On New Year’s Day, I heard a guy on the Today Show talk about resolutions. He suggested that instead of a laundry list of ways to do better, a person could pick one word. He said too many resolutions were hard to remember and especially hard to keep, but he said a word could be easily remembered. It could become a guide to all the items on the list a person might have has goals.
As I was listening, I began to think about how to choose just one word. The speaker suggested that to find a word, a person could read something, and he ventured that the “right” word would just pop out. I considered my Bible as a source, but instead, picked up my journal.
This past week, on Facebook, my University of Wisconsin niece posted that she had spoken to a friend who had read a book that suggested a year-word. I figured that the author must be the same guy that I heard on the telly.
None of this information is original to me. I am only the messenger. I have a friend who writes a blog based around a word or idea each year. Each of her weekly blogs is centered on her one word, for fifty-two weeks. At the beginning of the calendar year, she chooses a new idea as her center.
I used a variety of scripts to write my word on several index cards. I posted it where I could see it often… the bathroom mirror, the fridge, on the face of my journal, over the kitchen sink. It’s probably overkill. We’ll see. The year is just three weeks old.
My word did pop out, although it popped out in my head. It is LISTEN. I’ve already seen and felt a difference. I am listening to my body and exercising better. I am listening to my heart and giving myself some slack. I am listening in Mass to the priests’ homilies more thoughtfully. I hope I am listening when others speak more carefully. I am trying to be a better giver by being a better listener.
I wish I had listened to the name of the speaker on the Today Show on New Year’s Day. He made a difference in my thinking, and I’ll bet a million others, as well. I have already “seen” my next year’s word pop out. For 2014, though, I am trying very hard to find opportunities to LISTEN.
What word would you like guide you this year?