2018 Beauty, In One Word

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At the end of each year, I choose a single word that sums up how I want to feel in the year ahead, or how I want the new year's events to feel to me. Almost like a year-long affirmation, in place of traditional resolutions. In the past, I’ve chosen words like VITAL, MAGICAL, and even RELAXED.

My word for 2018 is…flow.

As in, ‘in the flow,’ ‘go with the flow,’ ‘ebb and flow.’ Just flow.

This year, I plan to do more of the things that get my body into a state of effortless flow, whether that means writing what I love, cooking more of the meals that inspire and challenge me, finding opportunities to relax without interruption, or spending time with the people who bring joy and ease into my life.

Kind of like yin and yang, I see ‘ebb and flow’ as uniting to create balance. 2016 and 2017 put me into a place of paring down, re-prioritizing, and introspection—an ebb that in a way feels like it has prepared me to flow easily once again. I love that the idea of flow also presumes the loss of self-consciousness, of comparison, even of time. It’s a freedom to be as you are and truly be in the moment.

Here’s a definition of ‘flow state,’ from wikipedia:

“In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity."

Beyond a flow state, I also want good things to flow from me to others in 2018. I want it to be a year to continue to build positive energy in myself and share that energy with the world.

What word is inspiring you as we begin 2018? Can you choose a word of the year and post it somewhere where you’ll see it throughout the 12 months ahead? It may just keep you on track and inspire you far better than a January resolution.

If you are looking for support to reach your 2018 health and beauty goals, consider joining my Eat Pretty Together global coaching group, a virtual community of women that meet twice each month for an hour of learning, conversation and inspiration. For more info, check out my Eat Pretty Together program page.

2016 Beauty, In One Word

Resolutions come, and resolutions go. They never quite seemed to work for me. So I shelved my old New Year's resolutions three years ago in order to take a new approach: a word of the year. Instead of a particular goal, in anticipation of every new year I choose a single word that sums up how I want to feel that year, or how I want the year's events to feel to me. Almost like a year-long affirmation.

Here's an earlier post I wrote on the idea.

The year I had a baby and released my book Eat Pretty, my word was VITAL, “having remarkable energy, liveliness or force of personality.” It was a lively, energetic, busy time! The year before that, while I was in preparation mode, my word was RELAXED. I needed some major down time in my life at that moment.

This year, my word is 'MAGICAL.'

I've encountered the word 'magical' over and over recently, and I'm taking it as a sign that, rather unexpectedly, it's going to be my word this year. I feel ready to stop trying to micromanage my life and allow more magic to happen organically. I want 2016 to be a year of magical moments and memories personally, at home with my son and husband, and professionally, as I launch two more books and dream up new ideas. So far, I've loved the result of tweaking my mindset as I approach the new year, and I love the creation process of finding that one perfect word much more than coming up with a traditional goal. It's a much better fit for a writer like me!

So, could you change your approach to resolutions this year too? Spend some time thinking about the word that sums up the way you'd like 2016 to feel. One of my clients chose the word 'joyful.' Another gravitated toward 'patient.' There is so much wisdom in your personal word of the year. Display it somewhere where you'll see it regularly, to have it guide your feelings and decisions in the year to come.

I wish you a year of beauty, health, and your best self in 2016!

xo, Jolene