After a season of festive surroundings followed by the anticipatory countdown to midnight, the new year is a time to take stock. It’s an opportunity to lean back, dig deep and discover the virtues of new beginnings…once again.

“What do you want 2016 to look like?”
“What do you hope to accomplish?”
“How exactly do you plan to get there?”

As these kinds of questions persistently pound on our decorated doors, what can we do to make sure we’re truly open to the right answers?

While you may not be a fan of new year’s resolutions, you might be swayed by the notion of finding creative ways to inform personal or professional transformation. For example, think about a word (or theme) big enough to inspire your upcoming year and interesting enough for you to remember. One of our colleagues recently chose the word, “happy.” Sure, we all want that, but there was a back story to the word. Her goal was to pursue happiness for no apparent “outside” reason. In other words, she didn’t want to rely on other people, places or things to do the trick. Instead, she wanted to be happy for the sheer sake of it. It happened. Well, most of the time. To support her transformation, someone on the Neka Creative team gave her a box of “happy” cards––beautifully designed to enjoy and share. So, in that spirit, here are a few of them:

“Do not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, that the miracle is in the here and now.”  – Marcel Proust

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”  – Dalai Lama XIV

“Life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be.”  – Grandma Moses

The “one word drill down” is not new to brand development or the entertainment business for that matter. It’s been said that Francis Ford Coppola pursues the one or two-word technique to inform his movie themes. Seems to have worked for him.

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain

Sure, it can take time to drill down to one or two words but the results can be life changing. They can be brand changing as well.

So, what’s your word… for you personally and for your organization?