Life after 50,  Motivation

Do You Have Guiding Word for the Year?

Today, I am making a commitment to write every day. I joined a group of writers who have declared a commitment not only to write every day, but to write at least 500 words each day.

Image courtesy of krishna arts at

I feel like January through May dragged like a snail climbing a mountain, but then in June I blinked my eyes and 2015 arrived. Where did the 2014 go? Especially the second half of the year.

Resolutions? Or What?

No longer do I write a list of resolutions for the new year. I’m like so many of you, I rarely make it past February before I have broken many, if not all, of my resolutions. No longer do I write a list of goals for the year. I break those too.

I have tried making collages of how I wanted to live and what I wanted to accomplish within the year. Each goal had a scrapbook page spread, but by February, that scrapbook found itself buried under other paperwork somewhere in a box.

January 2014, however, I attended a workshop where we created vision boards and searched for a single word or phrase to drive our lives for the next year.

As I meditated, the word “dare” came to my mind.


I drove home, that day, with two completed vision boards, but a single word to drive my year. “Dare” was not something that I would have consciously come up with for myself, but as I wondered how “dare” could drive my year, several sentences came to mind.

  • Dare to exercise.
  • Dare to eat clean and healthy.
  • Dare to explore the world around me.
  • Dare to take time for myself.

But the statement that stuck with me, was “Dare to change.”

The year, 2014, presented me with several changes, and change can open the door to new opportunities.

2014’s CHANGES

  1. I retired from teaching after 34 years (31 of those year spent at the high school level). I closed the door to my classroom for the last time on June 10.
  2. We started an independent trucking company with one owner-operator trucker, my husband: he drives; I do the books.
  3. We boxed up the contents of my mother’s home and moved the bulk of it into my garage, my living space, and my basement.
  4. I helped my children move (my oldest son and his family) into my mother’s home; then, I helped my youngest and his girlfriend move from their apartment into her parent’s home.
  5. We adopted a new puppy, a second dog in the household.

So, as Christmas Eve rolled into Christmas Day and we celebrated with family, I started to think of where 2015 might head. Four distinct and seemingly unrelated words seem to want to guide the coming year: simplify, downsize, renovate, and reconnect.

A Challenge

So let me leave you with a challenge. What words are begging to describe this coming year for you?

If you repeatedly make resolutions or goals and break them, take some time to think about the new year. Where do you see it heading? How do you want it to differ from 2014? How can you make 2015 better than 2014?

Once you come up with a word or phrase, write it out. Display it. Make it known to yourself in many ways. Print it up and put it in a picture frame on your desk, tape it the mirror over your dresser or in your bathroom, attach a copy to your refrigerator, use post-it notes to attach it where ever you need the reminder.

What word or phrase will drive your year?

Share your guiding word below. Maybe it will inspire someone else.

As you move through your day to day activities and responsibilities, please remember to

live life –

keep things simple –

look for the positive –

and smile.

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