Letting One Word Guide My Year


It’s a new year and like each new year, it holds the promise of possibilities. It also means, I am re-examining my blog.

In 2015, I decided to focus a lot of my attention and effort on American politics. I don’t regret the decision, it opened my eyes to the predictability of people and taught me how little I truly know about the American political process.

What’s In Store For 2016

  • This year, I intend to continue to follow politics (it’s a presidential election year after all), but I also intend to focus a lot of my effort on personal essay and memoir-style writing. Some of that writing will be featured on this blog.
  • During the first quarter of 2016, I am increasing the frequency of my posts and broadening the scope of what I write about. The goal is still the same — understanding and examining the American experience.
  • Instead of trying to write a book review about all the books I read, I will review a handful and then create a list of the best books I read in 2016. The list will include a short (3-4 sentences) description of the book and a link where it can be purchased. If I have reviewed the book, a link to the review will also be in the list.
  • The site will undergo some minor cosmetic changes and the menu at the top will change.
  • I will begin distancing myself from ‘facts-only’ style of writing and begin including more introspection into my writing. As I strive to perfect my craft, learning to write ‘close to the bone’ is an important part of the process. This year I am embracing it.
  • Lastly, in 2016, just like in 2015, instead of declaring a handful of New Year resolutions, I am selecting a single word as the theme for the year. Although I’m not revealing the word, it will guide my actions including what I choose to write about.

2015 Word: Generate

The one-word approach actually worked quite well in 2015 which is why I am repeating the process. If you have never tried this approach to living, a significant part of the challenge is coming up with a word that has meaning to you. The goal is to select a word that will alter the course of your life and move you in the direction you want to go. In 2015, I choose the word generate to push my writing schedule to a new standard.

If you haven’t heard of the concept, here’s how it works:

  1. Pick a word that has meaning to you or as OneWord365 says,

    One word you can focus on every day, all year long… One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.

  2. Find ways to incorporate the word into your daily life.
  3. You can share your word or keep it private. For the most part I kept mine quiet — only letting my wife know. I decided to keep it private in part because of Todd Frazier — the former Cincinnati Reds third basemen. At the beginning of each season he writes his goals on a paper, seals them in an envelope and then reveals the paper to family members when the season ends. For him, it becomes a motivation to see if he can achieve his goals. For me, it is a matter of seeing if I can direct the course of my life based on a word.

If you are tired of new year resolutions or want a fresh approach to living your best life, the One-Word concept can work. Several books on Amazon explain the concept in greater detail.

Categories: Personal Essays

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