Gratitude. Intention. Simplicity. Joy. If you were to pick one word for personal focus in the year ahead, what would it be? Clarity. Self-care. Authenticity. Trust. The practice of choosing a word instead of making resolutions has been around a while, but I first heard of it a couple of weeks ago. Resolutions are a set-up for failure, typically forgotten in a month or two. A word isn’t a promise to keep or break, but a lens through which to view one’s life during the year ahead.
Nature’s years don’t start and end, of course; they cycle. Knowing New Year’s Day is arbitrary doesn’t stop many of us from endowing it with a sense of fresh beginnings. Often I’ve chosen something I wanted to leave behind. Last year, Fear turned to ashes in a New Year’s Eve bonfire. Right now the idea of a focus word calls to me more strongly. At this writing it’s Magic, though it has a few more hours to gel.
With what rituals do you usher in the new year, if any? What word would you select for focus in 2019, or what from your past is it time to let go?
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.