My One Word for 2014

Photo Credit: Kean Kelly via Compfight cc

This is the fourth December in a row that I’m participating in the #OneWord365 ritual started by Ms. Alece Ronzino from Grit and Glory. I suppose it’s one of my yearly traditions now since I didn’t have to be reminded to do it.

The premise is simple: Choose one word as your main guiding principle, theme, or focus for the next year. Allow that one word to be a filter and a rallying cry.

It was easy this year. The word has been percolating for quite some time now.

In Todd Henry’s powerful and practical book Die Empty, he challenges the reader to develop a personal code of ethics. This code requires four words to describe your approach to work (work, being broadly defined as effort to bring any kind of value to another person or persons).

My code of ethics:

  • Courage.
  • Generosity.
  • Diligence.
  • Meticulousness (a strange word, but it captured what I want to guide me more than the generic ‘excellence’).

Out of this code of ethics came my word for 2014: Courage.

First Some Background

When I first started this little yearly ritual, I was being influenced greatly by simplicity and minimalist blogs. It was December 2010 and I had bought this domain, Simply in the Suburbs as a result.

My one word for 2011: Simplicity. I wanted to learn to trim the fat and achieve greater focus and effectiveness in a few areas. I still do, probably even more now.

The following year, for 2012, I chose Energy. I had just turned 40 and had the realization that my habits at 40 were vitally important to my health and wellness if I make it to 80. My goal was to build practices to encourage greater energy – physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally.

In 2013, I chose Generosity. In all my reading of sales literature and business blogs, I kept bumping into the phrase ‘value creation.’ To me, creating more value for others than you receive comes from a heart of generosity. More than that, I noticed myself slowly becoming more concerned with myself and my own financial outlook. M Therefore, I chose the word Generosity as an antidote.

While my efforts haven’t been as awesome as I wish they would have (who of us are ever fully satisfied at how well we do a thing?), I know that I’m better in each of those areas than I would have been otherwise.

Photo Credit: Kean Kelly via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Kean Kelly via Compfight cc

Why ‘Courage’ for 2014

I’ve chosen Courage because I’m at a point on several fronts where I must confront fear and apprehension.

My tendency is to overthink and under-do.  Overthinking is a form of procrastination. Procrastination is either fear or lack of clarity.

My priority is tackling the fear part of procrastination. The clarity takes care of itself, often enough.

Over the past few years, I’ve progressively grown in quite a few areas. But just like some of us have experienced with exercise, it’s easy to plateau. Taking the steps to bust through the plateau requires Courage. That’s the reason Courage is my word.

Further, and perhaps more importantly, I owe it to myself, God, and my family to be a more courageous man.

Think of the power in this question when applied to any area of life:

What is the Courageous thing to do….

  • …spiritually?
  • …emotionally?
  • …in my career?
  • …relationally?
  • …with my health?
  • …as a spouse?
  • …financially?
  • …as a parent?
  • …as a single person?

That’s why I’m picking Courage.

What about You?

Even if you hate New Year’s resolutions, I encourage you to pick a word. It’s easier to keep track of and it for sure can’t hurt.

Leave your One Word in the comments below.

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2 comments

    1. Just be diligent and you’ll grow in diligence. That’s almost like an Escher illustration. That is the dude who has stairs going up in all possible directions… yet they’re connected?

      Either way: Diligence is a good one!

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