Words for 2016: Light. Still. Whole. Free.

My words for 2016 are light, still, whole, and free.  These words capture the way I want to feel.

I discovered the idea of “core desired feelings” from Danielle LaPorte’s work (learn more here).  I’ve found that when my goal is a desired feeling, any efforts toward it are inherently satisfying. It isn’t about a final destination or ‘achieving’ in traditional terms – it is about connecting to my internal compass.  It is about finding and appreciating the things I can choose to do in order to evoke the feelings I like to have.  The ideas I’ve listed below feel like invitations to myself, not a chore list.



1) Book a fun vacation

2) Try something new at least once a month

3) Experiment with a 2 week cleanse

NOTES: I am tracking the “new” thing I try every month in my Planner (ex: January = Ride the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier). The cleanse experiment is something I’ve wanted to try for awhile, just to notice the effects – I’m using this as a resource. 


4) Read 25 new books

5) Take more baths (aim for 1 a week)

6) Develop a more regular meditation practice (experiment with 5 times a week for at least one month)

NOTES: I read 25 books in 2015 and it brought me a lot of joy, so I wanted to maintain my focus on reading this year. I also have recently noticed how amazing my body feels when I take baths, so I’ve invested in epsom salts, a face mask, and a nice body exfoliant to look forward to mid-week.  I currently use the app “Breathe” for meditation, but please comment below if you use any others! I’d like to be more intentional with meditation because it really does help me feel still and settled. I’m going to see what happens if I meditate 5x/week for a month – I’m hoping it will help me establish the habit. 



7) Allow myself an exercise range of 3-5 times a week

8) Develop a more regular gratitude practice (write 100 six word gratitude stories)

NOTES: For the past few years, I’ve set a goal to workout at least 5 times a week and have held myself strictly accountable.  Success = 2 cardio + 2 strength + 1-2 (intense) yoga classes. Here’s the thing – I truly love the way exercising makes me feel, but I put a lot of pressure on myself and feel major guilt if I take a night off.  This year, I want to give myself permission for a range. Instead of telling myself, “you need to do more/be more,” I’ll ask myself, “what would someone who loves themselves choose today?” (*Thank you to Ellina for that question!)  One of my best friends, Corinne, says she thinks about exercise in two ways: 1) A way to bring more energy into her day, 2) A way to get fresh air.  I love the simplicity of this. My goal is to adopt this mentality, be more loving with myself, and decide what workout to do based on how I feel that day (vs. sticking to my prescribed regimen, because of my fear of “what will happen to my body” if I don’t). 

Also, last year I did an experiment where I wrote daily gratitude stories using only six words every day for a month. This idea was also inspired by Corinne, whose company is called Six Words Communication. Reflecting in this way really did increase my feelings of gratitude and wholeness – even reading them back brings me joy. I want to make this exercise a more regular daily practice. 

Here are a few of my “Six Word Gratitude Stories” from last year:

  • Extra hour, keep catching the time.
  • A job with everyday fresh air.
  • Greg. Greg. Greg. Greg being Greg.
  • Restful, peaceful, open, easy, connected day.
  • Five-year-old aliveness, kindness, sweetness.
  • Workout buddy to make it happen.
  • Scarf, layers, cool weather, chilled air.
  • Greg for lifting/lightening the load.
  • Sleeping in, morning light, Canadian coffee.



9) Go on a “soul retreat” with women who inspire me

10) Be unplugged (block off at least 3 hours each week)

NOTES: I had the most profound experience a few years ago when I attended a women’s soul retreat in Arizona. It was the first time I truly felt connected to nature – to the wild around me and within me. I want to do this again.  I also am drawn to the idea of being ‘unplugged.’  This could mean going on a hike in some remote part of California, going out for dinner with friends and not bringing my phone, or just being in my apartment with my technology turned off for a few hours. 

So that’s where I’m at for this year. I also keep a “30 by 30” goal list that I’ve been working on since I turned 26. It includes more long-term goals (financial, career, travel, etc.) that I’m conscious of and chipping away at, but these are my more immediate points of focus for 2016.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you have, and if you have words for this year, please share! It would absolutely make my day. 🙂

❤ Kailea

4 thoughts on “Words for 2016: Light. Still. Whole. Free.

  1. Wow, love this so much. Love the words. I’ve just discovered the Desire Map and am trying to come up with my words. How long did it take you to find yours. Love the goals for each. And I LOVE those 6 word gratitude stories. I’m inspired to try it!


    1. Hi Juni! Thank you so much for reading! To answer your question about coming up with my words, I had a few girlfriends over one night at the start of January and we did the Susanna Conway yearly reflection program (it’s free to download and it is called “Unravelling 2016”). This helped me identify a short list of words. I sat with the words for a few weeks and edited/narrowed the list down until it felt right. 🙂 I love your blog! It looks like we have a similar aesthetic. I wonder if there is a way we could collaborate?


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