It's that time of year — the end of a year. Traditionally we take stock, reflect and prepare for what will come in the new year.

Of course, there is much we can't prepare for.

We don't know what adventures or what difficulties and challenges the next twelve months hold.  We hold that uncertainty at bay by making resolutions, and setting intentions for the coming months. Resolutions are our way of deciding who we will be next year, regardless of what circumstances come our way.

Only it usually isn't as preemptive as that. Our resolutions are paper-thin when the winds of change blow.  They don't make us more sturdy or flexible when we need to be.

There are lots of psychological reasons for this, but I don't want to analyze what doesn't work. I want to move towards something that holds a promise of helping me steer into the winds of change with a positive energy.

I think I've found an idea, and it came from a blog I recently discovered. (One of the fun parts of working on a Web site is looking for other blogs and sites that can give us some new perspectives. More about helpful links coming in 09 … stay tuned.)

This blog is written by a singer/songwriter who has lots of creative ideas about living large. In a recent post, Christine Kane ( ) invited her readers to do new year's differently.

She suggested that we each pick a word for the year. Find a word that inspires, challenges, comforts, reminds us of how we want to live, and who we want to be.

During the month of December she has invited readers to write a short piece about their experience living with a word during 2008. It was fun and energizing to read what happened with so many folk. They chose words like courage, gratitude, kindness, balance, insight, generosity, and so on.

I am going to offer you that possibility this season of new beginnings. Don't make another set of resolutions. Instead, pick a word, or let one pick you.

I borrowed Christine's list to get you started:( )

  • Compassion
  • Delight
  • Generosity
  • Effortlessness
  • Wealth
  • Gratitude
  • Abundance
  • Creativity
  • Willingness
  • Change
  • Growth
  • Freedom
  • Mastery
  • Kindness
  • Health
  • Presence
  • Acceptance
  • Courage
  • Confidence
  • Self-Love
  • Action
  • Forgiveness
  • Systems
  • Forgive
  • Plan
  • Release
  • Trust
  • Knowing
  • Patience
  • Friendship
  • Fun
  • Grace
  • Laughter
  • Love
  • Expansion
  • Exploration
  • Adventure
  • Openness
  • Discipline
  • Awe
  • Awareness
  • Risk
  • Gentleness
  • Choice
  • Spirit
  • Prayerfulness
  • Power
  • Allow
  • Artfulness
  • Attention
  • Beauty
  • Joy
  • Focus
  • Ritual
  • Heal
  • Order
  • Clarity
  • Pioneer
  • Peace
  • Laziness
  • No
  • Yes
  • Deliberate
  • Commitment
  • Savor
  • Integrity
  • Listen

Allow what "pops" for you, and then live with that word, or let it live in you. See if you get a bit of strength, or a navigational tool to move you in the right direction this year.

It's tough enough living with arthritis — let's take every bit of help that's offered! Let me know what you discover.

See you in the new year.