Around this time of year, I start to focus on finding a word that will be my guide in the year ahead. last year it was ‘simplicity’ and I feel I have really held onto that word throughout 2016 and to really good effect.
It might sound a little trite but having a word of the year can really help to set your intention and for me anyway, has always managed to help me bring about some positive changes. Last years word has helped be to understand how I tend to complicate things and to look to find simpler ways of doing things (sometimes by just not doing them at all) and to really notice and enjoy all the simple things in life.
Simplicity which has always floated around in the background was really ramped up by a few notches and I am heading for the end of the year feeling like my life has simplified and my joy in life through focusing on simplicity has really increased.
I was reminded of the idea of the word for the year by Susannah Conway who some of you will know. And it got me thinking. As I was driving the other day, the word ASK popped into my head as a contender. I wasn’t actually thinking about finding a word at the time, it just presented itself to me. Which felt important. So I started to think about what it means and if this could be a useful word for me in 2017.
The ideas that surfaced fairly quickly without too much soul searching were;
Ask for help/ support – I am SO bad at this at time. I take too much on, I plough on through difficulties without even thinking to ask for help or support. I don’t even feel it’s because I feel shame in asking, or weakness, and oddly I absolutely love to be asked by others for help and support. That’s something I love to do. So my questions at the moment are; Why don’t I ask for help? Am I missing out on deepening my relationships with others because I never ask for help, I don’t lean on people? Am I actually depriving others too of the joy of helping? What is it about doing everything myself that I like? Do I actually LIKE it at all?
Ask for work – I can easily count 3/4 pieces of work in recent months that I could have picked up if I had just asked that person/ company if they needed something. This is a regular theme and I could kick myself every time. I know why, I don’t like to ask, I don’t like the ‘no’ if a no is there, I don’t like looking ‘needy’ in a work/ income sense. But this needs to be tackled. I need to saddle up and ask.
Ask questions – I would get more out of life and conversations if I asked more questions. I’m great at questions when I am in that role, work wise, or as a coach, or when counselling a friend regarding a problem. But just in everyday life, I am aware that whilst I certainly don’t feel all ‘me me me’, I listen to what people have to say but don’t often take that opportunity to go deeper, or to be courageous and ask a question that might be challenging for that person or for me but would help them or help us to deepen our connection.
Ask the universe – although I practice gratitude consistently and have a daily gratitude action, this is more of a statement of fact, things I feel are true and that I am truly grateful for. But what if I asked for more? Why shouldn’t I just give that a go? What might I be able to bring into my life by just asking and seeing what happens?
So ASK is a fairly strong contender for 2016’s word, even though it’s the first one that I have considered. I’d love to know what words you might be considering and, if you have never set your intention for a year with a word, might you give this a try? And will you share it with me?