I haven't done this for long really - just a couple of years - but coming across this exercise in setting an intention for the year ahead has had a huge impact on me and my life.
It's also led me to so, so much more learning and friends and ideas and creativity and ways of seeing the world.
And it's so simple.
Just setting an intention for the year ahead, and choosing a word that embodies that intention.
Now, just two short years later, I see a lot of my friends and people in my communities all set their word/s and intention/s for the year ahead and it's fascinating and inspiring to hear what they're planning.
When it first started for me, it was something I read about midway through 2013.
This was a big year for me - a year of huge change, the year I realised it was up to me and no one else to grab my life by the horns and create the life I want - to take charge, to take responsibility, at last, for my own life.
It was a momentous realisation and one that I am passionate about talking about and sharing as I know that if I could be sleepwalking through my life for so long, then so can others and just as I found some people and ideas that inspired me to find out more - I want to talk about it too and share what I'm learning.
So it was midway through the year that I heard about deciding on a word for the year.
I had just made some big decisions and given in my notice at a job that wasn't right for me at all. However, I'm glad I did that job that wasn't right for me. It was the final straw, it was then that I had the realisation that working, working, working and being so down and and yes a bit downtrodden by life to be honest wasn't what I wanted. And nor was the reckless, carefree, slightly hysterical level of socialising and partying that went before - just other ways to block out the emptiness of not knowing or realising how to affect what happens in your life.
So, pretty momentous really, realising that it was me, just me, and only me, who could take charge of my own life. Be the figurehead of my own ship.
Anyway, my word, my intention, call it what you like, just jumped into my head that day in July 2013, when I was winding down what I didn't want to do and looking ahead to what I did.
And that word was ALIVE.
And ... exciting! It's honestly not over-stating it to say that's what happened to me that year, at least in how I felt it (I probably didn't look or seem that much different externally really).
I took in big breaths of excitement and hope and awareness and possibility ... and came ALIVE (again).
It worked really well for me, having this intention set, this word of my own. I started talking about it to friends and family, and my sisters both set their words and intentions for 2014 too.
My word for 2014 was BOLD and that, that was just perfect.
I learnt more, I took more in, I tried things out, I was open to trying and bold suited me absolutely perfectly ... 2014 was so full of boldness and possibility that nearing the end of the year I could barely contain excitement for all that 2015 would bring. Honestly, I couldn't wait to get there!
But then something happened. I think I'd been too excited. I couldn't settle on a word, on an intention, and that felt really odd after how naturally and easily the last two had come. I tried on a few: Soar then Play. Then Play didn't feel action-oriented enough. I tried on Action. I tried on Play Fierce.
A couple of months into the year I was trying out so much, trying on so much and feeling confused and tired and unexpectedly let down by the promise that 2015 had seemingly failed to show.
I look back now and I think my intention - having looked back at my actual actions - was EXPERIMENT. Or DISCOVER.
But at the end of 2014 I was rushing headlong into something but without actually know what that was. And that's fine too. I know that having had that experience I'll think very differently if and when a word or feeling or intention doesn't come easily again.
But this year, for 2016, I've known my word for a while. She snuck up on me and got close and I've been living with her for a couple of months now.
My intention for 2016 is GRACE.
I am going to live in a GRACEFUL way and be GRACEFUL too.
(I am after all a Tuesday's child, full of grace ... don't you know?)
Words mean different things to us all, so to clarify - for me, grace is a combination of generosity, elegance, calmness, kindness, lightness, thoughtfulness and ... hospitality - for want of a better word. Perhaps warmth would be that better word.
It's behaving and thinking and being - in a way that nurtures and leads through lightness and ease.
It is going to shape how I choose to react to things and inform the ways I move forward on things. It feels a grown up part of me, but still with an essence of lightness and playfulness, but more mindful.
Yes, more grown up. (But still with a lot of drive and passion behind it of course).
So that's my intention for 2016.
And if you're happy to share, I would LOVE to know what your word for 2016 is going to be - and what it means to you.
Let me know in the comments (way, way, way down the bottom of the page) or of course, pop in to my FB page and comment there.
Whatever you decide, I wish you happiness, love and adventures in 2016.