The Blog.


31 Dec 2013 | 12 Days of Christmas, Personal Productivity

I love setting goals – the act of declaring that I’m going to make something happen. Some of my favourites this year were: “run a 10k race” (tick!) and “use my passport” (tick, tick!)

I also love speaking out hopes and dreams, like the one in 2011 that went something along the lines of “I’ve always wanted to write a book…

But there is something I’ve never quite liked about New Year’s resolutions. Then I stumbled across this article, which hit the nail on the head as to why:

– Lose 10 pounds (it goes up by five pounds each year)

– Finish writing my book

– Be a better mom

– Volunteer

– Workout 6 days a week

– Take up yoga

– Visit with friends more

– Spend an hour with God every day

…all of these…are rooted in feeling like I’m not enough—not writing enough, not slim enough, not spiritual enough, not fit enough, not a good enough friend or mom and not a giving enough member of the community.

My underlying message seemed to be, “you have to do better, because who you are right now isn’t making the cut.

~ Claire De Boer, She Loves Magazine

No wonder we don’t keep New Year’s resolutions.

Time for something new.

Something empowering rather than defeating, inviting instead of berating, simple not complex.

Something like One Word.


One word is an idea I’ve been toying with for a while, and one I know others to have used in the past – Selina, Diane, to name a couple (and Chris Brogan who goes for 3).

The last few years I didn’t choose a word, but a word was definitely there.

2011 was Voice: the year I became a speaker and started singing again.

2012 was Breakthrough: the year I became an author, a runner, a fairy and a ninja!

2013 has been a year of Growth: growing roots, digging deeper and growing up – personally and professionally.

This year I’m deliberately choosing my word: REACH

Reach is a word that has purpose and direction. To me it is a verb, an action, an attitude. One of movement and eagerness. It’s about:

Reaching up – instead of laying low. Standing tall above the parapet, taking bolder risks, stepping up. It’s an act of being open and visible – like a plant that flowers to show the world what it has to offer. Beautiful, scary, risky, vulnerable, and necessary.

Reaching out – instead of staying hidden. Engaging with a wider audience, encouraging more people. Getting out there into the wider world, further afield from the comfortable corner of my world.

Reaching across – with those around me. Reach isn’t going to be something I intend to or can do alone. It’s going to be a team effort. A family effort. With my husband and children most of all. And my wider family of friends, ninjas, professional contacts and networks. Think Thelma and Louise as they go hand in hand (although maybe not off the cliff).

As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

What about you? What’s your one word?

As the folks behind #OneWord365 put it:

“Your word can be anything you want. All that matters is that it has personal meaning for you. It can be something tangible or intangible. It can be a thought, a feeling, an action, a character trait. Your word will stand as a reminder, a nudge. Something you can reflect on, that will challenge you, inspire you. A touchstone you can return to time and time again to help you stay the course this year…

What do you reckon? Fancy giving it a try? Let me know which word you choose for 2014!


  1. Bev Murrill

    Well done, Grace… fantastic article, great perspective. Great word! I think mine might be Innovate…although I haven’t decided for sure yet.

    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks Bev! Innovate is great, and very apt for the way you’ve kicked off your year with so much ‘newness’. Looking forward to seeing what you decide for sure 🙂

  2. Barbara (Another Gorgeous Day)

    Believe is definitely my word…..thanks for your 12 days of Christmas. Great posts and so helpful. Goodluck with your “reach”.

    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks Barbara. Delighted you enjoyed them and found them helpful. I had fun creating them! Believing for a brilliant year ahead for you Barbara. Looking forward to seeing it in action.

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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