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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Word for the Year

I first heard about choosing a word for the year from author Gretchen Rubin back in 2014. I won’t bother to get into the words I’ve chosen the last two years. They were good and effective, but I’d prefer to focus on the here and now.

A few weeks before the beginning of this new year, I started contemplating my word for 2016. What came to mind pretty quickly was ‘intentional.’ Hence, my plan for Mondays’ posts to follow an ‘intentionally speaking’ theme.

A few days ago, I was discussing the idea of intentionality with a friend, who didn’t quite know what I meant. So I suppose I ought to define it here. According to Webster’s online dictionary,

·         Intentional means – done by intention or design

·         Intention means – a determination to act in a certain way: resolve

·         Resolve means – to make a definite and serious decision to do something, and/or to find an answer or solution to something

I think the most helpful of these is the idea that intention involves particular actions. There is a purpose behind a person’s acts and deeds.

Over the course of my life, I’ve been intentional about academics and work, but very little else.  I’ve rather flown by the seat of my pants. This past year especially I’ve been frustrated by what seems to me real chaos and I’m determined to get a better handle on things. To that end, I’ve been working on a colour-coded calendar to set a schedule and some targets. While one family member suggests it’s a futile endeavour – “it’ll never work” – I respond that “if I don’t have something to shoot for, I won’t accomplish anything useful.”

I’m not going to post a sample calendar week, but here are some overarching themes, along with their respective colours:

·         Work – blue

·         Writing – blue (writing is work, right? Even if it’s also a passion)

·         Exercise – red

·         Spiritual – red

·         Family – yellow

·         Friends – orange 

You’ll notice that, like blue, red is a repeated colour. That’s because exercise and spiritual life, for example, are both elements of self-care, a theme that doesn’t stand by itself but is made up of a variety of activities.

We’ll go into these subjects in greater detail in future posts. In the meantime, if you have a word for your year, I’d love to know what it is. If not, is this something you’re interested in giving some thought to? Are you an intentional person? How do you make your life work? What does success look like to you? Any suggestions, beyond a detailed calendar, for how I can be more purposeful this year? I look forward to hearing from you and want this to be an interactive place for you to come. It’s my intention (pun intended) to reply to any comments left below.


  1. I like the color coded calendar idea :-) I am not sure about the word for my year idea, but I am a fairly focused person. I will think on this.

    1. I look forward to hearing more, Kaye :)


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