One Word….What Can A New Year Bring?


In 2013 I found a site that spoke of instead of having resolutions each year – choose a word.  A life long lover of words… I LOVED this.  I studied the list of words diligently trying to find the one that I wanted to represent me going into the new year and I came up with:




Embrace can have several meaning but the one I liked and wanted to follow was:



As I read that original post again this morning and this meaning that I just posted above, the tears run down my face.  I could not have had any idea of what choosing this word would mean two years later… but there it is and I am thankful.

Last year, going into 2015 was a hectic time for me and I was ready for change.  I did not even make a full post about my word but tossed it into a Looking Back/Looking Ahead post that also is difficult to read now.  I had so much ambition… I was going to take 2015 by the horns and OWN it.  My word, for 2015 was:




The meaning of this word is…

1. to rise or come forth from or as if from water or other liquid.
2. to come up or arise

3. to come into existence; develop

4. to rise, as from an inferior or unfortunate state or condition.

For me, this was my fresh start word… and by April.  I thought I hated it.

When life changed for me forever, I looked at this word, which up until that point I wore on a necklace around my neck and thought “NO.  This is not what I meant.  I will never wear this again.”


I took the word off of me.

In later April, I was given something that has a lot of meaning to me.  It needed to go on a chain and as I looked through my choices of necklace chains my eyes stumbled on the chain that held my 2015 word… Emerge.  The chain looked to be the right length and style.  And quietly I knew…

Even in this.  EVEN in this….

I must emerge.

I put the necklace back on.  It has new meaning.  A harder meaning.  Not the energetic “Run with the bulls” attitude I came into 2015 with… but a more humbling one.  I emerge.  Daily.  I rise… again.  I put my head up, I wipe away my tears and I do this every day for my son.  I emerge.

The necklace has gathered a few things this year.  A couple of tags made for me by my friend Barb.  The key I found when I was in Arizona, taking the trip over the dates that I would have been on with my son.  The cross is from Honduras.


And so that is a L O N G introduction into the word for 2016.  Here is the list but of course you can choose any word.  I studied the list and looked up definitions and believe I am going with:
Strength in the face of pain and grief
the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
moral strength to venture, persevere
I would love to have you do this with me.  What is your word for 2016?  How will you own it and why?

36 thoughts on “One Word….What Can A New Year Bring?

  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. Courage is something you embody every single day and I think it’s a perfect word for you for 2016

    I’ve seen these one word posts for the past couple of years but always when I was in the midst of a rush and not ready to put the thought necessary into choosing one. Seeing your post today has given me the push I need to choose a word for myself for 2016. Thank you

  2. My word is:

    1a : to hold dear : feel or show affection for
    1b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection
    2: to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely

    I will own this word by moving from a place of sadness over the loss of my husband to a place of healing by remembering the many years we had together and the happy times. Also, by never taking for granted my family and friends by spending as much time with them as I can.

    I chose this word because there is healing in it. Cherish your memories with those who are no longer with us, and the time you have with your loved ones who are still here.

  3. You have met each year with the challenge offered through your one word…and as you pointed out, each word can have a different meaning or perspective, depending on what is happening. Which is the great part of ONE WORD.

    I will have to think about my one word for a while.

  4. Sheila, everything about this for you right now is bittersweet. What it is, more than anything, is the absoluteness of the POWER of WORDS. I adore them. I began this with you in 2014, for the first time. I never actually looked at a list of words (’til just now, through your link), but at that time I picked one word, kept it for 2015 and am keeping it still, for 2016. It is “ACCOMPLISH.” For me, that is the most operative word because it encompasses pretty much everything and it is what I still need to do with all that’s important. I already live with Gratitude, every day, for so many blessings, and I tap into the Great Force of Faith, Hope and Love that keep me going, thank God—literally. So it is up to ME to Accomplish the things I need to continue at.

    You are doing a beautiful job of continuing to emerge, Sheila, and your courage is evident. It’s the perfect word for you this year ❤

  5. My word for 2016 is Change. I have to change some things in my life as I am on a spiral fall downward. Need to rid my life of toxic stuff and move forward. But I will do it.

    You are a strong person Sheila and you will get through it!

  6. I remember you mentioning your word for the year last year and thinking how much I loved the idea. I think Courage is a perfect word for 2016. You have shown so much this year. I’m not sure what my word should be for 2016. I know I want to do more, have more fun, actually work on more projects instead of just thinking about it and in general tackle more stuff. Maybe embrace should be the word for me?

  7. What a moving post. I tend to agree with Nise above. I love the idea of wearing the word during the year and onwards perhaps. Haven’t thought about a word but will now.

  8. What a gorgeous post. You are filled with courage, though I imagine it’s difficult sometimes for you to recognize that. Wear that word proudly!

  9. I love this idea ever since I first heard about it through you. My word this year will be…..acceptance? Adapt? Mindfull? Self-care? Gotta think on that

  10. Beautiful, beautiful post, Sheila. You are truly amazing.

    Over the past year, I have been thinking about the value of kindness, so maybe my word should be KIND, or LOVE.

  11. It’s amazing that a single word can mean so much. I often think this when I write my reviews. It’s amazing that symbols can mean so much too. I selected a word last year, but quickly forgot it. I’m going to invest more time this year, Thanks for a great post.

  12. I looked back at your 2014 post. My word then was Reach. This year I am choosing Simplify, as my goal this year is to declutter and simplify my life. I am going to order a necklace and charm too, to remind me to remember that throughout the year. This is a beautiful post. I wish you courage for the new year.

  13. My word this year is accept. Not only accept people for who they are and what they bring, but also accept myself for who I am and what I am able to bring to the table. I also want to accept that the past is the past and not to dwell on the past.

  14. My word for 2016 is silence. I have always had incredible responsibility in family and work. Now I am in my late 60’s and retired I don’t need to comment on the world, what I agree or disagree with re my family or anywhere else. I will be an observer this year and let the younger generation now take over the world’s worries. I worked hard for 40 years getting change for the better. Now it is time to be silent and enjoy the time I have left.

    I think of you often and wish I could turn the clock back for you.

  15. I love your idea of a Word for the year. I’ve participated a couple of times previously. I like the idea of making it into a piece of jewellery. This year I want to cheat a little because in this moment, when I dove into my heart to find just one word, two popped up. If I hyphenate the two words maybe I can convince myself it’s one. My hyphenated word for the year is “stand-fast”. It’s a bit old fashioned and I think they used the term in the navy and the military. My meaning of “stand-fast” is a lot like “believe in yourself”. So I will, and I’ll stand-fast!

  16. That is the perfect choice of a word for you. You already have shown how truly courageous you are while facing such a trial. Know that you are always in my thoughts. I know anyone (and anyone who is a mother) could do no less.

    This is my first time participating in picking my One Word and First Book of the Year as well (I hope you received my picture). I made a post about both here:

    Happy New Year, Sheila.

  17. I absolutely love this idea and will be giving it some thought and post my word for 2016 later. Thank you. You are a strong person and I think courage is a perfect word for your year. I feel blessed to have found your blog.

  18. Sheila, I can’t imagine what you have been through this year, but I found all of your posts inspirational. One manifestation of true courage is the ability to move forward through a cloud of grief and pain. I couldn’t imagine a better word for you for 2016. My word for this year is “prevail.”

  19. I missed this post earlier, and it has made me cry now, as it did others, but you have found just the right words here to say what you’re feeling and it’s so powerful! You really do give us courage. Thank you!

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