Melanie’s OLW for 2017


screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-4-20-02-pmThis will be the fifth year I have taken on one little word to remind me to reflect and grow more over the course of the entire year. I’ve loved this practice–it’s been much more effective than setting a series of resolutions that I forget by February. Three out of four of my words have stayed with me, well past their year of choosing.

While I loved present–it definitely made be a better person in 2013, kind was exactly what I needed in 2014. Acknowledge didn’t work as well for me word of 2015. Maybe because it was too complicated. Maybe it was just too long of a word. In any case, I had to work hard to just remember what my word was, let alone practice living within it. Wonder for 2016 was perfect, both professionally and personally, and I know present, kind, and wonder have braided themselves together within my humanness. As the years roll on, each little word turns into a growing collection of words that guide, stretch, and inspire me.


So what’s next?

I know many people who have been searching around for their OLW this year, and I’ve had that experience in past years. However, I’ve known that brave would be my word for 2017 for a while now. Since being brave means being scared, but still moving forward, I’m looking forward to brave nudging me out of my comfort zone, toward that magical zone of growth and learning.  I’ve caught myself leaning toward my comfort zone in the last few months, resisting risks because of my fear of failure or insecurities. My 2017 goal is to take Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice–she is quoted as saying to do one thing every day that scares you. I’m not going on any looping roller coasters and I’m not jumping out of a plane or off of high cliffs, but I will work to grow as a writer, educator, parent, friend, and person, and I will take risks and try a little harder to embrace vulnerability–embrace might be a little strong, though…


Throughout 2017, and in the years beyond, I’m looking forward to winding brave into my growing tapestry of words. I’m looking forward to sharing this OLW practice with so many and reading about the words which will serve as other people’s beacons for the upcoming year.