Word of the Year

At the beginning of each year I like to choose a word or theme to focus on for the year. Throughout the year when things start to spin out of control and get lost in the busy, I like to stop and focus on that word. Sometimes I’ll find myself repeating it over and over, like a mantra.

This year my word of the year is control.

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I know control is a slippery thing, kind of like balance. Balance is one of those things that everyone thinks is stagnant. That being in balance means everything is equal and unchanging, but that could not be farther from the truth.

Have you ever watched a tight rope walker? As they walk across a rope narrower than their feet they are constantly adjusting and making changes to ensure that they don’t fall. That’s balance. Constantly making adjustments to all of your areas of responsibility to try to prevent any of them from falling through the cracks. Control is like that too.

In the past I’ve always thought that I just need to “get control” of… everything, anything, but now I realize that isn’t true. It isn’t about everything being perfect at once, or even getting control of one thing and then marking that item off the list and forgetting about it forever. It is more about the appropriate attention focused on the right thing at the right time.

So why isn’t my word of the year balance? Because to me balance is about areas, whereas control is about things. Balance is about giving the right amount of attention to the right area at the right time, whether that be family, work, friends, or whatever. It is an outward focus, but control is an inward focus.

I feel like I’ve been floundering. I have all of these things that need to be managed, work, the kids’ schedules, my schedule, the house, this blog, writing… Just to name a few. Over this year I need to find a way to get some control over all of these different things.

I have all of these dreams and goals that I never seem to accomplish. Through therapy I’ve learned that I am the biggest obstacle to achieving those goals. This year I want to change that. This year I plan to take control.

What is your word of the year or theme for this year?

P.S. I’m so glad to be back from my break. I hope y’all had a great holiday. I can’t wait to catch up with everyone.


  1. says

    While control is a great thing to focus on, make sure you don’t forget that sometimes it’s okay (or even better) to realize that you aren’t the one in control and things will happen, and that it’s okay.

    I hope you had a nice Christmas!!
    Kmama recently posted…TYVM: 1/7/13My Profile

    • says

      I agree 100%! I’m thinking more of the things I can control. I need to actually do it rather than finding some excuse to not do it. If that makes sense.

  2. says

    I’ve never looked at control in the way you’ve just explained it, but it opened my eyes to a new meaning. Good luck! My “mantra” this year is: go for it. I’ve held back all my life & this year is about letting go & actually living for me.

    Hope you had a great break, glad you’re back!
    Brittany recently posted…Done with the NegativityMy Profile

  3. says

    This is a great word. There are a lot of things in our life that have been like the runaway stagecoach. I chose ‘Organize’ for my word. Then I read someone’s word was ‘Surrender’. I really liked that one, too. But your post got me thinking. When I control my self. I will be better able to control things.

    I think control has gotten a bad name in this age of self-indulgence and irresponsibility.

    Go for it.
    Maggie S. recently posted…One Word: OrganizeMy Profile

    • says

      Yes! I read your post and was thinking that we are on the same path this year. Exactly. I know that I can’t control people or things, but I can control me. What I do, what I think, and how I react.

    • says

      I’m glad I’m not the only one. I keep thinking but I’ve got nothing. WHY IS MY WORD HIDING?

      Jennifer — Control is a slippery thing but I love how you’ve tempered it with balance and how you plan to not attempt to control everything. Some things simply won’t let control be an option, be but I fully get what you mean about wanting to be more focused.
      Arnebya recently posted…Just OneMy Profile

      • says

        Oh yes. I’ve learned that are are so many things beyond my control. My problem is that I’m using that as an excuse to not do things that are firmly IN my control.

    • says

      Strength is always a good one. I think that I’ve always had so much of having to be strong that sometimes I just wish I wasn’t. If that makes any sense at all.

  4. says

    Control is a good one! I actually woke up today determined to return emails, get my PT work done, go through the regular mail and add things to our family calendar. Instead of wasting time, I took control over it and now I finally have some free time to read some of my favorite blogs!
    My word of the year is family. Happy 2013!
    Kristen recently posted…The Year of 40My Profile

  5. says

    I am still mulling over my word. I am going to try to write about it and if it flows and makes sense then that will be my word.

    I like the idea of taking control over dreams and goals. Too often we make excuses why we can’t, but if we took control over the obstacles in our way we should be able to make it happen.

    I look forward to seeing how “control” works out for you!

  6. says

    I really liked the way you explained the difference between balance and control. I think you’ve definitely got this.

    I’m still working on my post about this… Didn’t think I would have one, but I do.
    Elaine recently posted…My Dream of ThreeMy Profile

  7. says

    Oh I like how you differentiate– and isn’t it the truth?? I definitely think we need to be in control of some things in order to achieve a balance in any form. I think you have an excellent plan- and a perfect word!
    Ashley recently posted…How fast it goesMy Profile

  8. says

    What a good word choice, I like that it is different than the usual ones everyone picks (like balance) and that you are focused for the New Year. I’m not quite so focused yet. Maybe that should be my word.
    Jessica recently posted…The Supermom MythMy Profile

  9. says

    Wow…this could have been my word too. Because ultimately, I have been floundering in my own way, searching for a way to grasp some sense of order in my life. So many goals and aspirations in the midst of regular everyday life. I see all of these things I want to do yet can’t get done. But, like you said, prioritizing has to happen, so I end up tweaking those goals and compromising some. For example, I love the idea of leaving journaling behind for my daughters in my own handwriting, but haven’t had time to keep up with a bigger project. Now, I just have this daily Q&A book that requires only a one sentence answer but it preserves me as I am right now in this space and time and it brings me comfort because I’m doing something to capture myself right now which is a goal of mine. I didn’t know my mother…so, I suppose that’s why it’s so important to me…anyway…now that I’ve written a book.

    Happy New Year!! :)
    Nicole recently posted…Party Essentials: DIY Photo Booth!My Profile


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