Ah, the beginning of a new year. Looking forward–with excitement, with anticipation, with resolution–to the 365 blank days stretched tantalizingly ahead. Mentally filling them in with hopes, dreams, possibilities. Vowing that this is the year that positive change will happen.

By this point in my life, I understand one thing about goal-setting: keep it simple. So when I sit down to make my New Year’s Resolutions, that’s how I start out. “Keep it simple and do-able,” I tell myself. “What do you really want to do this year?” And then I’ll decide that this is the year I’m going to write my novel. So I’ll scratch that into my goal sheet:

#1 – Write a novel.

Then I’ll think, “Also, my parenting skills could use a little sharpening.”

So I’ll add another item:

#2 – Be more consistent at discipline.

Then I’ll think, “I really would love to keep in better contact with my brothers and sister.” And thus,

#3 – Call one sibling each week.

That looks good. I should stop there. But then I remember that this is the year that I wanted to learn how to make a cheese soufflé. Not a big deal, right? So I add that to my list. And it isn’t long until my hand is cramping up and I’m adding things like “#87-Listen to the news every day with the children,” “#88-Learn how to do a five-strand Dutch braid,” “#89-Read something in Spanish at least three times a week,” “#90-Invite someone over for dinner at least once a month,” “#91-Volunteer at the soup kitchen,” “#92-Give up sugar and white flour,” “#93-Take horseback riding lessons.”

After that, I spend a lot of time putting together a spreadsheet demonstrating how I am going to make all of these goals a reality. Because, you know, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. But I–I AM GOING TO PLAN TO SUCCEED! Because I am determined! THIS is going to be the year that I do all the things I want to do! This is the year that I become the Best Me Ever!

I then spend the next two weeks diligently checking items off my daily, weekly, and monthly goal charts.

Then, on week three, I get tired of constantly doing productive and good things and spend the next three days in a row watching television and eating as much processed food as I can get my hands on.

On week four I jump back onto the bandwagon, but with a little less fervor than before.

Around week six I decide I like TV and processed food more than I like becoming the person of my dreams. Because, to tell you the truth, I HATE having every moment of my life dictated by a spreadsheet.

Sound familiar? (Please say yes.)

Which is why I love Adoption.com’s push to have its readers pick a single word theme to focus on in 2015.

That’s right. One word. We’re asking you to pick a single word that encompasses what you want to bring about in your life in 2015. A word that you are willing to sit with, to contemplate, to journal about, to hang on your wall, to write on your hand, to sing about, to dance about . . . you get the idea.

Picking a single word theme for the year is a simple and beautiful and non-dictatorial way for you to bring about meaningful change in your life. It’s a way to focus on becoming, rather than simply doing. And when you become, the way you do things will change. Gently. Simply. Naturally.

Integrating a theme word into your life is like planting a seed. You will need to nurture it, water it, weed around it, and make sure it gets some good sunlight. You certainly can’t neglect it. But, on the other hand, a growing seed isn’t something that demands all your energy, either. You don’t have to be out there by it all the day long. Just plant it, check on it once in a while, and wait. Good things will come.

So! Join us and see what a single-word theme can do for you in 2015.

Here’s how we want you to get involved:

Pick a theme word for 2015. Think about how you want to tie your word into your own adoption journey. (Maybe it’s time to FORGIVE someone. Maybe it’s time to OPEN your heart, your home, your arms. Maybe it’s time to FOCUS on the things that are most important. Maybe it’s time to PERSIST through disappointment, frustration, and even failure.) Consider picking a theme for yourself as well as a theme for your family.

Share your word on social media, using the tag #adoptionthemeword

Ask your friends and family to support you and your theme in 2015.

Follow “I Love Adoption” on Facebook. We’ll be creating a folder of memes to help you share your theme word with your social media friends and family. Check back throughout the month; we’ll be making new memes as the month goes on.

Visit Adoption.com regularly to read about how other members of the adoption community are selecting and integrating their one-word theme this year.

Happy New Year!