My Keyword for 2013

Posted by on Jan 06 2013 | Games, Exercises & Resources, Songtaneous

This will be the fifth time I choose a keyword for the year. As I have said before, for me the process of finding my keyword is the important part. Spending time reviewing the year behind and thinking and daydreaming about what I would like to accomplish in the year ahead have become significant steps in my planning.

I’m particularly interested in how the word points me a direction which often turns out to be somewhat different from what I thought I was planning. (This has stopped surprising me. After all, it happens all the time when I sing spontaneously.)

Here’s what I mean.

Last year, I chose the word CREATE. As is common for me at the end of 2011, I was feeling the need to get off my keister and “plan” for the new year. I picked CREATE with visions of performance and recording projects dancing in my head.

And I did create things in 2012, just not so many performances or recordings.

I thought my focus would be performing, but it ended up being teaching. I created workshops and lesson packages and began work on another blog (more on that soon).

All of that creating was important. Developing these new teaching “products” allowed me to put new systems in place in my “business” and, more important (and more fun!), to meet and teach new singers.

Still, I remember having to give myself permission to move in the teaching direction a number of times over the year. “This isn’t what you’re supposed to be creating!” my inner critic scolded. But, any time I tried to move in another direction, I felt like I was forcing things and it just wasn’t working. (Note: this doesn’t work when you improvise either. *smile*)

See, one of the things I discovered during my time working in publishing is that, for me, some things have a time and season.

I might struggle and struggle to gain traction on a project and then one day — poof! — it just isn’t a struggle anymore.

The task doesn’t get easier or go away, but, suddenly, I can see a way to accomplish it. More important, I have the energy to accomplish it.

Perhaps my subconscious has fiddled with it long enough to find a solution or a plan of attack. Maybe other priorities have shifted, maybe I just got a good night’s sleep, but somehow this project that had been impossible is now … well … possible.

So when developing and scheduling lessons and workshops seemed easy and figuring out the performing/recording stuff didn’t, I took a cue from my past life and did what was easy.

(Hey, there’s a reason water follows the path of least resistance. And lest you think doing what’s easy is lazy or cheating, remember that over time water can wear away rock.)

Right. Back to this year’s keyword.

So like I said, it usually takes me a while to find my keyword. I ponder and rifle through words, try them on and discard them. It’s a process. I think abstractly (or big picture) about what I did in the previous year and what I feel like I need to attempt next and then I start to gather words that seem connected to that idea. After a while, one of the words will resonate. I feel that “click.”

This year was different. About the middle of last month, I began thinking about thinking about my keyword. (*smile*) After all, it was December and I typically reveal my keyword in January so I knew I should set aside some time to “work” on it, but I hadn’t yet.

During a holiday visit, my family asked me about this whole keyword “tradition” of mine. Did the word change over the year or did I change my interpretation of the word based on the year. (Both. *smile*)

My dad asked me if you had to wait for the right word to come to you or did it happen instantly. I explained that for me it usually took a while, but I thought if you had a strong, visceral and immediate reaction to a word, well, then that was probably your word. (And, just like that, my dad found his word. Show-off. *grin*)

Then my brother-in-law joked that his word for the 2013 should be “finish.” I blithely chuckled that finish did not need to be my word.

“I’m a very good finish- er.” I said. “Ha ha, my keyword for 2013 needs to be … ”

Uh oh.

As a friend of mine says — when I know, I know.

My keyword for 2013 is START.

“Start – to set moving, going, or acting; to set in operation; to establish or found; or to begin work on”

I know START is my word because I had a strong, visceral and immediate reaction, more like being hit over the head than a click (plus it made my stomach hurt). Those of you who know me know my … er … challenges with starting.

I struggle, I stutter, I spin, I stagnate. (And, yes, I survive.)

Part of me is (more than) a little terrified that START is my keyword. But as my mom says “you should do something that scares the hell out of you every five years or so.”

So in honor of year five … time to START.

Looking for your own keyword? Here are some ideas:

share, focus, explore, allow, release, start, finish, relax, birth, flourish, savor, simplify, balance, dare, prosperity, plant, discover, nurture, wellness, creativity, discipline, perform, shimmer, power, authenticity, beam, be, imperfect …

More Bloggity Goodness

2 comments for now

2 Responses to “My Keyword for 2013”

  1. […] you may recall, I challenged myself to get things started this year. And, well … starting is not my strongest […]

    11 Feb 2013 at 12:43 pm

  2. […] Back in January, I picked START as my keyword for this year. […]

    05 Aug 2013 at 12:58 pm

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