New Year’s Resolutions are so UGH.   Mine are always broken or forgotten or just plain unrealistic and tossed before January is halfway through.  But I do like having goals, and vision, and something to work toward.  Something that guides my actions around family, my faith, my work, my life.  So this year I’m choosing a little something different.  I followed the example of one of my favorite writers and joined #OneWord365.

The idea is to choose one word that will shape your life in the coming year.  Who do you want to be?  How do you want to live?  What do you need to embrace?  What do you need to let go?  Choose a word (the web site offers a list of choices if you need help) and then be intentional and committed in letting it “become the compass that guides you” through 2017.  The OneWord365 motto is go where it takes you, be who it makes you.  

I read through the list of suggested words, and saw the ones that others had chosen.  I  thought and prayed about it a little… one word kept popping up…. but it scared me a little (which usually means I’m on track). Then I took my laptop and spent some quiet time alone over coffee. I re-read the list.   I prayed some more.  I read through my options again…. and there was that one word.

Darn it. This one looks like it might be hard!

I knew it was the one I was meant to choose:  Release.

Today, on January 1, I have my own ideas of the ways this word will shape my 2017… but I expect to be surprised at times, too.  (I love the way God shows up in the details, fitting new ideas and new things into our lives, reshaping our simply-colored plans into works of art.)  I see a lot of room in Release, and a lot of ways He can work.  What will it mean for my relationships?  For all those ways I’m overcommitted – or committed to the wrong things?  What will it mean for my work, for my hobbies, for my parenting?  I’ve gotten more comfortable with the idea of it in the past day or so… and where it might take me.  Just this week, I’ve experienced things I know I’ll be called to release in 2017.  I even took a beginner yoga class – and the relaxation and release that came with that hour and a half of stretching and breathing strengthened my belief in the importance of Release.

I know there are a lot of things I need to let go… commitments, baggage, negative feelings, control.  But I think release is about freedom, too – – it can mean overcoming.  Overcoming the fears and worries that hold me back from new growth, or new adventures. What else will Release be the answer to?  It will become part of my prayer life, my family life, my work life.   I can’t wait to see all the ways I will find release.

I believe there’s power in sharing, so I clicked on the part of the #OneWord365 site that invited me to FIND YOUR TRIBE.  You can enter your word, and connect with others who chose the same one.  I entered mine and got the message: “Oops!  No one else has chosen that one yet!”

That was ok… I have a tribe of my own.

So I sent a group text and asked who wanted to join me in scrapping resolutions and embracing a word instead.  I invited some friends to visit the site, with the idea that we’d make our #OneWord part of our Tuesday morning coffee discussions.

And they got right on board, choosing words like….Presence. Thrive. Forward.

So that’s the direction we’re heading in 2017.  What about you?  Do you make resolutions? Do you do #OneWord?  If so, what’s yours?

“Go where it takes you, be who it makes you.”

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