughout my life over the next year:
- grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of
- value or admire highly
- judge with heightened perception or understanding : be fully aware of
- recognize with gratitude
- to increase the value of
I want to appreciate the progress we make in achieving our financial goals. I also want our investments to appreciate!
My daughter is growing so fast and I want to appreciate this stage in her life as she transitions from being an infant to becoming a toddler.
I want to appreciate the many blessing and privileges that I have in my life and acknowledge them. There are many people in my life that I want to appreciate regularly along with the wonderful things that others do for me on a regular basis, no matter how small the action.
Incorporating appreciation into my life
To set it as a reminder I plan to put the word in a few strategic places. I’ve written it on a sticky note and put it on my bathroom mirror, and I’ve also taped it to the inside of my wallet. I’m hoping the word in my wallet will also help be a reminder to appreciate what I have and not feel the need to buy more clutter!
I’m sure there are many more ways I will discover to incorporate this word into my life as the year goes on.
Picking your own word of the year
If you want to pick a word for your year, here is a list of words that you can use as inspiration.
If you decide to pick a word, let me know and I’ll feature your experience with it in a post later on this year!
Happy new year!