Three Words For 2014

Three words for 2014Last January, for the first time ever, I didn’t sit down on New Year’s Day to set my resolutions for the coming year.

For this goal and list-loving girl, it felt like a strange thing not to do, but it ended up working out even more beautifully than I had hoped.

You see, I came to this realization that my goals for the year were very tactical. And while tactics are important for breaking down big goals to get things done, I knew I wanted my year to be more strategic. (If you like this concept, click here to tweet it).

And that’s where my three words for 2014 come in.

Instead of setting a list of arbitrary goals for the year (don’t worry! I’ll continue to set them on a weekly basis in my Start Your Week Right Sunday posts and on a monthly basis in my monthly check-ins), I chose three strong and powerful words to constantly keep in mind throughout the year to keep me focused on the big picture.

In 2013, my three words were: passion, simplify and balance.

Here are the three words that I’d like to guide me through 2014:

1. Radiant: In yoga, we do a pose called Radiant Warrior that inspired me to select this word. This pose begins in Warrior II and then can transition to Radiant Warrior when you flip your palm and sail your arm back, completely opening your body up to the energy in the room. I think this pose is incredibly powerful because when you “radiate” you open your body, heart and mind up to everything- the good, the bad and the uncomfortable. The actual definition of the word radiant uses words like “bright and shining” and “having or showing an attractive quality of happiness, love and health.” As soon as I read the definition and paired it with my yoga analogy, I knew this was my first word for 2014.

2. Instinct: Over the past year, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how important it is to trust our instincts at all costs. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t. I’ve found that this is true almost 100 percent of the time when it comes to all things including my career, relationships, business decisions, friendship and more. Our gut is way more powerful than even we know. I love this quote from a post by Alexis Grant about trusting your gut: “If you have a feeling in your gut, it’s for a reason. Even if you can’t put your finger on that reason or articulate it to a friend, it’s there, ready to guide you.” In 2014, I want to do less overanalyzing and more trusting my instincts.

3. Clarity: When I think of clarity, I picture a foggy car window, wiping it clear and being able to see, even if the view is a little hazy. For me, clarity has a double meaning. First, in 2013 I learned a lot about myself. I certainly don’t have it all figured out, nor do I ever expect to, but I finally feel like I have a clear vision of who I want to be and where I want to go. That’s clarity. The other meaning of clarity is “the quality of being easily understood, remembered and heard.” What an absolutely beautiful way to describe exactly what I strive to do here on the blog- inspire others to get gutsy, reach their goals and discover and accept who they really are.

For more inspiration behind my three words, check out my 2014 Pinterest vision board.

What are your three words for 2014? Do you believe in setting goals or making resolutions for the New Year? If so, I’d love to see them! Share your goals or words in the comments below.

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  • Amazing words! I love radiant! I may consider that I try to identify my core desired feelings.
    Love that quote from Alexis Grant. I always get hung up on trying to figure out my feelings so that I could explain them in a way that a friend could understand. And that’s not necessary! Sometimes it’s ok for me just to know. Thanks for that reminder.

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Thank you so much, Jo! Our lunch conversation definitely inspired a lot of the thinking behind these words. xox

  • Your words for 2014 are all so inspiring! If I were to pick a word for this year, I think it’d be “present.” In 2013, I did a lot of living in the past and worrying about the future, which didn’t necessarily help me move forward. I’m going to start focusing on the tasks in front of me and putting one foot in front of the other, rather than worrying about the outcome before even doing the work.

    Cheers to the here and now! Wishing you much success in 2014. 🙂

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Thank you, Sara! I’m really happy with the three words I chose and I’ve already been using them to my full advantage.

      I love the word ‘present.’ That’s such an important concept and one I really have trouble embracing sometimes! I’m always thinking ahead! I wish you the best of luck in your quest to be more present!


  • Meg

    Love these, Jess! And “clarity” made me think of John Mayer, of course. 🙂

    I’ve chosen one big word for 2014: patience. Patience with myself, patience with others, patience with life. Patience in choosing a path that will make me happy, and striving for patience that all things will come in time. As a notoriously impatient person, this will be a real challenge for me . . . but I’m ready. I think I’m going to meditate on it, post it everywhere and run with it as hard as I can!

    It will be a great year for you, I am sure — and I’ll be right here cheering you on!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Of course, as soon as I thought of the word ‘clarity,’ I rushed to check the John Mayer lyrics 🙂

      I LOVE that you’ve chosen the word ‘patience.’

      That’s something I definitely need more of!

      I love the way you’ve described patience and I know you’ll be successful in the coming year! I can’t wait to see where it goes!

  • Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections

    I, of course, love this, Jessica. Instinct is something I don’t embrace enough. I love the quote by Grant. I have a few things in my life lately that I have instinct about but just can’t put my finger on it, so I haven’t made the decision I want to. But clearly I need to trust my instinct if I feel it.

    I also like how you define clarity – that’s it’s not about it being perfectly clear, but clearer than it has been.

    As you know, my phrase is “be myself” for 2014. I think I want to come up with better power words like this, though. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Thanks so much, Melissa!

      I definitely haven’t embraced instinct enough, up until this point, and in so many situations I’ve looked back and gone, “why didn’t I just trust my gut?” I don’t want to have those kinds of situations anymore.

      I love your 2014 theme, too though. Let me know if you come up with any words to help you keep that goal in mind.


  • My theme for this year is “Make It Count.”

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Simple and powerful. I love it!

  • As someone who over thinks every aspect of life, instinct is my favorite one! It’s hard to be confident in trusting your own feelings but they are there for a reason 🙂 Happy New Year!!!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Yes!!! I am a classic overthinker, but lately I’ve really realized that all the decisions I’ve made that I’m proud of or worked out well for me came from instinct, not my never-ending list of pros and cons. Thanks Em!

  • I love this idea so much! And we must be on the same wavelength because I came up with a theme word for 2014 that I created all my goals from. It’s easy to say YES and NO to things throughout the year if you have a few words of “clarity” to stand by (lol see what I did there)! Also, I really like your vision board on Pinterest. I think I need to steal that idea for myself! Happy 2014 Jess!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Thanks Carrie! 🙂

      I find it much easier to keep three words in my head, rather than a list of goals or resolutions that I’ll forget after a couple of days.

      Would love to see your Pinterest board, if you create one! 🙂

      Happy New Year!

  • For me, this year is about three things: redemption, stability and prosperity. Those are all things that I have lost or have withered away within the last few years. Slowly but surely, I hope to achieve those qualities again to get me out of the current slump I’m facing. Also, I’m turning 25 in April so it might have something to do with the QLC. Am I right?

    • Jessica Lawlor

      I really like those three words! They all have very powerful meanings.

      Don’t worry too much about the QLC- just think of it as an adventure 🙂 You’re doing just fine.

  • I choose one word to focus on this year, which is free. I plan to finding areas in my life where I feel tied down or burdened and I want to free myself in them.
    I love your words those. I can’t wait to see your post coming up about how each word is working in your life. =]

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Cody, what an awesome, awesome word for the year. Super powerful and very important. I can’t wait to hear how focusing on that word works out for you this year!

  • Instinct is such a great one, I think I’ll have to borrow that for my year as well 🙂 this post came at a great time for me too, I’m celebrating my 30th birthday today (yikes!) and grappling with a business decision I’ve been needing to make for a while. My gut has been telling me to walk away from a commitment that doesn’t align with my goals or passions anymore, but that’s tough when it also means walking away from a chunk of income. But I know, and my instinct tells me, it’s the right decision and will help me start the new year with a clean slate!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Thank you, Jessica! 🙂

      Feel free to borrow ‘instinct.’

      I’ve already come back to that important word in two different instances and we’re only a week into the New Year!

      Happy 30th birthday! I’m glad your gut helped you to make a decision that you feel right about. Happy New Year and hope your 30th year is the best one yet.

  • I love that in several/many years, you’ll get to look back at your word(s) for the year and know exactly what was going on and how you were feeling during that time period.

    I’ve been wanting to pick a One Little Word for a while now but couldn’t ever commit to just one word. This year I’m trying again but I’m torn between Explore and Refresh. Maybe I’ll use both! You’re down with three; I can be down with two.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Me too! 🙂

      I love both explore and refresh- nothing wrong with having two words! I think having more than one to focus on makes life fun!


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