Do you have a word for 2017? I do. Care of a mate of mine. 3 years ago we were walking in the Drakensberg at the end of the year and he asked me, “So, do you have a word for next year?” I hadn’t, and I had no idea what he was talking about.

The previous year he’d been challenged me to come up with a word to focus on for the year. The instructions seemed fairly simple:

  • Pick a word that may have significance for you during the year
  • Don’t spend too much time thinking about what the word should be
  • Once you’ve selected a word don’t spend too much time focussing on it
  • Rather let it reveal itself during the year while you go about doing what you’re doing

A simple and slightly esoteric activity I thought to myself. During our walk I decided that CRAYON would be my word for 2015. I followed all the instructions to a T.

The most interesting part of the exercise was that I spent absolutely no time thinking about my word. Not until my word crashed into my everyday life. The first time was a song with ‘crayon’ in it that I heard on the radio one morning on the way to dropping my girls at school. Then I got given a children’s book about Crayons who quit from a friend who’d seen it, and remembered I had the word. The next incursion was a Billboard, and then finding a crayon in my laptop bag that I hadn’t expected.

There were several other ‘crayon moments’ for me during the year, and each of them brought me sharply back to the reason I’d chosen the word in the first place. A very successful activity / experiment I thought to myself.

For no particular reason, I gave 2016 a break from the very simple work of having a word for the year.

This year my word is SPACE.

Do you have a word for 2017? If not, see above. The instructions are pretty straight forward. Go on, I dare you 🙂