“Spit Out Your Words, Spit Out Your Verbs”

I was in a local bagel shop trying to look professional while wolfing down a sesame with veggie cream cheese when I first heard about the ‘Pick a Word for the New Year’ phenomenon.Kerstin, an interview subject for a freelance article I just f

I was in a local bagel shop trying to look professional while wolfing down a sesame with veggie cream cheese when I first heard about the ‘Pick a Word for the New Year’ phenomenon.

Kerstin , an interview subject for a freelance article I just finished for The Women’s Times, told me about it while we talked about fitness, weight loss, and our hopes for 2008.

“Last year, I picked ‘glow,’ but it wasn’t quite right,” she said. “This year, I picked ‘do,’ as in ‘Just do it, Kerstin!”

As it turns out, ‘word for a year’ is a trend being seen in the blogosphere replacing the New Year’s Resolution, which we all know is a bunch of hooey anyway. If you’ve ever actually kept a resolution for an entire year, I’d love to hear about it. The last resolution I recall making was to swear less, and that lasted until about 12:05 a.m., when I stubbed my toe.

Instead, bloggers and others around the globe are choosing a word to serve as a theme or anthem of sorts. Meg Casey chose ‘renewal’ for 2007, and this year has selected ‘blossom,’ for instance. Creature Bug chose two: gentleness and acceptance. And Christine Kane , one of the first bloggers to publicize the Resolution Revolution, chose gratitude, and even started a ‘gratitude journal’ to keep herself focused.

Kane also has a list to get you started on her blog; words like action, awe, spirit, and choice.

It’s harder than you think, choosing one word to be the touchstone of your life for 365 days. Compassion? Great, but what about Self-love? Savor? Has a nice ring to it, but does it negate ‘Moderation?’

I’m going to try to come up with a word that means something and is not too flashy, but at the same time is my own. I’m still not there, but I’ll keep you posted.

An initial idea was to pick a musical term that could serve as a metaphor; something like ‘cadenza,’ which means a lightly structured improvisational section of a piece of classical music. To me it conveys freedom and creativity, and also discipline and attention. But I think it might be too much of a flight of fancy. It might detract from the point of the exercise to choose a word with so many interchangeable meanings.

So then, I thought about going in the other direction, like Kerstin. What about just ‘Be?’ To be myself and stop being such a damn people pleaser would be an excellent goal for 2008, but then I thought, is ‘be’ too vague? Will I get apathetic, stop going to the gym and melt into my couch saying, ‘hey, I’m BEing myself.’

So I’ll keep working on it, and hopefully have my word by the end of the week. If you’ve picked one, share it with the class!

*blog title – song lyric from ‘The Battle’ featuring Cross P, Zuz, Shystie, and Lady Sovereign


Published: Monday, 7 January 2008 Tags: one word resolutions bloggers christine kane kerstin martin meg casey creature bug writer music new year 2008


A visitor‘ left this comment on 8 Jan 08
I like the word “be,” it was another close favorite of mine. “Being in the moment” sounds wonderfully zen and I certainly need the reminder because I am usually 10 steps ahead of myself and constantly rushing and/or fretting. Be …. aaah … Is it possible to “do be” … ? 🙂


This is my word for 2008: Power.

Not in the dictator-drunk-with-power kind of way, mind you, but in a strong, self-possessed, I-can-do-anything-and-I’ll-do-it-with-bells-on-thank-you-very-much way.

I gave ‘power’ a test run today, and I’m convinced it was the way to go. I spoke at the Annual Western New England College Media Conference, as part of a panel of journalists. This means I had to get up early and make sure I was put together a little better than usual. I powered my way through the morning, refusing to let myself stress or whine.

I’m not typically nervous about being in front of crowds, but in a professional capacity where people are looking to you for answers to their deepest journalism questions (How long should a press release be? Is it ok to send you more than one photo? Will you be promoting the commuter rail project in your papers?) it can be a little daunting. This event went off rather well, but you never know when a joke is going to bomb horrendously. I channeled Christina Applegate as Veronica Corningstone in Anchorman before stepping on stage (powerrrr… powerrr) and it helped lessen the quake in my jaw.

Later in the afternoon, my friend Sarah and I took our first hip-hop dance class together. We went in fully expecting to hide in the back and avoid eye contact as we stumbled through the steps, but the class actually ended up being a hella-blast. Power put a little spring in my step as I concentrated on the moves and also reminded me that it didn’t matter when I faltered. It straightened my spine as I walked out of the class, feeling healthy, accomplished, and even a little jubilant.

I also think ‘power’ is going to help me be a more well-rounded person overall – less likely to negate my own needs, and more focused — eyes on the prize, as they say.

“Focus not on fire or flame, Don’t believe that might is right; Your soul can turn you just the same, Power now, power how.” -Tears for Fears

Published: Thursday, 10 January 2008 Tags: wnec 2008 exercise word year media blogger writer fitness pick for


Keely‘ left this comment on 10 Jan 08
I like that. Now I must think of a word for myself. Hmmm. Sounds like you’ve had a great test run day. 🙂

Top 10 Underreported Stories of 2007

TIME magazine has published its top 10 underreported stories of last year, and as such I’m helping to publicize them.

It’s frightening, the amount of news that fails to penetrate the collective consciousness. Listen, pay attention, discuss, READ!

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