Several years ago, I stumbled across this idea of ditching the standard New Year’s resolution in favor of one word to focus on for the next 365 days. As someone who already dislikes resolutions (be honest: how many of them have ever worked out for you?), the concept of one word intrigued me. What opportunity! That single word could be anything–anything that inspires us and propels us forward on the path to our goal(s). It could be a small word, big word, or something in between. It’s whatever you need it to be.

I don’t remember what I’ve chosen in years past. I tried searching Facebook, but the data could not be found. However, years are often marked by a single word for me, even if I didn’t commit to those words in January. My 2013 was “The Year of the Dragon” with a focus on challenging myself and dominating things that scared the hell out of me. My 2014 was dubbed “The Year of the Phoenix” in light of rising from the ashes of divorce and starting over.

This year, I’m trading in the mythical creature theme for something more basic: reconstruction. I wrote about this back in April, but I wasn’t ready yet. I’m ready now. It’s time to roll up my sleeves, grab a shovel, and start removing the shit that doesn’t matter.


I’ve been hemorrhaging money since 2010. Much of it went to paying for a wedding, buying a house (and things to put in the house), graduate school, living on my own after the divorce, and medical bills–all things that generally accrue a little debt. But some of it was spent on shit I don’t need, experiences I don’t even remember, and fair-weather friends. I worked my butt off to diligently pay down my debt for 2+ years to have almost no credit card balances in the beginning of 2010 only to become a victim of the debt snowball–a snowball that turned into an avalanche that is crushing me.

But it’s more than just money. I’ve saddled myself with the weight of insignificant BS: caring too much about disappointing others; the fear of being wrong; unanswered questions from my divorce; loss of some of the greatest loves of my life; beating myself up for not being more of this, that, or whathaveyou… At the heart of it, I’ve packed my life full of emotional junk, and it’s time to drop the dead weight.

The fire of 2014 consumed much of everything I had, but like the phoenix, I was reborn in the flames. Now, I’m ready to rebuild my nest with the things that matter most in life: an unshakable foundation of self-knowledge and self-worth; sticks and twigs consisting of financial security, moving forward in my career, and professional development; and a soft lining made of good times, true friends, and helping my community.

I welcome you, 2015, The Year of Reconstruction. Hard hat optional, but keep your eye on the prize.

What’s your word for the new year?