Choosing One Word

I first heard of the one-word concept last year just before New Year’s. Choosing a word to focus on for the year—rather than, say, making resolutions—seemed…profound. Inspiring. Bigger than my humble desires to eat better or exercise more or whatever other banal goal I thought might make life better.

I pondered for a while, chose a word, then rejected it. Eventually I landed on a word (or it landed on me, actually) and that was that.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, my word for 2011 was SEEK. I had no idea why that was the word when the year started but, if you’ve been following along, it’s become clear that “seek” was exactly the right word for me last year.

I heard a bunch of suggestions for ways to continue to be mindful of the word, but the thing I found worked best was to use it, or a form of it, in passwords. (Dear Hackers, it was for things not requiring significant security and all passwords have since been changed. Don’t get any ideas.)

I didn’t do much else to actively seek ways to figure out what I was seeking. It just sort of happened. And it led me where I need to be.

And now it’s 2012 and I’d like to choose another word. But I’m stuck. Last year’s word was so perfect I’m afraid I couldn’t possibly choose the right word again.

So…help. Have you chosen a word for the year? Tell me what it was and why you chose it (or link me to your blog post if you wrote about it). I need inspiration!




  1. I haven’t officially chosen. I have it narrowed down to Focused Joy, but I can’t split them up for some reason.

    • Oh, that’s tough. I love both of those. They’re quite different, and together they mean something entirely different again.

      I’m leading towards something along the “joy” lines. I saw “vibrant” somewhere and kind of like that too.

  2. My one-word for the year is Calm.

    – First reaction to any situation, to remain calm.
    – To be a calming presence to my children and husband.

    That’s basically it for me. I’m trying to be more level-headed this year. To level my emotions especially when I’ll have two kids in my heart and home.

    I hope you find your word soon!

    • Funny, I totally don’t see you as emotional. But I think that’s a great word, and will be perfect for your year to come.

    • I love that: CALM. It’s perfect & I kinda want to adopt it! :)

      I have a list of words right now, still trying to choose the one. My list includes “poise” (which is just like calm), “better” (as in, “do better”), “relax” (because I’m always on the go, always in motion, never sitting down even when I’m tired), and “grace.”

      • I was originally thinking “improve” for last year – sort of like “do better”. But then I decided it didn’t have the right vibe. You’ll know what your word it, but don’t be too hard on yourself. :)

  3. Chibi Jeebs says:
  4. I’m in love with the one word thing. Mine, is focus.

    {As in focus on the right stuff, baby. :: Insert any tune you’d like here:: }


  5. Mine is Hope.

    As I sat with it and thought about it, I realized how much hopelessness I have had dealt with in the last year. 2012 is going to be my year to learn to HOPE. (I’m scared and excited!)

  6. What a great idea, Robin! I don’t know what word to pick but now I’m going to start thinking about it!

    Seek definitely fit you last year. I wonder what it will be this year :)

  7. I chose a word for this year, but its not exactly inspirational. I see it more as a jumping off point for twitter silliness, comment hilarity, and Facebook hijinks, all of which make me endlessly happy, so I suppose this word as some value for me of a spiritual nature.

    My word is, “demented” , may the inanity begin…

    Happy New Year!

  8. I’ve been debating whether or not to do a word. I keep going back to the idea, but I have the same worry…choosing the wrong word. I want a word that means something, so it’s tough. Looking forward to what you choose!

    • Even though I worry about choosing the wrong word, I don’t really think you can. Whatever word you choose will have meaning for you, and you’ll just have to figure out what that is.

  9. I like your word- great choice.
    My word for the year is ‘positive’
    Last year, I battled to remain positive in situations. Definitely needs to be turned around this year.
    Keep well.
    Happy new year.

  10. I love this….I have lots of words to consider mostly around calm and serentiy.

  11. That’s a tough assignment. The first two words (or phrases) that come to mind are renew and comfort zone. I guess like everyone else I feel this year is a fresh start for myself and my family and we can begin writing a different chapter in our life but I also am in a place where I feel confident enough to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things – Warrior Dash and travelling to Washington with the bebe to visit a friend sans husband. I guess “present” would be a good one too – to be “present” in my life and in the life of my child because last year was pretty foggy.

  12. Well I’ve been saying my intentions were peace and purpose, but the word that keeps speaking to me is “kindness.” I need to write about this before it will make any sense.

    Seek is much more exciting. 😉

    • If it speaks to you, there’s probably a reason.

      And “seek” didn’t necessarily have to be exciting. It just sort of turned out that way. 😉

  13. I thought I had chosen my word for the year already, but for some reason the word Aware keeps jumping out at me.

    I need to start being more aware and in the moment, and I think that word fits for what I want this year to be about!

    • That sounds great! Those words that keep coming up – across our awareness, if you will – always seem to turn out to be the right ones.

  14. Alright, Robin! You, Amanda and Lisa have inspired me! Here is my word: Three other options there too that you can consider!

  15. I chose my word at the END of the year…oopps…there goes me not playing by the rules. It was survived.
    But when I think of this year, the word family/togetherness comes to mind. I think I want to focus on all of the people who helped pull me through…because really those people are the most important things in my life. Without them…I can’t even imagine. I want to soak them in and be more for them. I wasn’t “here” mentally last year, so this year, they’re getting ALL of me.
    PRay for them…hee hee.

    • Oh, I will definitely pray for them. They’ll need it. 😉

      I think that’s a great word for you, and something you totally deserve.

  16. I really like your last year’s word. I think my word for the year needs to be listen. I learn so much when I pause to listen to what is really being said.

    • There seems to be a lot of people with words like that – aware, being present – and I think that’s a great theme. Definitely what life is about.

  17. I’m thinking “Drive” or “consistency”.

  18. My word would be love. The only thing which keeps me feel happy:)

  19. I vowed to not make a New Year’s resolution, but this week has gotten a bit tough. I need to focus, take care of myself. . . I need a resolution. The task seemed daunting until coming here. And it took a minute. My word for the year: fearless.

  20. Serendipity! I stumbled across your blog and thought for sure we must be twin souls… same thoughts on word of the year. I too did a word of the year last year and now this year. My story of how 2012 word evolved I wrote about on my blog! My word this year FREEDOM. Thanks for the example of how interconnected we all truly are!

  21. what a super spectacular idea.
    I might steal it.
    I do not have a word for you because I think that you need to choose it.
    I think that it should come to you the way “seek” did.
    It’s your word.
    It will find you.

  22. Hmmm, one word??

    Thinking, thinking….

    Maybe that’s it – mindful.


    About choices, actions, words, behaviours, food I put in my/family’s mouth.


    I think so. Yep.

  23. My one word is HAPPINESS. After all, isn’t this what we’re all seeking in life?


  24. Zia Courtney says:

    My one word is LOVE. We all need love and without it we do not have peace anymore.


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