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I can’t think of a better way to start the week and the year than on a Monday. It’s also ideal to set the tone for the blog with my word of the year. 2017 ended on a delightful high, especially December, but wait, wait! Gosh, I am getting ahead of myself. This is what happens when you write under the veil of excitement, expectation and happiness. Come to think of it, that’s not a bad thing!

So, let’s get back to the word of the year.

I’m no longer one for resolutions and goals. A while ago (4 years if I am not mistaken), I realised that these things are fleeting, rarely maintained and can lead to disappointment. But, a slight shift in perspective and approach helped immensely. Enter the concept of a single word. How is it better than a goal?

My Word of the Year for 2018 and how I'm hoping it will help me. Click to Tweet

For one, it’s rather vast and all-encompassing. In 2015, I picked Happiness and in 2017 I picked ‘Peace‘. This year’s word is something that has been on my mind for a while now. Perhaps it came to me thanks to the latter half of 2017.

My word of the year for 2018, is going to be:

My Word of the Year

It was in 2017 that I truly understood the power of kindness and how it could inform every aspect of my life. Here’s how I am hoping it will help with my vision for a kinder 2018.

In Relationships

Family is a large part of my life- be it immediate relatives or the extended ones through marriage. The same goes for the people I am fortunate to call my close and trusted friends, both online and off it. In December, 2017, it was with some satisfaction that I wrote a post about going 800 days yell-free with my daughter. For someone who thought she could never stop yelling, four years ago, it was an eye-opener what kindness and positive parenting could bring about.

Similarly, it was only this year, after 16 plus years of marriage that I could confidently say I understand my husband well enough. Marriage is a work in progress. There is no perfect, dream destination. Every moment is one where we learn and grow together. Kindness has been a large part of that growth: where we are kind to each other’s health, our work demands, our parenting roles and our conversations with one another.

Friendships are tricky things. You think you know people extremely well, intimately so. Sometimes, though, things just don’t work out. There really is no fault to be laid at anyone’s door. Circumstances change, life goals diverge and you must feel grateful for the presence of those friends in your life when they were there. I found myself being unkind in my thoughts towards people and the worst part? I fell victim to blaming them for my state of mind. This was extremely harmful to my health, mental and otherwise.

That’s when I changed tracks. I opted for kindness and letting go of anger and hurt. It didn’t come easily to me, and I fell off the wagon more times than I care to admit. But practice helps. And with time, I’ve learnt that kindness helps with forgiveness.

In Writing & Blogging

The last quarter of 2017 has been one of the best periods of my blogging life. It started with making the switch to HTTPS in October. On the surface of it, that seems like a very trivial reason to change anything, but let me explain how it mattered.

Suddenly, I was facing the prospect of how important blogging was to me, as a person. It’s always given me greatest joy to write. Now though I felt a surge of joy when I contemplated the idea of lifting the blog to another level. I’m not talking about numbers, but the idea of seeing it grow as a resource for parents and bloggers.

In mid-October, I created a vision map for my blog. Closing my eyes, it came to me that the posts I enjoyed writing the most were of two types: the ones from the heart and the ones where I was helping people. At times, the two types converged into a single post. I decided it was time to be kinder to my blog, nurture it regularly, work on a better layout and make it a place where people could feel comfortable coming by to read, like they would at an old friend’s home.

That’s when I discovered and fell in love with the power of Pinterest. You may wonder how a visual search engine is connected to kindness! But it is! I took the time to find a picture, work on it with care, find out how it could connect with the reader and build interest in a post. This was me, being kind towards my blog and by extension, myself.

If that was kindness towards blogging, I found that writing wasn’t to be left behind. A short, personal essay I wrote in November touched many readers and that’s when another light bulb went off. I must cultivate writing regularly, like tending to a garden. Water it with care, watch it flourish.

So, starting today, January 1st, I intend to write every single day. It could be anything from 100 to 1000 words. Oh but don’t worry, it won’t be here or on my other blog. I will be doing it on Medium. You are welcome to follow me there and even join in, if you think this is something you’d like to try.

Do you have a word of the year? I started this practice in 2015 and loved how my year played out when I set an intention. Try it and tell me. What is your word of the year? #WOTY #Intentions #SelfImprovement #LifeLessons #Happiness

In Action

On February 19th, 2001, my Guru and guide gave me a watch. Handing it to me he said, ‘WATCH’: Watch your words, actions, thoughts, character and heart.’ These have always resonated with me but it is only now, nearly 17 years later that I think I understand what this means.

Harmony in thought, word and deed are crucial if we are to evolve as sentient beings. I had to put daily, conscious thought into my actions. Oh, how wonderfully mindfulness has come to my rescue here. And the evidence has been obvious.

The way I know that a conscious kindness practice has led to my being more patient with Gy.

How speaking softly helps me control my urge to yell.

How taking a moment to breathe and respond helps with regulating my emotions.

The way I learnt to stop gossipping about people.

And the best part? It all takes root in two crucial emotions: Kindness and Love.

In Receiving Kindness

Kindness is a wonderful emotion. It leaves you open to the warmth, goodness and peace in the world and also lets you welcome all of it into your own life. That’s precisely what happened in the last month alone.

December saw me win three awards for my work in the social media and blogging space. I am still blinking a bit as I say this because they all took me by surprise.

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What this taught me was something very simple and very satisfying: Do good and be kind and pretty soon, the Universe will turn around and do the same for you.

I pledge to be kind this year towards others, my work, my health, my writing, my blog and above all, to myself. If just 3 months of kindness can do so much, imagine what a lifetime of kindness can bring into your life.

And if you’ve read this far, I thank you for your kindness and ask you:

What is your word of the year?

***

*Featured & Pinnable images: courtesy Shutterstock

Comments

comments


28 Comments

Sanch @ Sanch Writes · January 1, 2018 at 7:30 am

Kindness is a lovely word and very underrated these days. I chose kind as my word in 2016 but unfortunately, I was anything but kind to myself that year.

I have chosen the word ‘Create’ as it fits in well with most of my goals for the year.
Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted Hello 2018My Profile

    Shailaja · January 1, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Hugs Sanch and Happy New year to you πŸ™‚

    May 2018 be your year to Create more and more and may it fulfill you completely πŸ™‚ I also pray that kindness follows you along all through the year.

    Thank you for being my first comment on the blog for 2018.

Rajlakshmi · January 1, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Kindness is such a beautiful word for the year. And since you provide so many helpful advice and tips, it is apt for your blog too. Congratulations on the Indiblogger award. As I said, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. You totally deserve it πŸ™‚
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    Shailaja · January 1, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you and how kind of you to say so, Raj! Have a lovely 2018!

Shalini · January 1, 2018 at 7:05 pm

That’s a beautiful word and I somehow resonate it so much with you πŸ™‚ You had a brilliant 2017! Have an even greater one! Congratulations again.
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    Shailaja · January 1, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you so much, Shalini. Everyone should have a supportive friend like you πŸ™‚

Ashvini Naik · January 1, 2018 at 8:59 pm

That’s an insightful post, Shailaja!

Kindness is so full of life, warmth & is the elixir of humanness. And it’s a privilege to be your reader. Every post of yours feels like having a life-coach patting your hand while being seated on a table of 2, discussing life matters. Your posts in the past have seriously helped me hold my temper back whenever my kid flouted my words.

Your awards are surely what a personality like you deserves.

My WORD OF THE YEAR is ‘Patience’.

And wish you a Happy & Fantastic 2018!

    Shailaja · January 2, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Thank you and you are too kind as always, Ashvini πŸ™‚ May 2018 be the patient year that you have set for yourself.

    Before you know it you will walk this path of patience with confidence πŸ™‚

Aditi Kaushiva · January 1, 2018 at 9:17 pm

A lovely words, Shailaja! Your kindness reflects in everything you do, and this is such an apt word. Thank you for always inspiring, to being there and sharing your wisdom always. Love!
I struggled with a lot of self doubt in the second half of 2017, so my phrase for this year is ‘creating with confidence’, a part of it is also to promote one’s work with as much confidence πŸ™‚

    Shailaja · January 2, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Your phrase is gorgeous, Aditi! A beautiful way to combine the practical and the artistic.

    Wishing you a wonderfully confident and creative 2018, my dear and thank you for your kind, kind words always πŸ™‚

Mayuri Nidigallu · January 2, 2018 at 9:20 am

That is a great word to pick, Shailaja. We all need to be kinder, if we wish to leave a better world for the next generations.
Congratulations on the accolades and wishing you many more to follow!

    Shailaja · January 2, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Thank you, Mayuri, so very much πŸ™‚ Your wishes mean a lot to me πŸ™‚

Rachna Parmar · January 2, 2018 at 9:55 am

You already know that kindness and empathy is a driver for me as well. It’s a great choice of word for the year, Shailaja. As you’ve mentioned, kindness makes one feel positive, energized and it is definitely easier to cope in a world that seems to thrive on negativity. I don’t do words of year but I do wish you good luck with your choice. I am sure you will rock it as you always do with what you put your mind on. So proud of you for all your accomplishments and I know that you will only do better in 2018.
Rachna Parmar recently posted Gratitude This December and for the Year Gone ByMy Profile

    Shailaja · January 2, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Thank you so much, Rachna πŸ™‚ It’s helped me tremendously in the last 3 months and I am hoping it will continue to fill my life in 2018 and beyond.

    Thank you for all your kindness and encouragement, as always.

Nibha · January 2, 2018 at 11:18 am

That’s such a beautiful word to choose! Lovely choice! Wishing you 2018 full of kindness! πŸ™‚
Nibha recently posted Dear 2017My Profile

    Shailaja · January 2, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Thank you and wish you exactly the same, Nibha πŸ™‚

Obsessivemom · January 2, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Congratulations on all the accolades Shailaja. You are doing good work through your blog. I love your word of the year. Kindness has been top of the mind for me too ever since I read Wonder. It is such a small way to make a big difference. I love your plan of writing 100 words a day. I shall join in too. If I can convert even half of them to blog posts my life is made :-). Have a super happy 2018.
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Deepika Ramesh · January 2, 2018 at 12:57 pm

What a beautiful word ‘Kindness’ is, Shy! I am not surprised about your choice because I see you practising it already. Kindness toward oneself and kindness toward the world — they are all we need and I am reminded of the beautiful passages from ‘Wonder’. Happy New Year to you and yours, Shy! Thank you for being kind. And I am asking 2018 to be kind to you. πŸ™‚ <3

Nabanita Dhar · January 2, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Kindness is such a wonderful word, Shailaja. I’m looking forward to your updates on this. Oh I forgot, Happy New Year to you πŸ™‚

So, glad to hear that 2017 was a wonderful year for you. I hope the same and more for you in 2018.

All the best. And yes, congratulations on all your wins !

Soumya · January 2, 2018 at 5:55 pm

Kindness is a such a beautiful word and so much in need these days. No one better than you can show how its done, Shy.

Wishing you a very happy 2018. Lots of love!
Soumya recently posted Action Replay: 2017My Profile

SHALINI BAISIWALA · January 4, 2018 at 7:43 am

Wow! You have chosen a very tough word in my opinion as we often tend to forget/overlook to be kind to ourselves! But I am sure you are going to rock it as you are one of the nicest bloggers I know of.
So happy to hear about your awards – congratulations and wish you loads of success for many more.
I wish you all the luck and joy in this coming year to practice everything dear to your heart – be it in life, relationships or the writing!

Vidya Sury · January 4, 2018 at 11:42 am

What a beautiful post, reflective and progressive, and most of all, so feel-good, Shailaja! First, congratulations on your many wins, and I am not referring to just the awards, but across various areas in life. You’re blooming even more fragrantly, and I wish you all the very best in achieving your goals. Kindness is a powerful word and a way of life. Like you, when I adopted it several years ago, I found it easy, but not always, because some hurtful things take a bit longer to heal. But kindness is something that takes us faster towards happiness and peace.

Sending you lots of love. Happy 2018 to you!
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Ramya Abhinand · January 5, 2018 at 11:37 am

So overwhelmed by your post Shailaja. Not only do I love your choice of word for the year, but just live the way you write your posts. So gentle and its such a pleasure to read it. Congratulations on your win!1 You deserve each one of them,

    Shailaja · January 5, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you so much, Ramya. Your kind words really made my day πŸ™‚

Shilpa Gupte · January 5, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Beautiful word, Shailaja…and something we all need today. Not just for each other, but for ourselves, too – to be kind, no matter what!
Congratulations, once again, dear girl. You are an inspiration to so many here, you know?
Shilpa Gupte recently posted Two words that will guide me through 2018.My Profile

Modern Gypsy · January 11, 2018 at 2:06 pm

What a lovely word you’ve chosen for 2018, and it’s one that I so relate to you! <3
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Why I made a vision board for myself as a writer and blogger · January 10, 2018 at 10:20 pm

[…] I shall be tuning my writing, my blogging, my relationships and my connection with myself towards my word of the year: Kindness. And in doing so, I hope that the vision turns into a reality that I can welcome as it unfolds each […]

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