Words matter. Nine cancer language traps.

My Three Words for 2014, What Are Yours?

If you’re a writer, blogger or avid reader, you’re probably a bit of a word geek. Words have power. There’s a reason for that old saying, the pen is mightier than the sword. Of course what kind of power is the big question. Most writers (or at least this one) intend or hope that their words inspire, inform, help, entertain or spark conversation. Otherwise what’s the point, right?

Every New Year now, quite a few bloggers and blog readers whom I’ve come to know and respect, choose three words to live by for the upcoming year. Of course, no one really lives by them; the words are merely intended to serve as a compass of sorts.

Even this might be a stretch, but never-the-less I have found this exercise to be quite beneficial. I prefer it hands down to making resolutions or setting goals. I like the simplicity of selecting three words to serve as my personal guide words for the year. I like how it re-enforces, at least for me, the power that words have or can have to influence life on a daily basis.

The first year I participated in this exercise I chose the words inspire, enjoy and balance. Last year I chose  focus, joy and yes, balance again. Finding balance is a challenge for me… and yes, you can hang onto words for more than one year!

Throughout 2013, I did find myself reflecting upon my word choices. I did pause from time to time to ask myself how I was doing. I never really did this with resolutions or goals, which for me tend to feel too restrictive or unattainable. Or maybe I just always picked the wrong ones…

This year the three words I’m going with are persevere, growth and contentment.

There are many things I want to persevere at such as writing my memoir, getting my ebook into print and making healthier life-style choices – the list goes on and on in my head; putting it all into practice, now that’s another matter.

As a person, I want to grow in many ways as well. I could stand improvement in countless areas. I guess we all could. As a writer, I want to grow my writing platform and of course, my writing skills in general. I also want to grow in my cancer advocate role. And oh yes, I want to grow a better head of post-chemo hair. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one and I also realize it’s probably not happening… oh well, I can still dream can’t I?

And as for contentment, it’s the best word I could come up with for now to take the place of balance. I figured I probably couldn’t use that one three years in a row… Does balance bring more contentment? I think it might. Contentment will happen naturally if I manage to persevere more at certain things and if I do manage to grow even a bit, right? Contentment doesn’t mean settling, it means being satisfied with doing what I am best able to do on any particular day and remembering that effort always counts. Plus, I wish to find more contentment as I embrace the here and now of each day as it unfolds.

I like my three words. I like how they are umbrella words allowing me to “tuck” many things under each of them.

If you haven’t yet tried this simple word exercise, why not give it a try?

And if you decide you don’t like your three words, you can always change them or ditch them altogether. There are no rules to this exercise; perhaps this is another reason why I like it so much!

So those are my three guide words for 2014, as of today anyway.

What are yours? I’d love to know what they are!

Also, if you have a post about your three words, feel free to share a link to it with a comment.





22 thoughts to “My Three Words for 2014, What Are Yours?”

  1. Invincible, Accomplish, Future. I think that says it all. I approach 2014 with more optimism I have had in several years.

    1. Karen, Well, that’s nice to hear. It is a fun and beneficial exercise isn’t it? I was throwing “completion” around too! Thanks for sharing your words.

  2. I love this idea. So much better than resolutions.
    FAITH – to grow in faith in God, faith in a future.
    ACCEPTANCE – I can’t change past or cancer and accepting it all is still something I need to work on
    BALANCE – yep, I’m “borrowing” yours, I either overdo trying to do too much or underdo for fear of what happens when I overdo. I need to find that balance, what works for me as I am now.

    I’ve had 2 pretty hard years. 2014 is going to be better!

    1. Elizabeth, I’m glad you love it. It is a whole lot better than resolution making isn’t it… Well, for me anyway. I’m right there with you regarding the balance challenge. I sometimes wonder if it’s attainable… And faith and acceptance are wonderful choices as well. Thanks for reading and for sharing.

  3. Nancy,

    I’ve been thinking about the three-word exercise, and I’m not sure yet what my words will be.

    I LOVE your choice of words — they really foster a sense of self-improvement; after all, striving to do things better is worthwhile for all of us. You do a great job writing, and I can’t wait to read your memoir.

  4. Nancy – My Favourite New Year’s activity! Thank you for sharing your words. It was healthy, loved, and inspired that changed everything for me in 2011. But, I haven’t been as good at sticking to three words for the last two years and slipped to just one. In 2012, it was connection and 2013 was supposed to be balance – HA! I know you know the challenges with that. This year, I want to feel more simplicity and joy in my life, so I chose ease, joy, and gratitude as my guiding words for the year. Every morning, I’m trying to wake up with a grateful spirit for what I have (instead of stressing about what I don’t). Most importantly, I’m trying to ask myself (sometimes multiple times a day), will this choice bring more or less ease and joy into my life. It’s not about life being easy, but it is about making choices that help me feel a sense of flow instead of chaos. And a sense of joy and fun instead of always feeling burdened by work. Thanks again for sharing! Always love keeping up with your blog:)

    1. Terri, It is fun isn’t it… Gosh, picking one word would really make a person zero in on things. Seems like balance is a biggie for many of us! Your words sound like wonderful choices. I love ‘ease’ – and joy and gratitude – yes those are good ones too. I picked enjoy one year. And then joy the next – maybe that was cheating a little, but I don’t think so. Thanks so much for reading and sharing. I love keeping up with you as well. You inspire like no one else, Terri! I don’t know how you do so much. Best wishes to you in 2014.

  5. I love this three-word exercise. Last year I had none
    that were intentional. They would have been something
    like good, bad, and ugly or fear, loathing and longing.
    But now that I am feeling better, the 2014 words I choose
    are acceptance, confidence and support. I really love your
    choice of words and wish you all the peace and love this
    world has to offer. XOX

    1. Jan, Yes last year was so difficult for you, so it’s completely understandable that you didn’t pick any… But look how you came through your challenges! So proud of you! I’m glad you are feeling better this year and I’m delighted to see you popping up more in the blogosphere again. Your three words sound like good ones. I hope 2014 brings you all you wish for, Jan. Thank you for reading and sharing your words. xoxo

  6. Hi Nancy,

    What a great exercise. My three words: Expand, embrace and exhale.

    In my mind if I’m not expanding, I’m contracting so this one is important.

    I want to embrace what is, and not judge.

    I want to exhale so that I continue to find peace and my calm center.

    Thanks for making me clarify this with your post!


    1. Claudia, Oh, those are good ones. The “e” word trio I guess! And I appreciate you sharing why you chose them. Good luck expanding, embracing and exhaling this year! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I always like to take time to reflect at the beginning of the new year and am in the process of doing that now. I’m not sure if I’ll have three words, but I do know that growth is a big theme for me too this year. Thanks so much for sharing your three words!

    1. Lisa, Probably most people do at least a bit of reflection as each New Year unfolds. I kind of prefer the idea of a fresh start every single day. Growth is always something to strive for and there are so many areas in need of growth one can choose to work on, well for me anyway! If you do pick two more words, stop by and share them if and when you’d like. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  8. My three words are

    OFF MY ASS!!

    That simple, doable, it is what it is…….

    Last year was a write off a lot of misery this year I’m done with it . It didn’t bother any one but me in the long scheme of things. I will not Regurgitate past wrongs..Let go of other things Bottom line If I don’t care you sure can’t expect anyone else to either……
    Love Alli..

  9. Pingback: New Year's 2015

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