Wednesday, January 06, 2010

one little word 2010

In 2009, I chose to focus on the word progress:

"I think it will be good for me to focus on making
progress. I still have a lot of areas I'd like to improve in, but I want to be able to applaud myself for every little movement I make in the right direction. I want to be pleased with what I accomplish, rather than upset with all that I have not yet accomplished. I want to learn to accept myself where I am, right now, be gentle with my efforts to improve, and appreciative of any and all growth. For a perfectionist like me, I think it will prove to be a real challenge."

Looking back, I wonder if this choice of word was a bit of a cop-out. Maybe I was disillusioned with my ability to fully embrace free (for 2 years!). I think maybe I was just overwhelmed and feeling the need to be kind to myself.

I find myself wondering if I never really got to the point of accepting "progress, not perfection", because now I am back to desiring real change. Actually, I think I did a great job at the acceptance part -- perhaps not as well as I could have at the progressing part. In any case, I still feel that progress was what I needed at the time. But now, I need something different.

After considering several words for the past week or so, I have narrowed my selection to:


I had a bit of an epiphany when I realized that, for all of the things that I really want to accomplish this year, probably the biggest roadblock I would face would be a lack of planning. Could it really be that simple? That by having more frequent meetings with myself, as Jill says, I could put into action so many of the things that I want to have happen in my life? I think it could. In fact, I'm feeling really optimistic.

I did a quick search for some quotes, and now I am feeling even better about my choice:

Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan. -- Norman Vincent Peale

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan. -- Tom Landry

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. -- Eleanor Roosevelt

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. -- Jim Rohn

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. -- George S. Patton

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire. -- Napoleon Hill

If you fail to plan, plan to fail. (unknown)

The Eleanor Roosevelt one is really resonating with me.

So if you're like me, and you are wondering how you can get more out of the experience of having a word for the year, here are some ideas:

1. Every time you make a list, write your word at the top of it, so it is always in front of you. I saw this in a comment on Ali Edwards' blog, and loved it. The act of repeatedly writing my word will, I think, keep it from becoming just another sign on the fridge that I don't see anymore. Heaven knows I make a lot of lists, so this may just be genius.

2. Make a wordle with quotes about your word or just your feelings about it. It's easy and fun!

3. Download this worksheet. Then fill it out! I'm planning to do this, I see it as a fleshing-out of my intentions and plans for the year.

Here's to a year of positive change in 2010!!


crystal said...

I love those ideas--thank you!

I greatly admire Eleanor Roosevelt. More so than her husband, really.

kelly said...

love your word..and Eleanor, really has the best quotes every, she is a favorite of mine!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Plan is a terrific word. So doable. So life-changing. My aunt made a sign that said PLAN AHEAd. The "d" was written very small because there wasn't enough room left on the paper. I've obviously never forgot it and I do believe it has influenced me.

charlotte said...

I love this! Once you said it I realized that in my own life I could be so much more productive if I just plan what I think. Good intentions can go only so far.

And I think I'm going to have fun with that wordle thing.

Jill said...

I think this is a great word for the year and a perfect compliment to your previous words. I don't think PROGRESS was a cop out, I think you're right that it was a way of being kind to yourself and moving forward, but now with plan you're moving even more in the right direction and really going to make things happen. This word also gels nicely with your love of list making doesn't it? I'm excited for you!

P.S. I loved the quotes and the wordle.

Kelly said...

I agree with Jill -- I don't think Progress was a cop out. I think it's what you needed then, and this is what you need now. I love your word choice. I also often face a roadblock with lack of planning, so I can relate to this word a lot, and I'm excited to see where it takes you!

Amanda :-) said...

Gosh, I think if you could nail this word in 2010 (and I'm confident you CAN!) then you'd be a formidable lady.

There's no way I can attempt to plan much this year. My step-father is so ill now with cancer that we have to accept that 2010 is a year that we have to just take one step at a time. It'll be very much a feeling-around-in-the-dark sort of year, but I don't fear it.

Holly said...

I think each of your word choices have been just what you needed at the time. Plan is a great choice as well, full of potential and opportunity.

I'm putting too much pressure on my word, or my almost word. I've narrowed it between two. I think.

Miranda said...

I'm finally getting on board with the One Little Word campaign so thank you for this post. I love the idea about writing the word at the top of each list! Also, nice choice of word. I like it.

jenn said...

Great word Michelle.

I read part of a book (wink.) that said a list is worth nothing if you don't have a plan of action to go with it. When you make a list, draw an arrow by each item on the list and add a specific action that needs to happen to accomplish the item/task. For example: "finish Christmas cards" is on my list of things to do. Next to it is "cut paper" because that is the next action that will get me closer to finishing. Then, when you have a list, you prioritize it. Christmas cards has not been high on the priority list now that I've basically missed the deadline. (another wink.) But things with higher priorities have gotten finished. I'm not great at this but it has really helped me to move forward with things I want to get done.

Coupled with your ideas, especially writing my word at the top of my lists!!, I have high hopes for this year too!

I hit a roadblock in my reading of the book because we were moving (yes, a year and a half ago) and I have not picked it back up, but I think you just indirectly motivated me to go find it. Of course, it will have to wait until I finish Catching Fire! (one more wink.)

Robyn said...

"Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Had to share that quote, it seemed so appropriate! Good luck with your year and all the planning and accomplishing that you're going to do!

Barb said...

I also loved the Eleanor Roosevelt quote. I worry about how true it is in my life, yikes. Having said that I think maybe I also need to dream a little more.
You look very cute with your pretty hair clip cutting cake on Jill's blog today.

Claudissima said...

Plan for a victorious year! Plan to achieve all that is within you. Such a cute and small word with such power behind it. Awesome, I will be planning on checking on your is that?

Susan said...

I love your word.
I love your words.
I love the whole vision, and I love to plan.

I love you.

Plan.Plan.Plan. Good.

Anonymous said...

Oooo, good choice on a word! I love seeing how someone came to choose one and what it means to them!

I have loved having a word to focus on the last few years. It's all thanks to you- you posted a word and then I just ran with my own. Thanks!

Denise said...

You gotta love a good plan.

Amy said...

For me this means living with purpose. I'm not sure you can live your life with purpose without first planning what you want and figuring out how to make it happen. Good word!

patsy said...

this is really GREAT...
I picked a word months ago- but now I'm not sure it's right.
Maybe it's the winter blues I just don't want to do it.

I do love a good Plan! good for you for picking such a word. you inspire me daily.
thanks :)

amy m said...

This is such a great word and focus. I have found if i plan life just goes better for me...I am a planner, but not always good at it.

I love Eleanor Roosevelt's and Jim Rohn's quote.

Michelle said...

Plan to not be hard on yourself.
Plan to make realistic commitments to yourself and others.
Plan to love and take care of yourself.
Plan to be forgiving of yourself.
Plan to have the courage to change.
Plan to continue inspiring others, as you always have!

rebekah said...

I love plan because it's an action word. I think that there is a lot of happy potential for you in this word. You can do even the smallest amount of planning for the smallest thing in your life and be able to note that as a step towards your goal. Very good word.

I love wordles. I should make one for myself...

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