At the beginning of each year my friend/colleague Mary chooses a word that represents her goal for the year.  Since first learning of her strategy a few years ago I have done the same and that concept, combined with my annual January process of reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the coming year, has helped me arrive at the present destination on my self-discovery journey.

My previous keywords include simplify and focus, among others.  Sometimes the word keeps me on track through the whole twelve months and sometimes I completely forget it till fall, when the word suddenly pops up in my brain as a reminder to get back on track.  I don’t remember the other words right now, but I’ll dig back through past blog posts on this topic and find them.  I do know that I keep each word into the following years and eventually I’ll have a whole sentence to push me along my path.

My word for 2014 is commitment.  I am committed to taking my current incredible life to the next level.  I am committed to continuing to simplify my life and to focus on those things and people that are important to me.  The sum of my keywords has led me to have more fun, to live more in the moment, to focus on my career, to focus on my social life, to enhance my friendships and to celebrate who I am and who I will continue to grow into. 

I once heard Carlos Santana tell an interviewer “there is power in words”.  I agree.  A single, simple word can propel each of us toward whatever goal we may have.  That word can remind us what we said we would do whenever we stray from our goal.  Rather than a list of New Year’s resolutions we’ll probably never act on, one word can sharpen our focus.  We can speak it, chant it, sing it, write it on a sticky note, scribble it on our grocery list; we can write 400 words about it in a blog post.

So on this snowy morning in Maryland, while taking a break from working from home, I am declaring my keyword for 2014 out loud: COMMITMENT!  Feel free to hold me to it through the next twelve months.  Drop by and read about it from time to time.  And find your own word too.