My ONE WORD for 2014 is…..

I gave up making new year’s resolutions three years ago. They didn’t really work for me. I’d lose steam about six weeks into the new year, or I would forget about them altogether in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And if I did happen to find my list of resolutions, I would become discouraged because I hadn’t met those lofty goals which, I might add, were always set so unrealistically high they were unattainable anyway. Then I stumbled upon somebody’s blog with the ONE WORD concept. Since that time many other ONE WORD websites have sprung up detailing this idea. I did a Google search this morning and found a lot of ONE WORD websites, so I’m not truly sure which one I read three years ago.


But the concept is straightforward and simple. Forget resolutions. Choose ONE WORD you want to be your ‘mantra’ or focus for the year. It can be a verb or a noun. Anything, really. My first ONE WORD was a good one. It was PERSPECTIVE. Even now, I still think about that word. A lot. Especially when I am disappointed or feeling down or sad. I ponder that word and realize that I have the choice to view everything in this life with perspective. Everything I do or say or think in this life is a choice. It really is the epitome of “the glass is half empty / full” sort of thing.

Last year, it took me almost until February to come up with my ONE WORD.  I don’t know why it was so hard for me to choose a word last year. I thought and thought and thought about it and finally chose the word DELIGHT. It was also a good word. And it worked for me for a little while. But (if I’m being really honest) somewhere between summer and autumn I forgot the word. Yep. Unfortunately it just didn’t really stick with me. In fact, although I could easily remember my word PERSPECTIVE from the year before, I actually had to go back and look at my blog post from last January to see what my ONE WORD had been!

This year however, I chose my ONE WORD for 2014 back in early December. And it hit me like a lightning bolt when I was feeling blue and rather out of sorts with myself. At the time, I had no idea what to get my husband for Christmas. We were trying to keep holiday expenses in check and opted to do small, thoughtful things for each other. I had no idea what to do for him. Finally, I had a great idea: I decided to make him a photo book.

But where to start? I literally have somewhere between 10 and 20 thousand digital photos stored on my external hard drive. I had to narrow down the selection. So I thought it might be fun to make a photo book of all the highlights from 2013. I started in January and chose some of my best photos from each of the months of 2013. The birthdays, the big events, the funny pictures from our everyday lives. And then there were the trips. Oh my goodness, I hadn’t realized just how many trips we had taken in the past year alone!


It was fun for me to re-visit those fabulous locales, breathtaking vistas and so many happy memories. I ended up with dozens more photos than I could fit into one photo book. I included photos of our boys, our home, our cherished pets. And as I gathered all my favorite photos together to create this “year in review” photo album, I was enveloped with a feeling of supreme thanksgiving and gratefulness.


And then it became abundantly clear. My ONE WORD for 2014 is:


This isn’t just a feeling. For me, it is a verb. It is action. I am and will be grateful for the untold blessings in my life. There are so many!


And as I was working on this photo book for my husband, my ONE WORD was reinforced when I happened to be watching that perennial favorite holiday movie, White Christmas. There is a scene with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney where he sings, “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” The concept being that if you’re so busy counting all the blessings in your life, you won’t have time to worry!

So just for fun, I “googled” the word GRATITUDE and the first link that came up was the Wikipedia definition. Oh gosh, you can certainly look it up and there is a very long, tedious, definition and lofty explanation….yada, yada, yada.  But I found the following paragraph to be particularly interesting and timely:

Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and relationships. Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self acceptance. Grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life, being more likely to seek support from other people, reinterpret and grow from the experience, and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem. Grateful people sleep better, and this seems to be because they think less negative and more positive thoughts just before going to sleep.


The simple act of creating a photo memory book spurred me into seeing just how wonderful and how blessed my life truly is. It began as a gift for my husband, which he totally loves and appreciates; but ultimately, it was a gift to myself.


This year’s word is one that will stick with me. I’ll not only remember this word on a daily basis, I will focus on it and put it into action. I will appreciate my family, my friends, my fun little career, all the wonderful people I meet throughout the year, and give thanks to the Lord for all the many blessings he showers down upon us. That doesn’t mean I won’t experience my share of heartache and bad times; I know that into every life rain must fall. But I will do everything I can to have GRATITUDE for my faith to get me through those bad times.

P1010040It is my greatest hope and wish that each of you might choose the ONE WORD that means the most to you for the coming year. If you’ve chosen your ONE WORD I’d love to know what it is and I hope you’ll share your word with me here in the comment section.

Wishing you blessings, peace, joy, and a heart full of gratitude in 2014!


  1. Thank you so much Kiberly! Your story touched me very much! I haven’t done resolution for years, but now I’ll ponder my one word. I hope that this New Year preserves all what you love, brings to you everything what you need and takes away those things which are burdens to you. Best New Year Regardas from Finland!

    • Hello Tiinatei! I can’t tell you how excited am was to read your comment and to know you took the time to read my blog and respond all the way from Finland! It makes me so happy! Thank you very much for your lovely comment. I wish you all the same blessings and good things in the New Year, and I’m sending the same love and good wishes back to you in Finland. Thank you so much for stopping by. (I just signed up to follow YOUR blog this morning!) Will be looking forward to seeing more of your posts in the future!

  2. I love this idea. So much better than a list of resolutions! As soon as I started reading your blog, I immediately thought of my word for 2014: THRIVE.

    • Hi Emily….oooohhhh! THRIVE! I LOVE that word! (I think that might be a good word for me to consider for next year!) Wonderful word, my dear. Happy new year to you and yours – wishing you all the very best!

  3. I too love this idea. I like the word courage. It defines this point in my life. I have had a horrible two years getting through a divorce and completely losing myself. Depression is a nasty beast. I let so many people down and have had to find my path and purpose. I have had to have the courage to ask for forgiveness, the courage to move forward alone, the courage to be a better mom and the courage to be a better person. I am doing it. Even in the rain and sometimes torrential downpours. So here I go into 2014 because I have courage. Thank you for this wonderful “perspective.” It is better than resolutions.

    • Lisa — I applaud you for having the COURAGE you have had to show in the past two years. I do know it has not been easy for you. But you ARE doing it. One day at a time. One step at a time. And I’m sure God will give you the courage to overcome. Sunshiny days are ahead for you, I’m sure!

  4. Ah!!! Love it, Kimberly! The word I chose on New Years’ eve was “gratefulness”…we are on the same wavelength! I hadn’t heard of this idea of one word before and I think this is the answer to my dislike of New Years’ resolutions. To me, living with gratitude/gratefulness will bring great optimism to my days, a recognition of how truly blessed I am. Looking forward to a wonderful 2014!

    • Hi Marlene; I actually saw you had posted your word, GRATEFULNESS, on FB on New Year’s Eve and I was so excited because I had already chosen basically the same word! I could hardly wait to post mine, too. What an awesome word. God bless you and your family in 2014. You are so right: there is so MUCH for which we can be grateful!

  5. Kimberly that is so great. Yes a word. A simple word that will mean the most important inner thought of the heart and mind. My word will be Trust. The idea of the memory book is so fantastic. We take pictures and they stay in our computer.
    We do many special things through the year but somehow the special moments, the smiles, the funny moments, people, places, the sunset, the rain, the seasons changing, so many things we love through the year we put in the back of our minds. With the memory book they will forever be in our thoughts and heart. Awesome!

    How about a project notebook? For every piece we quilt, embroidery or appliqué through the year, to take a picture and write what or whom inspired us to first work on it, to design it or to use a pattern or idea. Was it the fabric, the colors, a trip to a small town around home, a little bird nesting outside in our back yard to make it into a beautiful appliqué pillow ? So much that we encounter every day that makes our artful world so amazing and unique ! Perhaps Kimberly’s beautiful designs and web-blog? I have a lot to do….no time to wait this year , God is great and I will TRUST myself to be able to accomplish many good things this year ! Looking forward to a retreat or seminar by you in Northern Virginia soon Kimberly!

    • Hello, Clara! I LOVE your word: TRUST! That’s a real “action” word, too! Because it can sometimes be hard to trust — but it is oh, so important to have! I love the idea of a project notebook. That’s a fabulous idea!!! I think I will have to do this. What a wonderful thing to have at the end of the year to look back on to actually SEE everything that inspired us or that we accomplished! Woo hoo — I hope you’ll do one, too!

  6. I have until Feb. to choose, too. So far it is a toss up between joy and power. Will see what God reveals.

    • Hi Suzie! Wow — Joy and Power are both wonderful words to consider! You’re right to wait until God reveals which one (or something entirely different) to you! All the best to you and Tommie in the new year! (And of course, that sweet little puppy, too!)

  7. Kimberly I have chosen Forward. I need to continue moving forward in my life and in my quilting. I had to put both on hold as the primary care giver to my Mom. Unfortunately she became total care and is now happy in her Nursing Home. They love her there and give her the care she needs. I visit her often. So now I can move forward with my life. It has been hard to do. It does get easier every day! So Forward is my mantra.

    • Luann – Thank you for sharing your word and the reasons behind it with me. It is a wonderful, meaningful word and I am sure you’ll find it inspirational and helpful through the coming weeks and months. I think many of us really need a fresh start about now, don’t you? God bless you and your Mom. Just remember to take one step and one day at a time.

  8. I’m choosing HOPE. I finally have some in my life and suddenly everything seems possible and achievable again and even within my grasp. It (obviously) encompasses a broad spectrum, but one thing I am hoping for, is more time to quilt.

    • GREAT word, Claire! And when I read your FB comments or messages I can clearly see and feel the hope in your tone that comes from the heart — and it has been sadly missed these past few years. I’m so happy for you, my dear friend!

  9. Hello Kimberly,
    Its 11:00, Sunday evening. Before bed, I was reading your “Gratitude” word/definition example…. and then I saw your picture with your darling Kitty. What a great picture of relaxing contentment and positive thoughts before retiring for the evening. I am taking your Mystery Quilt Class…. Signed up some time ago, but just now have time to look at the class lessons. I am enjoying!
    Terry Back
    Yuba City, Calif.

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