Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My 2014 Resolution? Just One Word...

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The beginning of a new year has always been a time for me to think about all that I wish I were doing of more/better/differently/less. And yes, I have been a person to make resolutions that I have not completed. I have resolved to exercise more, cook differently, get to local theater productions, see every best-picture nominee on the big screen, be more organized, take more pictures, read more, write more, complain less... I'm sure that I could rattle off others.

I love the concept of using just one word as a resolution. My word for 2013 was PRESENT and my commitment to one word stayed with me throughout the year in all aspects of my life. I can't say that I never multi-tasked. There were times when I was trying to check my email when I was helping my daughter with her fractions and there were times when I was composing a post in my head during a meeting--but I worked hard at being aware of those times and I probably refocused sooner than I would have if my 2013 word did not resonate somewhere in my conscience.

I am sad to leave my word--it made be a better person for 2013. (And yes, I do realize that no one is hovering over me and telling me that I can't still think ab

out the importance of being present.) However, I am ready to take on a new word for the upcoming year. After some nominations, debates and discussion, I have settled on KINDNESS for 2014. Living in Connecticut, we still think about the tragic events of Sandy Hook all the time and as I drove past the Newtown exit last weekend, I remembered the quote from Dawn Hochsprung about being nice.

At the time, I was still going back and forth between balance and kindness, but that memory sealed the victory for KINDNESS.   My daughters have fully endorsed my word for 2014, and I have to say that it is in their best interest for the year to have me focus on kindness. In fact, they have offered to help me with my resolution, giving me cues for any perceived unkindnesses. (For the record, they did agree that asking for help with the dinner dishes did not break my KINDNESS resolution.) Sometimes in the rush and pressures of daily life, I do forget that kindness is a daily gift that is available to dole out to the people around me. I'm sure that there will be days when I yell or when I respond more abruptly than I'd want to admit. But, as PRESENT focused me on the here and now, I'm looking forward to KINDNESS focusing me on the importance of being nice to each other.

Here's to 2014,


  1. I love how you integrate your one little word through your year and your life. Enlisting your daughters in for support is important and will spread that thought throughout your household. Kindness is often over looked yet the results of it are so tangible.

  2. What a great story. I think the tragedy of Newtown etched its way into many of our hearts. In a way your word is a tribute to those that lost their lives, helping all of us to remember kindness. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kindness is the WD40 in life. It makes all things go more smoothly. Good word schoice.

  4. Melanie,
    Just reading your post I have a feeling your word from last year is already living inside of you. It doesn't have to be so though of anymore for you to be present. I love your word for the new year. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all chose that word.

    It's nice that your girls are going to help you out. Did they choose a word? I'm thinking of having my class choose a word. I'm wondering if one group can agree on a word that would help strengthen a community. Hmmmm.

    Good luck,

  5. I loved the idea of being present - oh boy, do I ever need to learn to do that. I also love "kindness" - I could also use a little of that in my new year, too!! Thanks for sharing your OLW with us! Be kind.

  6. I haven't done the One Little Word thing before, but I was thinking about doing it this year. You came up with some great words last year and this year. I love the idea of being present in everything you do. I am sure you will do a great job with kindness this year. Great choice of words!

  7. Isn't it interesting how one little word can drive our actions and words throughout an entire year? It really is all about a mindset. Your word will serve you well and those around you will reap the benefits of your word. Have a great year Melanie!

  8. Kindness- always a great word, and your thoughts here make it even more compelling. Happy Kind Year!

  9. Great quote from a great lady - and a wonderful OWL choice, Melanie.

  10. I like hearing from everyone about their thoughts about the OLW, whether they have one, will not choose, or are excited about the way it helped last year, like your word "present". I hope the word "kindness" will add to your life in positive ways, Melanie!

  11. Love how you captured your word this year. Kindness is one of those wonderful qualities that will make the recipient feel good as well as yourself! Enjoy this year full of kindness!