One Word


(spoiler – it takes me more than 600 words to talk about my one word)

Choosing a single word as a place on which to stand for a year is a way for me to focus on a theme and carry it into all aspects of my life. In my coaching work, I would refer to it as a perspective.  Selecting a word is about selecting a new perspective/a new lens through which I can choose to look at my life, my choices and my experiences.  And at the same time the single word is also a beacon, a bright reminder of where I want my focus to be, where I am headed.

That being said, committing to a single word can feel confining and no amount of ‘thinking’ of my 2014 word was getting me anywhere over the past two weeks.  And then, this year’s word ‘fell’ on me, just landed in my awareness when I wasn’t really looking for it.  It was written in my mind’s eye in large deep pink block letters:


As soon as I saw it, I knew it was my word because it soothed a sense of being lost, almost lonely, that I had been walking around with.  And then… it got even better.  A dear friend and mentor of mine (who is also the one who introduced the one word concept to me several years ago), Sherri Wear, recommended looking up my word in the dictionary, which I did, even though I “knew” what reach meant.  Guess what? Here’s what I found:

 REACH, verb

1. To stretch out or put forth (a body part); extend  

2. To touch or grasp by stretching out or extending  

3. To arrive at; attain: reached a conclusion 

4. a. To succeed in getting in contact with or communicating with

    b. To succeed in having an effect on

Before looking up the word, I had only been thinking about it in terms of the first two meanings, the stretching and grasping business.  The next two meanings blew me away and really upped the ante on 2014.  Because yes, I am absolutely ready to reach out to people, reach for things, to extend myself, to stretch myself for my goals, even to stretch my goals.  Already that’s great meaty stuff that I’m scared to death of excited about for myself.  And then – looking at meanings three and four there is a whole bigger game at play.  Not just reaching for my goals but attaining them, not just reaching out to people but communicating with and having an effect on people, the community, the world.  Not just reaching but arriving. Reaching fulfillment, greatness, abundance, success.  YES – that’s a word I can stand on this year.

I am ready and I want to REACH – reach out, reach up, reach people,make connections, gather knowledge, take risks, light a fire inside people, lead people, go for and attain all the blessings and good that are in the field of possibilities.This year as I plot my course, I will be doing it through the lens of REACH, keeping in mind all of it’s meanings.  Which means asking myself questions like:

  • If I were to reach, what would I do next?
  • Who do I want to reach?
  • Where do I want to reach?
  • How big of a reach do I want?

And that’s just the beginning. I imagine I’ll be doing some stretching in more ways than one.  I can’t wait to see where it goes!  And I want to send out a special thank you to Jodi Zaugg who midwifed this blog post and my first major reach of 2014 into being.

Did you pick a word for 2014? How do you anticipate it will shape your year? Did looking up it’s definition change the game for you?

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