One Little Word® for 2016: BREATHE


Goodbye 2015, hello 2016.

So, here’s my first post of 2016, finally. Don’t you love how everything seems to slow down some during the last week of the year (between Christmas and New Year’s), only to speed up again with rapid acceleration once New Year’s Day rolls around?

I mean, how is it January, 8th already (and why haven’t I been able to say a ‘peep’ here in over a week)? I’ve been plenty busy what with our move and setting up of our new home, and I am grateful that I was ‘forced’ to use up some accumulated comp time between Christmas and New Year’s, but as exciting as it has all been, it didn’t feel much like a vacation. It is, however, a great feeling to have a fresh start into a new year in a new home. We dropped off the keys to our apartment on Sunday and with that, that chapter is also finally closed. I know it was good and necessary for us to move on, but here I am feeling a little nostalgic for the place that I wanted to move from so badly, all of a sudden.

So silly.

Maybe it’s good that I didn’t post and add to the “clutter” in anyone else’s feed reader… as it stands, my Feedly account is up to 499 unread blog posts again and it will take me a little while to comb through all of them (as you know, I am not the “mark-all-as-read”-kinda girl, although I was pretty impressed to hear that some of my blog friends decided to delete all blogs from their readers and start with a blank slate for 2016. Impressive. Not sure that I’d be able to do that.).

Anyway, a new year always begs for the obligatory New Year’s resolutions… which I repeatedly stated to not buy into (because the truth is, I make resolutions all the time, all year round), but January, 1st still is a good day for a collective reflection and setting of some new goals and intentions for the year ahead. And come on, I know you enjoy these “intention”-posts as much as I do.

If I am honest, I’ve been holding my breath a lot these last few years. Waiting to see what was going to happen with some challenges in my personal life, my job situation, our living situation…. it just felt like many, many balls were up in the air at all times for a long time, but then in 2015 a lot of pieces finally, magically fell into place.

Last year, I picked a word for the year which was supposed to be a guiding term for the following months. Apparently, there has been an official online project created by Ali Edwards and it’s called One Little Word®, so I wanna give proper credit. I’ve been thinking and thinking what the new word for 2016 should be and it came to me in a sort of duh!-moment.

My word for 2016 will be BREATHE.

It seems so fitting in so many different ways. Let me explain. It feels like a lot of weight has been lifted off my shoulders in the last 6 months and I feel like I can finally breathe a little easier and more freely again. What better time than to dedicate 2016 to more breathing in all possible ways.

I want to pause and breathe in life. Fully inhale our new home, our new routines, our new neighborhood. I want to consciously take a breath; pause, assess, evaluate, and appreciate what’s behind me and what before me.

I want to breathe; feel free of restraint and worry. I feel like this year I might have the peace of mind to take things more slowly and relax a little, let go of some of the tension I feel like I’ve been carrying around. But I also know that I can breathe through anything this new year will throw at me. When something frustrates me, breathing deeply and with intention will remind me that I can get through it. I have done it before.

I want to breathe life into new rituals and habits, try new things. I get a lot of satisfaction out of rituals and habits and pausing to take a breath will remind me to act with intention and purpose and to savor every moment.

I want to take a deep breath and think every time before I write – may it be a blog post, an email, or a comment; before I speak – may it be in conversation or in dialog with myself; before I act or react; before I decide things big or small, and before I let go of something. I want to be aware and intentional.

Breathing also will come in very handy when it comes to running. Mind-blowing realization, I know. I want to breathe in and out with intention; feel how every breath – and every stride – makes me stronger. I ran 425 miles in 2015 and completed my first official 10k race. It felt good to be in a regular running routine and to see my endurance (and body) change with it. I want to beat that mileage in 2016 (which means running an average of 36 miles/month). I haven’t set myself any other specific goals yet, but I want to run more miles than in 2015 and maybe I’ll sign up for another race or two. Running has been such an awesome – physical, but also mental – component of my life last year and I definitely want to keep it up.

Did you pick a guiding word for 2016? Would you mind sharing it with me?

  1. Dear San,
    Happy new year to you. I am glad to hear the new living situation is treating you good.
    I love your word and the explanation. I could totally co-sign it all minus the running…
    My word is LOSE. I feel like I need to let go of a lot of things to finally be able to breath and gain again. I wish us good luck with our words.

  2. I really love your OLW! Glad you are settling into your new home. I don’t think it is silly to feel nostalgic about your old home – it is always hard to say good-bye, I think that’s a good sign! Wishing you all the best of luck for your future as new home-owners.
    I couldn’t delete all blogs I follow, but I did some cleaning up as my reading does change and some blogs have turned into promotional pages which I don’t like, I prefer the raw personality behind the blog with all its flaws and all!
    Hugs and happy weekend! xxx

  3. Happy New Year!

    I love the word you’ve chosen, and I totally hear you about feeling nostalgia for your old home, too. I’m so glad J and I moved out of our old apartment, but I still look back on it fondly from time to time. A lot of good memories were made there, even if the space itself wasn’t quite right for us by the end.

    My word for this year is “patience” (last year’s was “kindness”). This year is going to involve a lot of investing in my future without necessarily seeing much immediate payoff. I’m enrolling in classes to work towards becoming a CPA, making steady payments on my student debt, and beginning to take real steps towards bettering my mental health. I need to be patient with myself, with the process, and with the lack of immediate gratification.

  4. I resolved to relax and enjoy the year more. Also to clean my office and get rid of 30 years worth of crap!

  5. I like your word for the year! And I am really glad that some things have fallen into place in the last 6 months so that you CAN breathe easier. I know how awful it feels to have uncertainty about big parts of your life as that is how 2013 and 2014, and really the first half of 2015 felt for me. I feel like I am settling into my life now, too, although I think/hope the winds of change will be blowing in other parts of my life this year, but it will be more positive change.

    My word for 2016 is less. Less plans. Less spending, Less worry. I want to say yes less to things I don’t truly want to do and I made my first ‘big’ no this week when I was asked to book a room for homecoming weekend when my sorority is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary. I know a lot of people will be going and the person that wanted me to book a room with her was VERY disappointed that I won’t be attending but I had to stay true to myself and say no because I know that as an introvert, going to a huge gathering like that is just not the way I want to reconnect with friends. I’m proud of myself for saying no because it’s so hard when I know my no is going to disappoint someone!

  6. ‘Breathe’ is a good word. I think many of us need to take some time to breathe. My word for 2016 is ‘nourish’ – 2015 was really busy for me and I feel perpetually tired, mostly because I don’t make time for myself. So my main focus is myself, and nourish felt like a good word for that.

  7. My word for 2016 is ‘evolve.’ I want to make some big dreams happen this year, and I really want to put in the work to evolve into my best self.

  8. That sounds like a pretty fantastic intention (and not only for this year, but always). Can’t say I ever have any resolutions or intentions. I’m a pretty disorganized person (think of what the opposite of you would be in that sense and that’s me) so I never really stick to one thing or the other. Let’s just say I’m usually all over the map. ;)

    Happy 2016! So so so glad things are working out for you!!

  9. Happy new year! Glad you’re enjoying your new home and neighbourhood. I’m a fan of little seasonal traditions, rituals and habits too and I’m excited for you creating new ones in your new neighbourhood.

    I haven’t heard of the one little word project before, and I love that you and other commentators have some really great words to guide the new year. I’ll need to think of a word too!

  10. I have no word this year… I just decided that I never really follow through with it! It’s like making resolutions for some people. Hopefully it’s just fun and productive!

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