my word for 2016

my word for 2016

happy 2016! my mom emailed my family on new year’s day this year asking us to each choose a word in place of resolutions for the new year. i know that a lot of people do this, but i never have and i decided to join in and start this tradition. my mom said: “pick your own word and let it guide you through the year. it will keep coming up in the least expected places. it will surprise and delight you in all the ways you will find it hidden in things. it is better than making another list of resolutions that will look quite a bit like last year’s.” i agree, and so i thought the entire plane ride from africa –> back to europe about what mine could be..
settle2016i think my word this year is settle. it’s for a few reasons and meanings of the word… one, i want to relax and slow down in 2016 after really pushing it and packing it in last year. my friend leslie shared a story with me about a man traveling through africa with the natives carrying his equipment and luggage. after three days the natives grow restless, so they sit down and refuse to move. the man talks to all of them and tells them to get up. “get up. we need to keep moving or else we will miss the deadline.” but the natives refuse to move. finally, he talks to the head native who says,
“we have traveled too quickly, and now we must wait for our spirits to catch up with our feet.”
i so related to this simple story, and it is what helped me choose my word this year.

i am so glad we’ve done all that we have and that we still get to be over here in europe, but this year i want to savor where i am and settle into a place. we will still have adventures here and there, but it will be a good focus for me to get more of a routine and feel settled (a feeling that i have desperately missed the past 5 months!) we are
also in such an amazing city to settle into… in amsterdam! plus, even when we are traveling this year
i want to have a reminder to stop and smell the roses and “settle” into new places rather than speed through.

i also like settle because it not only means settle in, but settle on. we have LOTS of decisions this year about where we will go after the 6 months here in amsterdam. it could be staying here longer term, going somewhere else in europe, coming back to california, doing something crazy like taking a job in NYC, or trying to get back to utah. every day my mind is already spinning about which will be best, what we should do, and all of the different factors// pros & cons of many options. i feel like it will be a major step because the next place we move should be somewhere we will live for a few years, since we’ve moved around so much leading up to it. chase and i have realized we just have to be patient, trust that things will come together to make things clear, and i’m hoping we will be able to settle on our plans and feel good about them. in the meantime i will have the reminder to settle my mind and just enjoy where i am :) through the year i will try to let things settle in as they happen, be patient, and be intentional about grounding our life in a new place.
i can’t wait to settle in amsterdam and settle on our future.
if you do this tradition, feel free to share your word! i LOVE hearing others.
happy new year – and expect some amsterdam updates soon! we are in our new apartment
and i’m starry-eyed walking around this cozy, rainy, charming city knowing it’s ours to call home (for now).

12 thoughts on “my word for 2016”

  • Ah! This is such a great idea! Settle sounds like the perfect word for you guys ;) And that story was so good to hear to., I go go go and then I always find myself having to stop for a few days to get back to myself. (possibly just an introvert though lol.) Life is hard when it isn’t clear what to do isn’t it? We’re struggling with that right now too. We know we have to move quite a bit more in the next few years and it is hard to know when to stop and settle. And most importantly where? I try to keep faith that the answers will come, but still hard to have all those unknowns. Enjoy your time in Amsterdam! And we want pictures of the apartment!!!!!!

  • I love this post and the tradition of choosing a word. I’ve never done it but it definitely had me thinking of what word I would choose. For some reason, the word ADVENTURE kept coming to mind for all the plans my husband and I are making for this upcoming year. Can’t wait for 2016!!

  • What a lovely way to go through the year! It can be so exciting and overwhelming when you have so many options and decision to make. But it sounds like 2016 is going to be another year full of great adventures for you:)

  • I really like this idea. It’s much easier to remember a single word and stick to it as opposed to a whole list of resolutions. Sounds like you have lots of decisions and ‘unknowns’ ahead of you. Life is so exciting and scary in that way isn’t it? Sometimes we have so many options set before us and it is hard to decide which one is the best one. I’m in a similar place in life as well. Coming up this fall we are having to decide where to move and where to go and live. Ending one chapter of life and starting a new one. Anyway, I hope you are able to ‘settle’ into Amsterdam and enjoy yourself there, I am excited to read posts about it. Also wishing you luck on the decisions you must ‘settle on’ as well! You are awesome.

  • I love the one-word new year tradition and started doing it a few years ago (although honestly I had no idea it was a thing until recently!). This year I chose “knowledge.” Hoping to be more informed in news/current events, read more and just be open to new lessons and opportunities for growth and learning. I love discovering how the word fits as the year progresses and not understanding it all in January. Two years ago I chose “fearless” and shortly thereafter became pregnant with a difficult pregnancy. What better word for that 9 month adventure – not to mention labor/delivery and entering motherhood. Happy New Year! Hope you settle into your year and time in Amsterdam!

  • I love that you choose a word for this year’s resolution! I have never heard of that. I got so, so excited for you when you talked about your next step after amsterdam. please stay in europe so we can come visit! i don’t think we will be able to pull it off in the next six months.
    Xo, Tara

  • I think that if I chose a work for this year it would be the same. I loved that answer “we have traveled too quickly, and now we must wait for our spirits to catch up with our feet.”, I think I feel the same!

  • As always I am excited to see what you choose! Though I don’t envy any potential stress while trying to sort it out….and so curious to see how Amsterdam goes! Miss your face and wouldn’t be opposed to you returning to California. And we can get jobs together again. Yep.

  • I am so behind on your posts because of the holidays. 🙈 I decided to work backwards! I love this tradition and started doing it myself actually a few years ago with my church. It is very neat to see it show up in different areas throughout the year. I believe this year my word is full filled. :)

  • I am so happy to see this great post. It is a good advertisement for the value of a “one word” annual theme or focus. I know you wil find yourself settled by years-end and I am excited to watch the process. I love watching your journeys and am such a cheerleader!

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