Getting Some Action

by Rachel on January 3, 2011

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about 2011. And 2010 for that matter. As I said last year at this time, I’m a fan of resolutions. That said, I decided to do things a little differently this year.

For 2011, I’m not making a resolution. I’m simply choosing a verb.

I’m a big fan of verbs. What makes a sentence? A verb. What makes things happen? Verbs. What do I do when I’m running and bored? Think about guys I’ve hooked up with…or conjugate French verbs! What makes a good resume? Kick-ass verbs! From gerunds to present perfect, it’s a fine part of speech that serves us all very well. I only wish it had a more fun line in a sentence diagram — it totally deserves it.

Besides making shit happen, verbs are a very simple way to inspire. Verbs express action, so they can get us to do just that.

Before you do anything in life, you must select a verb. You can begin, or quit, or change. You can choose, share, trust, try, think, relax, open, hope, serve, speak, write, save, flee, organize, believe, commit, or give.

I actually wrote a college entrance essay on what single verb I would choose to represent me, and at the time, I chose play, to represent the way I always try to find a game in everything, and to seek out work that feels like play.

Although I didn’t officially choose a verb for 2010, one clearly chose me: own.

I realized last month that by simply applying “own it” to everything I did, I had a kick-ass year. I thought that perhaps this year, I should just choose a verb at the start. (Although I love how that one found me — and then found so many other people!) So instead of making a resolution, I’ve chosen a verb that represents everything I want for this year.

Invest reflects so many things I want to achieve this year. I want 2011 to be the year in which I learn to be patient. For the most part, I am not patient. For me, part of the “getting it” has always meant getting what you want when you want it. Sometimes it’s a good thing (hello, finding a job Texas in two weeks!) and other times it’s a bad thing (skipping workouts, binging on carbs, and then crash dieting).

Here are some of the ways I plan to use my verb this year…

Invest financially. Suze Orman would have a heart attack if she saw how little interest I have in saving money or paying off my credit cards. My biggest goal for 2011 is to invest wisely, which means when browsing, I will turn to my verb as a constant reminder to put my money to better use.

Invest in my home. You know how much I’ve been nesting lately, but one area I’ve been neglecting is my bedroom. I’ve been in Houston for six months — it’s about time I had some pictures on the walls! Without messing up my plans to invest financially, I want to make my bedroom look like more than a college dorm room. I can invest the cash I normally put in things like grabbing Starbucks or eating lunch out when I’m too lazy to pack it — not good investments — in things like a bookshelf, a mirror or picture frames, and some art for the walls.

Invest in real life. I never considered myself a time-waster, but I’ve begun to realize that some of the things that keep me busy on a regular basis aren’t necessarily the best investments. I’m the most plugged-in person I know, meaning my friends can always get ahold of me. That’s fine, but lately I’ve been finding that the extra “noise” created by always having my phone within arm’s reach is just too loud. I spend a lot of time reading blogs and e-mailing with other bloggers. While I love the Internet and love that I can connect with people anywhere and everywhere, I need to remember to invest in what’s real around me.

Invest a little time in my workouts. I’ve gotten better about sticking to a workout schedule, but I will always be the sort of person who likes to “get in shape for [insert big event here].” This year, I don’t want to do that. When I’m debating doing Core Fusion, I will use my verb to remind me to put in the work now, when it’s less painful. Instead of flipping out when a summer wedding rolls around, I’d rather know I’ve been investing in my body all year — no crazy amounts of last-minute boot camp necessary.

This will be a challenge. I don’t do well with delayed gratification — I never have. But I’m pretty sure that part of being a functional adult is being able to wait for the things that matter instead of going for the immediate pleasure.

Ah, but I do love me some pleasure…

It will be a learning process.

Even if you’ve chosen a resolution (and I’m sure you have, as today is officially The Monday Everyone Stars Resolutions), you can still choose a verb! Think about it — what is the one word, the one action, that sums up everything you want to do this year? Your word will be your most simple mantra, your one-word answer to any situation you’re facing in life. (Side note: I wish there was a verb for don’t be ridiculous. A simple command, like “ridiculont” or something, although that sounds like a spell from Harry Potter…)

Anyway, I’ve read a ton of resolutions, but I’d love to read some verbs, so once you’ve chosen one, please share!


{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane January 3, 2011 at 11:20 am

Mine was “No Secret Crushes.” I started two hours after the New Year, by confronting a dude at the party. I probably could’ve waited til I wasn’t wasted on gin, champagne, Fourloko and tequila, but then I wouldn’t be me. I didn’t get the answer I hoped for, but it’s cool. I just peaced out like the awesome person that I am. On to the next one!


2 Diane January 3, 2011 at 11:21 am

*OMG, I can’t even get my tenses right today! This IS my resolution for 2011. I don’t know why I said “was.” Augh, too early still.


3 Lauren at KeepItSweet January 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

I really like this! I think it would be really hard to pick just one word, but I think the one I like most is “do”. I don’t want to just think about ideas and plan and hypothesize, I want to actually do those things.


4 agatha90 January 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

I love this. I think I would have to go with something like ‘act’/taking action. I seem to always have the same resolutions but never actually resolve them. I just want to do things and not have any regrets like I have from 2010. Just to do things, and say yes to as much as possible.


5 Paige January 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

I love this idea and it’s definitely one I’ve been thinking of applying to this year. I think “invest” is fantastic, and it really embodies a lot of the projects/goals I have ahead of me as well. My other focuses are being more thoughtful (especially around doing better to acknowledge what other people do for me) and really going big with my ideas and goals (instead of aiming low to make things easier to achieve).

Clearly my verbs need a bit more refining.


6 Martha Lilian January 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

Balance! I want to balance all areas of my life (work, play, physical/emotional health and finances) over the course of the next 12 months.


7 shelby January 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

I love this post. What a great way to approach the whole resolution thing.

I think I would pick “commit” for 2011. 2010 was a fun year, but I was all over the place in terms of jobs, projects and priorities. I need to nail things down, and I think with that comes BELIEVING in myself that I CAN do what I want to do, which I guess makes two verbs for me for 2011!


8 Heather January 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

my word for 2011 isn’t a verb, it’s a noun – but it def speaks to who I want to be in life: COMPASSION. I can speak about this for HOURS (and probably will on THS, before 2012) but I feel like this word really chose me, a few weeks before new years, and it’s all I’ve been able to think about. I want to have compassion for others, yes, but I think it starts with having true compassion for myself. Compassion for myself is something I’ve really only discovered in the last year or so, and something I want to full dive into and encourage others to adopt as well, as I continue to learn what this means, and experience it fully.

Another one of my favorite bloggers also talks about One Little Word for the year – I think you will enjoy:

(and probably want a necklace, too, right? cause i do!)


9 Stephanie January 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

Great idea! I think mine would have to be *believe* I need to start believing in myself and my abilities rather than standing on the sidelines watching everyone else kick ass. I need to believe in true love rather than waiting for something crappy to happen to my relationship. I need to believe that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to! Good luck investing!


10 MelissaNibbles January 3, 2011 at 11:48 am

Great choice! My resolutions were to save more money and bone more dudes. So…invest and shag!


11 marie January 3, 2011 at 11:56 am

love this idea! Mine is “push” to push myself beyond my comfort zone….I mean, I’m already a pretty pushy broad so this shouldn’t be too tough for me!


12 Smash January 3, 2011 at 11:57 am

Wow, great post. Love the idea of a verb as your resolution.


13 Laura January 3, 2011 at 11:58 am

This IS totally fantastic. And I think it’s the perfect way to keep me motivated everywhere I go, because I’m going to plaster this shit everywhere.

Ready? Although not a verb, I think this isn’t only the word of 2011… but probably part of my mission and purpose in life.


I lack it. (I just heard Schwarzenegger in my head. HA!) But I truly think that anything can be achieved with discipline. Happiness, balance, health, success, ANYTHING!

So, I will aim to be more disciplined, and to not be so sloth-like and lazy. Gotta work out, DO IT. Gotta get up for work, DO IT.

:) This year is gonna rock.


14 Michele @ Healthy Cultivations January 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

My word for the year is Balance… because life lived in the extremes does not lead to extreme happiness. I believe it’s only through holding the tension of living in the middle in all areas that we can lead a full and graceful life.


15 Allison January 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

My resolution summed up in a word is “relax”. I am the type of person who stresses over everything. Normally, this actually results in positive things for me (landing a career related job at 22, securing an apartment, getting my butt to the gym). But I’ve come to realize that once I accomplish these things, the stress doesnt go away. Even fun things, like little blog projects, can lead to stress (am I sharing too much about my life.. what happens if things get too personal, etc. etc.) Enough is enough. From now on I’m willing myself to relax and do things on my terms.


16 Dorry January 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I posted about this today, too! I love your word – invest – it’s powerful in so many facets of life. My word is motion. This is the year I set things in motion after a year in 2010 of planning, dreaming, writing…it’s time for me to start doing.


17 Victoria January 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I think mine would be “extend”. Extend is kind of the one word version of “reach out” which is something I’d like to do more with people, but I also I want to extend my skills, my personal network and my capacity (for all kinds of things – love, going without sleep, learning, etc.!). All this will be good prep for hopefully going to grad school this fall.


18 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter January 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I know exactly what you mean by spending too much time plugged in and always on the computer. When I don’t have anything to do I ALWAYS go on the computer. Its horrible. I love reading blogs, but I do really need to spend more time in the real world.


19 the412view January 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

World Market is the best place for me to “invest” in decorations for my apartment. I don’t know if they have them in your city, but I cannot believe the quality and prices of their stuff. I also don’t have pictures on the wall in my bedroom, to me those are the most important one’s, so I’m waiting until I find the perfect decor!


20 Lindsay January 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm

At first, I thought this would be really hard, but then the word “grow” popped into my head. I’ve been thinking that I need to grow up a little. I’m doing OK, but I still feel like the kid who’s always late, forgets to keep in touch with people and is too lazy to cook a good meal. I want to grow up and take responsibility for the things I want to do in life, like keeping a workout schedule. I also want to grow as a person in that I try new things.


21 Stephanie @ LoveLaughterLight January 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

My verb for 2011 is: MOVE! I’m getting ready to move into a new home and I want to increase my physical activity one hundred-fold. I’m a couch potato…with butter, sour cream, chives and bacon!!! Anyyyyyway, when I move, I’ll be walking to work rather than taking the bus. I’ll be close enough to downtown that I can walk whenever the mood strikes when I need a B&N fix or want to take in a matinee at the UA Theatre. If I start slowly with walking and continue to adhere to WW, I can rock a swimsuit…in 2013!

All kidding aside, my resolution is to be more active, prepare healthy, mostly meat-free, meals and to create masterpieces with my mind.


22 Clare @ Fitting It All In January 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Own ME is one of my resolutions this year too!


23 Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) January 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm

If I had to choose one word it would be “balance” because i really need to find a better balance!


24 Danielle January 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Love this! I made this year without resolutions except to decide to live fearlessly (in other words to live completely in spite of and in the face of my fears because we all know they never all go away) so I guess my word would be L-I-V-E. Happy 2011 :)


25 Eleanor January 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

There are some great verbs in here!

I was thinking last week how I absolutely despise the traditional “resolutions” … and how lots of people say “I don’t like resolutions, so I’m going to set some GOALS.” (which to me seems like the same damn thing) so your idea of picking one verb struck a chord with me.

Mine is “Focus.” It seems to apply to all aspects of my life right now – especially the part where I need to focus on myself a little more, instead of trying to making other people happy first. Thanks for being awesome Rachel!


26 Krista January 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I like this New Year’s idea! My verb for 2011 is: Love. I want to love more and allow myself to be loved more.


27 Val @ Balancing Val January 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm


Your Investing In Life goal really hit home with me. Ever since I started blogging, I always have my phone or my iPad ready to just check something real quick or update this or that. I love blogging but im really starting to lose the connection to nature and personal relationships because of all the “noise” . . .

Thanks for the reminder to unplug every once in a while ;)


28 Rachel January 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm

glad to be of service <3


29 Colleen January 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I really love the idea of choosing a verb! Resolutions always feel so negative, I often resort to “goals” instead, but maybe this year I’ll choose a verb.


30 Keri January 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Mine would be “relax.” I tend to live my entire life at full speed, and work waaayyy too much. I also am a bit neurotic about organization and things going as planned, so I totally freak out when something goes wrong. This year I’m working on relaxing and letting things go when something doesn’t go right. I know I’ll need those skills to keep me from going crazy when I’m getting married and having kids, so it’s a good idea to work on them now!


31 Talitha January 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

<3 this. Now i need a dictionary! Get back to you when my light bulb glows bright!


32 Talitha January 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm

In 2011 I am…
‘Pursuing’ a better life. One filled with healthy food, abundant exercise, love, personal development and growth (hopefully financially!).
A red hot pursuit to a fuller life!


33 Rachèle @ a.k.a. jolie January 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm

What a fantastic idea!

I’d say the best way to sum up my goals for this year is “create”.

Create a fit and STRONG body. I’ve lost 70 pounds over the past year, and now I’m looking to sculpt my new thin body into a toned and BAD ASS body.

Create new crafting/baking projects. I’ve ignored my creative itch for too long due to lack of time and space to create. No more excuses!

Create a wardrobe I’m proud to wear. I’ve had to basically start over given the aformentioned weight loss, so now my goal is to create a wardrobe which allows me to stand out (in a positive way, I’m not talking slutty) and project my new found confidence in my body.

Create (and maintain) new relationships and experiences. I would like to put myself into new and perhaps uncomfortable situations in order to enhance my life and meet awesome minded people in the process! Most times I’ve gone out of my comfort zone, I’ve been glad that I did. I would also like to nurture the wonderful relationships I have my family, boyfriend and friends.

Thank you for this! I’ve had these ideas swirling around in my for a while now… who knew I would only need one word to sum it all up! :)



34 Rachel January 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm

This is great!! I love “create” and all the ways you are using it!


35 Bethany January 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm

What a wonderful idea!

So this doesn’t really match with the idea of verbs connoting action, but my verb would be… BE.

I am really working on just BEING who I AM — not who others want me to be, or who I think I ought to be.


36 Fit Girl January 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Happy New Year Rach! Hmmm, I like this! I think in an effort not to go completely insane, mine has to be ‘organise’ I have just been assigned as one of Nike’s official UK trainers which is an extremely exciting role but on top of running the gym, updating my blog, and training for some serious comps this year it’s a tad too much. As long as I can keep my ass organised, I should be good to go! Phew!!


37 Rachel January 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Oh, just working as one of Nike’s official UK trainers, no big deal…that’s AWESOME!


38 Dani January 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm

my verb? short and sweet :)


Some examples?

Be in the moment.
Be authentic.
Be kind.
Be the best me I can be at any given time (sound familiar? Glad you liked it btw *s*)
And with a tip of the hat in your direction,
Be invested!

(and a P.S. from left field – one of my favorite songs from Rent is “No Day but Today” and the line “My only hope is just to be” fits.)


39 Rachel January 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Love me some “Rent”!!


40 Dani January 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm

ps – Bethany – brilliant minds?


41 Bethany January 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Haha, yes!


42 Trinidad Pena January 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

I like balance or possibly… or Evolve… 2010 was the year I was hit over the head with shit I should have known… LOL!


43 Kaley January 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Just wrote about my word of the year, which also happens to be a verb. You can click on that link below for my latest entry. I really love this idea.


44 Kayla @ Let's Live Wholesome January 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Oh lordy, this was GOOD.

I wrote up some quick goals for 2011, but I love the idea of having a straight up VERB to make things happen.

I’m gonna have to think about this one…


45 Michelle January 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I love this concept, and after a few days of thought I came up with my own.. Take Care…of myself, my kids, my home, my husband, my finances. I have lots ( and I do mean LOTS of things)I would like to resolve and make perfect but that isn’t an attainable or sustainable goal. So in 2011, I will take care.


46 Melissa January 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I love this idea. I chose “begå”, which means commit in Swedish. After looking at venture, brave, flourish, blossom, develop, finish and conquer, I chose commit. I am working on learning Swedish, so I translated the word to Swedish. I wanted something that focused on committing and persevering to achieve my goals instead of starting and stopping, that spoke to actually accomplishing things. It is also a good metaphor for really focusing and paying attention to what I am doing in stead of multitasking all the time


47 kate January 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm



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