One Word 2017: When The Words Don’t Seem Right, What Do You Do?

{ File this under: NEVER TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY }

me

 A FEW WEEKS AGO WHEN I began to think about what my One Word for this year would be I was sure it’d be SMART.  My egotistical little brain that craves attention told me that this word was a good one.  But after The Orange One made reference to Putin being smart I could not, in good conscience, use the now tainted word “smart” as my one word.

 THEN WHILE READING A CHRISTMAS GIFT, a wonderful book of essays called I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi, the word BETTER seemed like it’d be my One Word.  But the more I thought about this word the less applicable it seemed to my overall mind-set right now.

It’s not that I don’t want to strive to be a better version of me, I do;  it’s just that I feel that “better” could be anxiety-producing for me, a reformed semi-perfectionist who has finally become comfortable with the concept of good enough.

 WELL, ON NEW YEAR’S EVE I still had not decided on a word for 2017.  In a last-ditch effort to discern what my One Word would be, I approached the problem in a less cerebral, more spiritual way.  That is, as I drifted off to sleep I intentionally put the question into my mind, so that when I awakened the next morning the first thing I thought about would be my answer.

And my spirit didn’t let me down.  No, thanks to it I had a word for 2017 that allows me to creatively incorporate the essence of smartness with the desire for betterment.  Yes, my whole being told me in no uncertain terms to: RELAX.

So I think I will.  😉

Question of the Day

DO YOU PICK ONE WORD TO BE YOUR THEME FOR EACH YEAR?  

If so, what’s this year’s word and how did you come by it?  

If not, what do you do instead? Resolutions? Goals? Nothing?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

64 thoughts on “One Word 2017: When The Words Don’t Seem Right, What Do You Do?”

    1. lorrie, I love the idea that “nothing” is your word. I don’t know how I ever got started on this One Word idea, but it kind of works for me. If only to keep me entertained at the beginning of the year. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What an interesting idea! I have my Friday post subject 🙂

    Totally agree with you on the word “smart” by the way. The “Orange Contradiction” is certainly a good reason to not want to be associated with the word smart right now.

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    1. w1nt3l, I’ve been doing this One Word idea for a few years. Sometimes the word turns out to be inspiring while other times it turns out to be more of a curse. Not sure how I got started doing this, but I must like it because I keep on doing it. In a relaxed way this year, of course.

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  2. It never even occurred to me to have a word for the year. I also have never done resolutions. Looking back, I tend to think that any word I might have picked for any particular year would have been a severe temptation to the Fates or The Lords Of Cosmic Jest to have some fun at my expense (or, for my education).

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    1. bobcabkings, you make a good point. Many times the Fates have had their little fun with me because of the various meanings of my chosen word. You’d think that I’d learn to not pick one word each year, but I continue to do so as if this year will be different. Who knows? It could happen. 🙂

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  3. Relax! Lovely! No I don’t set resolutions etc – it’s a bit like setting myself up for a fail. Many years ago I was wondering what word, only one, would best describe me and after much much thought I came up with ‘optimist’. But then this bothered me because I saw there was much to be a pessimist about. So, 2 words: an optimistic pessimist and or a pessimistic optimist. So, single words drive me even more nuts! Happy relaxing 😎

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    1. Susan, you are a woman after my own heart. I can imagine me dithering back and forth about which combo of words best describes me. In truth this might be the last year that I join in on this One Word idea. I’m not sure that I’m getting anything uplifting out of it anymore, but I’ll just have to relax throughout 2017, then decide. 😉

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    1. Kate, I rather like the idea of being a “nothing” person. Maybe next year I’ll take that approach, kind of use 2017 to relax my way out of doing this One Word thing in the future.

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  4. I’ve never attempted to attach a word as a theme to my year – until now.

    Last week someone made a comment to a post that really resonated with me. The word was “less”. It fits my state of mind rather well right now and where I’d like to be at the end of the year.

    Less belly, less hips and thighs, less clutter, less procrastinating, less shopping (I’m one of those!), … the list is long.

    Yes, my year will be more ‘less’ 🙂

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  5. Good choice – and good luck! I know more than a few people for whom just the idea of having ‘relax’ as the word of the year would cause more stress than without having it!

    As for me, I have no word for the year. Perhaps I should. Of course, it would probably be something like ‘dog’ or ‘don’t hate on the cat so much,’ the latter of which is clearly not a word, and the former of which is pretty much my entire life already.

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    1. Sarah, you’ve hit upon an interesting point. I, too, am wondering how this “relax” concept is going to manifest itself in my life. I’m mellow to begin with so I fear that this idea could take me down the primrose path to Dullsville. But we’ll see.

      On the other hand with my brain being a colander in which most things just slosh out of it, I may forget my word within the week. Guess we’ll all find out together.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t bother with the New year’s stuff because the timing is just arbitrary… but I guess my word for 2017 would be “Absurdity.” That word was featured in a quote a certain Ms. Bean used in a reply on my blog last year, and I have now officially adopted it as The Nest’s secondary tagline…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, you flatter me! Happy that I could gift you with “Absurdity.” I agree about the arbitrariness of all this New Year’s stuff. I can’t quite explain how years ago I got sucked into this One Word idea, but I did. So I guess I’ll just relax for 2017 and perhaps let this One Word idea go after that…

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  7. Welcome Back!

    I do very much like Reader Joanne Sisco’s word “Less” and her philosophy behind it. So nice and simple. So easily applied. But I would be So Tempted to apply it lazily and do Less Cleaning and Less Doing In General. It would become more like Laissez Faire after a while.

    Perhaps my word would be Try. I used to urge my students into discussion by saying, “Oh, come on. Venture an Idea. What are you most afraid of in your lives? That you’ll die a painful death, right? And what are the odds that that will occur by simply offering an idea right now, out loud? Zero. So speak up and Live!”

    I spend a lot of time discarding ideas by talking myself out of them: it would take too long; I’m not sure I can do it; what if it doesn’t come out right, etc. Or I just don’t make a decision in a timely manner. So, for 2017, I’ll just decide to Try. After all, it won’t kill me.

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    1. nance, I liked Joanne’s word + reasoning, too.

      I think that “try” will be a good word for you, especially knowing how you’ve used it in the past so it’ll have a depth of meaning for you. You’ll do your best, no doubt.

      “Relax” may turn out to be a two-sided sword for me. On the one hand I need to think clearly so taking a bit more time to absorb info before I say/do something is good. But being lazy comes naturally to me, so I could end up a permanent fixture on the sofa, playing Candy Crush for hours!

      Guess we’ll all find out together how relax works for me.

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  8. Relax, good choice! My word is Believe. I’ve had Change, Courage and Focus for the last three years. This year I am taking an e-course called “One Little Word” and it should help me keep my word present through the year. I make goals, not resolutions. Less pressure if I don’t quite accomplish them.

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    1. scr4pl80, “believe” is an excellent choice of a word for 2017. I’ll be interesting in learning how your e-course helps you maintain your belief. [Okay, bad word play but really…] Another person suggested goals to me. I gave up on resolutions decades ago, but a few small goals I could handle. Need to think on that.

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      1. Don’t know if you’ve seen my post about the Vision cards I make each year. I pick areas that I want to concentrate on (health, jobs, home, etc) and then make small collage pages to represent them. I keep them in my planner all year and it helps me with my goals.

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  9. Nice. No one has to tell you you’re smart, or inform the others, so that was a dumb word to begin with 😉 Definitely feelin you on reformed perfectionist, so better won’t do, either. Relax is perfect.
    Goin on year six of BREATHE, me thinks. It’s like relax, but you’re allowed to do it all the time, anywhere. I need to do it more slowly and deeper, for more than 20 minutes a day. I do, but I still work at it.
    I don’t choose words or resolutions or make goals for the year, but I will support you in your endeavor to relax 🙂

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    1. joey, I think that “relax” will work for me this year, but I also think that this may be the last year that I’ll do this One Word idea. Looking back I don’t know how I got into doing this each year, but I no longer seem to need it as a guidepost. It’s more of a habitual thing, rather than an inspirational thing now.

      I like your consistent use of the word “breathe.” This makes sense to me as it is a simple command, immediately accessible, and requiring no yearly review. Good thinking, my dear.

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  10. I have a hard enough time mastering 140 characters, but if you made me pick one, I will pick CHOICE as the pursuit of this idea is really the underlying theme all my goals are built upon.

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    1. Allie P, that’s an interesting word to choose. I like it and can understand your reasoning. My word this year comes from a much lighter and less significant vein, but “choice” is perennially a good idea.

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    1. Tara, I agree that it is a great deal like choosing btwn kids. Relaxed as I now am, I can live without doing this One Word concept again. Which is to say that, while it’s been a good thing for me, I am now ready to move on into a multiword world. 😉

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  11. I like “Relax”… except I’m pretty relaxed as it is. “Less” is good too, for all the reasons Joanne listed. I’ve never picked A WORD before but I’ve been intrigued by the concept. So, this year my word is “Engage.” I’ve been Relaxing too much and spending Less and Less time doing the things I thought I’d do in retirement. I need to get out there (wherever There is) more and Engage.

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    1. Retirementallychallenged, I like the idea of “engage.” It’s a word that is much more action-oriented than my 2017 word. Perhaps I’ll use “relax” as the way in which I approach things, thereby giving me permission to engage & do more things… just in a different way. [Now how’s that for mushing two ideas together?!] 😉

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  12. “Smart” would only works as a verb – liked “Running into that nettle smarts terribly”
    But that’s just too much of an irritation to live with all year.
    Relax is sooo much better.
    I’d pick chill, – great for summer, but with the weather right now, probably not the greatest choice?

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    1. philmouse, when I first thought of smart I was thinking of it in the sense that my mother used it: stylish. But then as its other meanings became apparent, I needed to move on. And relax seemed just right. As for chill, it’s close to relax, but does kind of give me the shivers. Today.

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  13. One year, my word for Lent (I think?) was rejuvenate. It was apt. I also got charity once, which I had to remember meant being kind and was a reminder for me to be kind and gentle with myself.

    This year, my word is willingness. It fits. I’m really focusing on being willing to do less (i.e., relax). Best to you in your journey of relaxing. I know how hard it can be. Also: Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Akilah, I’ve never thought of choosing a word for Lent, but I like that idea better than giving up some food or drink, which tends to mean nothing to me. Of course I lean toward wordiness so what do you expect?

      I like your 2017 word “willingness.” It has a positive ring to it and suggests taking action in a new way, which I feel is important if you’re going to stick with something for a whole year, lest you get bored.

      Best of luck as you go through 2017. Happy New Year to you, too.

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      1. I have sometimes added in something for Lent, like writing every day. I try to do a meaningful practice because then I’m more likely to stick to it. Last year (or the year before), I gave up social media. It was a good call.

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  14. My word for this year is discipline (specifically self-discipline). I wasn’t really a word person until last year when I decided on calm. It didn’t work out at all like I expected, but it surprisingly was the one I needed.

    I love New Years and birthdays and Mondays and any chance to start a new resolution or plan. I’m excited to see what 2017 brings!

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    1. ohkatiejoy, that’s an ambitious word! I wonder how it’ll manifest in your life, and hope that you’ll share your story about it. Your 2017 is going to be great, no doubt about it. 🙂

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  15. Relax is a great word. Mine will need to be ACCEPT. It will encompass the results of retiring, the limitations and stresses of my relationship with Henry, and whatever else life brings me this year. It will be good and bad, as it always is.

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    1. Margaret, that’s a wonderful word for you for this year. Makes perfect sense, it’ll guide you to the right places. Hope they turn out to be more good than bad!

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  16. I don’t think I’ve ever considered the idea of a word of the year. Hmmm. I think my word will be Om. Kinda like relax, kinda like calm. Or perhaps it will be Do. Or Do not. I really don’t know. My resolution is one I have made before, and one I have done well before but have recently slacked off. That is Floss, as in Floss your teeth.

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    1. J, your pragmatic resolution is the best! Now that’s something doable, daily, and with great rewards for the effort.

      I got sucked into the One Word idea years ago and have been a good little trooper about choosing one word each year. HOWEVER, I’m thinking that this will be the last year for this exercise.

      It seems like ending this annual activity on RELAX is providential. Meant to be, I tell ‘ya.

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  17. While reading your journey to your word, the word that came to my mind was peaceful. I suppose that ties nicely into relax. I do think relax is a great word for you – does it not relate to last year’s word?

    For me, I’ve been trying to find peace, to create a place of calm for several years now. I think probably that’s still important for me but… I think where I’m at now, both physically and emotionally, my word for this year should probably be explore.

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    1. Zazzy, maybe you can “peacefully” explore during 2017, thereby combining both thoughts into one useful idea.

      Yes, “relax” relates to last year’s word which was “forward.” While I intend to keep moving forward, this year I’ll relax as I do it. Not that I intend to be lazy, but I want to worry less about how I’m doing things. Just go with the flow and get things done, you know?

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      1. Worrying less is always a good goal. I view going with the flow as letting yourself experience the world around you rather than stressing about what you should be doing or what is happening next. Very Zen.

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  18. Relax sounds like a great word – and one lots of us could use! I don’t do a word or resolutions. I am in a time period where there is too much unpredictability, so I need to be be “one day at a time” for now.

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    1. Joanne Corey, I’m not good with resolutions, but I can do a word. Although I’m thinking that this will be the last year for this idea. Next year I’ll pick a mantra, a phrase, or a saying that will be my approach to the year. Like your “one day at a time,” for instance. Which sounds good to me.

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