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My Word for 2014 (and why you should pick one too!)

by Elise Museles

Simplify2013 is winding down. A whole new year is on the horizon.

Now is the time to explore the major themes in your life – and set some new ones for your next trip around the sun. Maybe that means reviewing what worked…and what didn’t.  Or reflecting on the obstacles you faced, and the odds you beat.

You might be trying to predict what’s to come, and hoping to set a new tone for 2014, filled with meaning and purpose.

Think you need a little nudge in the right direction? There’s a simple way to stay on track and get clear on what you want to achieve next year.

Let’s call it the word game.  All you need to do is pick a ‘word of the year’ for yourself.

Yep, just one word… to guide you.

No, you don’t have to choose right this second (but sometimes trusting your gut instinct isn’t such a bad idea).  Consider your life’s patterns and review the cycles you constantly repeat.

What matters to you? What do you need more of in your life? What do you want to focus on? What habits are you finally ready to break?

Then decide.

To get your mind spinning, here are a few powerful examples:

WHOLENESS – remember to concentrate on all 360 degrees of yourself, instead of honing in on just work, or just relationships, or just health.

EASE – give yourself space to breathe. Allow things to unfold in a non-stressful way. Loosen the reins, even just a little. Relax.

STEADY – instead of spreading yourself too thin over 30+ projects or goals, focus on 2 or 3 that you can see out to the end. Make steady progress.

SAVOR – this was my word last year, because I realized that savoring – the act of really, deeply enjoying your food and your life — is becoming a lost art. I even turned it into a rockin’ virtual program that I co-created with Karen Schachter.

So… what’s my word this year? (Glad you asked.)

SIMPLIFY.

Why?

Because I know that I (and so many of you!) tend to complicate things.

From the blog posts I write that are too long (not every post has to = life lesson + recipe + story), to the overweight suitcases I stuff for trips (what 50 pound limit?!), all the way to my dinner parties (the 15 dishes, the serving plates, the napkin rings)  - I have a tendency to stress out over every tiny factor.

Does it make for great blog posts, vacations, and parties? Sure… but I get so wrapped up in creating the most exquisite experience possible, I miss out on truly enjoying what I’ve accomplished!

I keep hearing over and over in my head: “Simplify, Elise. It’s not that complicated. Simplify.”

I see it with my clients, too, who believe they’ll make a 180 degree change overnight. They’re so ready to transform, they try to cover every nitty-gritty facet at once… and just end up more confused. They obsess over nutrients, percentages and calories. By turning their approach into a more complex issue than it needs to be, they get overwhelmed, frustrated, and just want to throw in the towel.

But what should they really be doing? SIMPLIFYing. Taking a deep breath, stepping back, filling up on whole, real foods and nourishing lifestyle practices… and then listening in to see what their bodies truly need.

When we focus on simplicity and the slow build, we can make the simple, sustainable steps and shifts that will genuinely stick.

So in 2014, I want to trade out over complication and over thinking for effortlessness and enjoyment.

Because, in that sense, less truly is so much more.

Now, I’m handing the microphone to you. Ready to declare it? Go…

Word.  What’s yours?  Share it in the comments below.

35 Responses to My Word for 2014 (and why you should pick one too!)

  1. Amy December 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    I’m toying with the word FOCUS. For me, this means To get clear, to simplify, to bring into being.

    • Elise December 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Amy, good one! I hope that your 2014 is filled with health, happiness and FOCUS, in all senses of the word. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jenny December 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Loved the post Elise! This is great advice. It helps you really incorporate a solid habit and mindset by focusing on one single over arching idea. I think I am going to pick STEADY from your awesome examples. SIMPLIFY is a great one too. I think you are going to have a great time with that.

    • Elise December 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      Jenny, I’m so glad that the post and the words resonated with you. May you have a steady (and simplified) 2014.

  3. Anna Goldstein December 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Love your word, Elise! Thinking about simplifying makes everything sound easier! My word for 2014 is Vulnerability. I want to be express myself more freely in the world! :)

    • Elise December 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Anna! Love your word (and your work). Vulnerability is huge, and so important for connection… to ourselves and others. I look forward to seeing how you express yourself more freely:).

  4. Meredith December 18, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    … Thank you, Elise! What a great plan. My word will be ENJOY. I want to make sure I am recognizing the here-and-now, and consciously enjoy my moments. I have already used my word to help me focus and relax. Xo.

    • Elise December 18, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Hi Meredith! I love your description of what ENJOY means and will mean to you. And it is even more meaningful that it is working for you immediately. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year! xo

  5. Kelly December 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    For me, it’s going back to the core — my word is JOY. It’s tattooed on my wrist for a reason. I need the daily reminder to stay centered there and live from that place. Cheers and blessings on you!

    • Elise December 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

      Kelly, how awesome that you have your visual reminder right there for you to see throughout the day. May your new year be filled with JOY all around. Thank you for sharing your word.

  6. Manorama December 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    Hi Elise,
    You know I adore what you do and have great respect for your work.
    Your post this month is fab!
    Here is my word: Focus
    With all that pulls on me throughout the year… I have noticed by Dec I feel spread a lil thinnish in the focus dept. So I will spend time til the New Year contemplating which three things I want to put my focus on this year.
    Thanks for this – Its a gorgeous exercise!

    • Elise December 21, 2013 at 2:13 am #

      Hi Manorama,
      So nice to see such a thoughtful comment from you. Focusing on three things (instead of thirty) sounds like a plan. I hope you have clarity over the next few weeks and head into the new year with total FOCUS:).

  7. Desiree East December 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    SIMPLICITY is definitely on the top of my list!! I love simple…it allows me to not be so overwhelmed with the day-to-day stuff. Harder said than done, but there are a few things I’m hoping to change next year to honor ‘simplicity’. Thank you, Elise!!

    • Elise December 21, 2013 at 1:57 am #

      Hi Desiree,
      We’re in this “simple” theme together. It’s definitely a tough one, but I have already started to catch myself complicating things, and I keep remembering my theme. Thanks for sharing~

  8. Sarah December 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    I love this idea. I’m going to choose PLAN – I can be flustered and lose focus and diverting from the plans. and using your word I shall be simplifying my plans so I am prevent the flapping!

    • Elise December 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      Sarah,
      I love your explanation of how you will be incorporating your word, especially how you will be simplifying your plans! Happy holidays.

  9. Kenzie *Chocholistic* December 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    Elise, I love this idea! It reminds me of “Angel Cards” I used to do at dinner parties around Christmas. It’s so helpful to focus on what you want to do instead of promise to do it all.

    I’m going with “Dedicate” – being focused and strong in a direction and not wavering in my path. Happy Holidays!

    • Elise December 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

      Hi Kenzie,
      I love the idea of “Angel Cards” for dinner parties. Dedicate is a strong word and feels so focused as you begin the New Year! Thanks so much for joining the conversation:).

  10. Joy December 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    I love reading all these comments and feeling inspired. I think my word for this year is “Thankful.” We have so many people and things around us to be thankful for and try not to take things for granted.

    How do you all display your “word” of the year? Especially for your children to see.
    Thanks!

    • Elise January 1, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Joy,
      I am glad that you are inspired by all the comments…me too! I love the point you raise about sharing it with our children. There are lots of ways to engage them. We have all picked words and then read them to one another in my family. Or if they are younger, maybe you could do an art project with them and have everyone write/paint/color words? I would love to hear how you decide to get them involved. Happy New Year!

  11. Denise December 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Your post, a recent yoga nidra workshop I attended and other thoughts are all coming together in my head and heart. My word is GROUNDED. I too often feel like I drift through life, I want to feel grounded in myself.

    • Elise January 1, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Hi Denise,
      Good for you that it is all coming together. I do believe that choosing a word will help you feel grounded, especially when your word is GROUNDED:).

  12. Nathalie December 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Elise, I love this post and I love the word you picked. I’m actually a fan of the word “simply” and even called my blog Simply Live Better. The word I’ve chosen for 2104 is “visualize” because I strongly believe in the power of our mind. Happy New Year and thanks again for this lovely article!

    • Elise January 1, 2014 at 11:10 am #

      Nathalie,
      Thank you for being a part of the conversation. VISUALIZE is a great word that will give you intention as you begin the New Year! Good one:).

  13. Lana Shlafer December 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    LOVE, love, love how clearly you laid out this simple yet revolutionary idea! I just wrote a post about doing a personal NY Eve Release & Intend Ceremony (at http://www.lanashlafer.com/blog) and I also suggested choosing a theme word or phrase. Mine is “Ease & Flow” this year! Similar to your “simplify”!

    • Elise January 1, 2014 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Lana,
      I loved all your suggestions in the Release & Intend Ceremony post! I agree with you that when we SIMPLIFY, it allows for more EASE & FLOW. Happy 2014!~

  14. Silvia December 31, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    I couldn’t decide between surrender and fun. But I think I’ve lived surrender and will continue to do so because LIFE is so much easier when you do but really in 2014 I’d like to have more FUN! And this was so fun Elise…so off to a good start.

    • Elise January 1, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Silvie<
      I am so glad that you had FUN in choosing your word(s) for 2014. Wishing you all the best and year of ease as you SURRENDER into what life presents to you…and, of course, may you also continue to create in the kitchen and share your yummy recipes with us throughout 2014. xxx

  15. Priscilla December 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I have enjoyed all the post with their word and explanations of how that word defines their mission for 2014. As I was thinking of various words to guide me through 2014 freedom kept popping in my head ( I kept rejecting it)! Then I thought, freedom to simplify, freedom to focus, freedom to change, freedom to enjoy, freedom to have joy in the moment and freedom to live a life as a servant driven one! It will be hard for me because I am easily constrained by others! FREEDOM my new manta for 2014 and beyond ! Blessing to all in the new enriched year.

  16. Priscilla December 31, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    I have enjoyed all the post with their word and explanations of how that word defines their mission for 2014. As I was thinking of various words to guide me through 2014 freedom kept popping in my head ( I kept rejecting it)! Then I thought, freedom to focus, to change, to have joy in the moment and to live a life as a servant driven one. etc. FREEDOM my new manta for 2014!

    • Elise January 1, 2014 at 3:15 am #

      Thank you, Priscilla, for being part of the conversation. Cheers to your new mantra and year filled with FREEDOM to focus, change and have joy in the moment. Sounds like a meaningful 2014 already!

  17. Mamaste January 1, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    Grateful… I am grateful for all the stops & starts, good & bad, happiness & sorrow, joy & disappointments in my life, because without them I would not be who I am today. Most of all I am grateful for all who have come into my life. Thank you. xoxo ~S

    • Elise January 1, 2014 at 11:03 am #

      Mamaste,
      Love the balance here and that you can see the value in both the positive and negative. I am GRATEFUL to have you as part of this community. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Happy New Year!
      xxx

  18. Carol January 2, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    Elise, Happy New Year (again). Thank you for all you have done this past year to share, inspire and educate. I’m going to go with joy. I have much in my life that brings me joy, yet sometimes I don’t fully appreciate it. So, thank you for the word game. A wonderful idea!
    See you on the mat. xo Carol

    • Elise January 11, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

      Carol!
      Thank you for being such a valuable part of the Kale & Chocolate Community. I love that you are “playing” the word game… and picking such a beautiful theme for 2014. Here’s to a year filled with JOY. xo

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