Just before Christmas last year, I was Skyping with a friend who told me about the One Word concept. She said that instead of setting a whole bunch of New Year's resolutions, she would pick one word. She explained that she focused on who she wanted to become and as a result accomplished a whole lot more.
For me, 2016 was a year of really tough endings. I spent more time hiding under the covers of my very comfortable bed than I care to admit. As the end of it approached, I thought about a word that I would help me shape the person I wanted to become in 2017.
Only one word seemed to fit: open.
It was a recurring message - I heard it over and over again from a number of very thoughtful, caring people that surround me. I've built walls to protect myself - I think if we're honest, most of us do. It's not easy to tear them down. I've thought of a lot of ways I'm not as open as I'd like to be. I'm making an effort but I have to admit, some days it's not so easy.
As the year goes on, I'm finding a growing list of ways that I need to be more open. To being more open minded and curious. To open up to life. To open up to new people, connecting with others and being more vulnerable. To open up and share more so that it can help others. To be open to receiving - especially help. To open a business that will help others open up - to themselves, to others, to new possibilities, to their dreams.
Most importantly, to open my heart.
I'm sure I'll find more as the year goes on.
A few weeks ago on my birthday, I received the most meaningful gift my sister has ever given me. It had been an interesting day - having gotten into a minor car accident, I was trying my best to be in a great mood but at the end of a phone call with my sister, it got the best of me. She told me to make sure to check the mailbox at the end of the day. When I did, I found a beautiful necklace with the word "open" carefully engraved.
I've worn it ever since and it's an incredible, tangible reminder of the person I want to become each time I look in the mirror or feel it around my neck. Thank you Sarah! It means so very much to me.
I was speaking to a friend a few weeks ago and by the time I finished sharing this story, she had already picked her word. If your New Year's resolutions are long gone, consider picking one word that you can filter every decision through for the remainder of the year. It's never too late!