Word of the Year – 2017

I know a lot of people will dismiss “Word of the Year” as a bit of crap airy fairy stuff but I’m doing it anyway.

I went through a process last night with a small group of friends in order to each discover what our Word would be. I know, this is sounding more and more new agey as the blog post goes on.

The process is simple and removes the need to make up resolutions that you’re not going to keep anyway.

  • Write on a piece of paper the mistakes, misfortunes and unhappiness that you want to leave behind in 2016 in order to move forward into 2017. Destroy that piece of paper.
  • In no particular order describe your desires and expectations for the year ahead. Mine are all simple but all require some work but I have decided to make the year different by writing about my Word of the Year each week so you may just work them out if you read all the posts!
  • The next step in the chain that led to the word for me was probably the most difficult – count 10 blessings. It’s amazingly difficult as I tried not to count possessions or things that needed hard cash. Try this one for yourself – it’s a good exercise in itself.
  • This step involves looking in a mirror and I screamed a little inside at this one. It’s one thing to face yourself in your head but quite another to meet yourself face to face. (I know, new agey stuff.)

Mirror One – How do I look?

I look messy. My hair channels Einstein on a daily basis. I make an effort to be tidy but some days being tidy takes up time and energy I can’t find.

Mirror Two – What have I accomplished and how do I measure those achievements?

I’ve changed the way that evidence that can influence NICE guidelines can be submitted to committees. Thanks to the way I challenged an administrator spoke to me people can now submit their evidence and experiences via blog posts if they meet all the criteria.

Though I haven’t set out to inspire people, and I don’t think I am an inspiration, I have helped people. Writing about my own experiences and why I write about them has helped me more than it has other people but the writing has helped other people.

Mirror Three – How well am I liked? How do I measure my worth by the approval of others?

To be brutally honest – I don’t care if I’m liked or not. The approval of others shouldn’t influence how anybody is. I’m myself, I’m the best person I can be today and I aspire to be a little better tomorrow. Nobody needs to give me approval to enable me to do that.

Mirror Four – What do I own? Is my worth about affluence?

What I own isn’t about my worth it’s about how much I pay on my contents insurance. If I’m stupid enough to think affluence is equal to worth then I’m living my life all wrong. I am neither my affluence or the lack of it. I’m a human.

Then we looked at a pre-supplied list of words. This is a bit tricky. Your word shouldn’t be your choice. Sounds weird but it’s easy to pick a word that wouldn’t take too much work and unless you work around the right word then life isn’t going to be any richer at the end of the year than the beginning is it?

The word that leaped out at me is AWARE. One of my friends thought I was an aware person because I’m a photographer and a writer but, as I explained, that’s focus not awareness.

Awareness is about how I affect other people, how I take notice of where I am and what I’m doing to influence positively the place and the people I’m around. (I know more new agey stuff.)

So for the next 52 weeks I’m going to chart my progress; my highs and lows, my successes and failures and, by the end of the year, how the word has changed me.

Watch this space.