When I posted about finding my Word for the Year at the beginning of January, a few friends from church commented on Facebook that they, too, choose words to direct their years. A group of us thought it might be fun to remind each other to reflect on our words over the course of the year, kind of holding ourselves accountable to the vision we were creating for 2016.
After I put out some feelers to a larger group of women, we ended up with 20 people interested in finding, exploring, and sticking with a meaningful word for the year!
Our plan is to meet four times over the course of 2016, while also communicating monthly via email. We will complete prompts and projects to keep us thinking about our words, and we will reflect on how "living" our words is affecting our lives in positive ways.
On Saturday morning, we had our first "official" Word for the Year meet-up, with eight women gathering at Media Presbyterian Church for several hours of fellowship, conversation, and activities surrounding our chosen words.
At our meet-up, I shared some of the ideas and information I had gathered from Ali Edwards' One Little Word site, which is a great place to begin if you are interested in finding out more about how choosing a Word for the Year can be a productive exercise.
Ali explains that the word we choose basically sums up what we want for ourselves over the course of the year; it represents what we want to invite into our lives. She specifies that we choose words that have meaning for us, and resist any temptation to choose words we think someone else might pressure us to select. Ali also emphasizes that there is no "perfect word," but rather "choices and paths and possibilities."
For the rest of our meet-up, we engaged in activities that will help us stay connected with our words this year. First, we made old-school collages, using scissors, glue sticks, and a huge pile of magazines that participants brought along with them that morning.
Our collages included words and images that appealed to us and related to our selected words, though we had no obligation to justify or explain why we included them. If we wanted something on our collage, we added it!
As we worked, we each got our photo taken holding a sign with our word written large. Participants are encouraged to keep both their collages and their photos someplace meaningful for them: posted on an inspiration board, on the fridge, on a cabinet door or a mirror, in a drawer they can open for a quick peek, or in a notebook.