And I have dedicated an entire podcast episode over on The Good Life Unravelled to talking about my experience with choosing a Word of the Year.
Quick links to information on this page
WHAT IS A WORD OF THE YEAR?
Every year, at the start of each year, I choose a Word of the Year instead of New Year’s Resolutions. The word that resonates with you the most is your word of the year.
It will be your promise, your guide, your mantra for the year ahead. It is usually something you need more of in your life right now. Often it is something you need to expand on. Or it might simply be the direction you want for the next 12 months.
I find the process of choosing a Word of the Year to be incredibly satisfying. It requires a great level of mindfulness and intention to focus on what matters to me.
I also find that by choosing a word of the year I maintain a focus throughout the year when life does its thing and times get tough.
Having a word of the year is like having a theme for the year instead of New Year’s Resolutions.
WHY WORD OF THE YEAR IS BETTER THAN NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?
Unlike New Year’s Resolution which often have a kind of ‘pass or fail’ mentality to them, and more often than not just set you up for failure, a word of the year allows for flexibility. It allows for things going wrong, for times getting tough, for losing track.
Using a Word of the Year instead of a New Year’s Resolution is a kinder way to grow. It is a softer way to develop. It is a gentle guide through the year.
Picking a Word of the Year has given me the guidance and focus I need without the option to fail. And that is a far more productive and efficient way to grow.
A word of the year is a great alternative to New Year’s Resolutions.
MY PERSONAL PAST WORD OF THE YEAR
2020 – Thrive
2019 – Empower
2018 – Focus
2017 – Joy
2016 – Strength
2015 – Connect
2014 – Abundance
DOES THE WORD OF THE YEAR PROCESS WORK?
Absolutely. I have been choosing a word of the year for 6 years running because it actually makes a difference. I see results in my life. I know that it can shift my mindset and help me live a life that takes me in the direction I need it to.
For example, the word I chose in 2014 was abundance.
For that year I welcomed and encouraged abundance into all areas my life. I looked for abundance in love, work, money, and opportunities. I kept abundance in mind as much as possible as I went through the decision-making process of life.
The result was that I finally believed that I deserved more. For the first time in my life, I truly let myself believe I was allowed to earn money. I allowed myself to love without fear. I sought out new opportunities and took new risks. I started to grow my blog and business. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and developed new skills, rekindling old ones. I embraced abundance in all areas of my life. My word of the year worked!
HOW TO CHOOSE A WORD OF THE YEAR
Reflect on the past year and look forward on the kind of things you want to achieve in all areas of your life.
Consider the parts of your personality/mindset that you would like to improve upon.
Focus on the position you would like to be in 12 months ahead of now.
Stop at the word that you keep repeating back to yourself time and time again. The word that sticks in your mind. The word that just feels right.
The word that resonates the most with you is your WORD OF THE YEAR.
Don’t worry or rush the process. It doesn’t matter when you finalise your word of the year. Some people find theirs within a day. Other times it takes days or even weeks. I have a friend who picked their word of the year a few months into the year. It’s the process that makes the difference.
And as I said before, this is a kinder way to think about the year ahead than setting new year’s resolutions.
I NEED WORD OF THE YEAR IDEAS!
If you need a bit of help in coming up with your values and choosing a word of the year for 2020 I have put together hundreds of words on the Word of the Year Workbook. Hopefully, there are some words there to inspire you.
WHAT DO I DO NOW WITH MY CHOSEN WORD?
Once you have chosen your word of the year, treasure it. This is your guide, your mantra, your promise to yourself.
The next step is to decide how to bring this word into your life. This all depends on the type of person you are, and how you know your mind works.
I know some people like to do a creative project to celebrate their word of the year. They might make a craft, DIY, or piece of art that centres around their word of the year. Others might write their word on a post-it note and stick it above their desk.
You might like to write your word on the front of your diary, journal, or notebook. Maybe you’ll make it your screensaver on your computer or phone.
You might want to make the word look pretty and display it in a frame somewhere prominent that you will see every day.
If you are less reliant on visuals, you might repetition helpful. That is, as you would with a mantra, repeat the word to yourself either out loud or in your mind every single day.
Maybe you’ll share your word of the year with others for the sake of accountability.
Perhaps you could go through this exercise with a friend or loved one to empower one another.
The key thing is to keep your word of the year in the front of your mind as much as possible. Eventually, that word will start to become part of everything you do. It will become an integral part of your mindset in all areas of your life.
And that’s where the magic will happen. That is when you will see those subtle shifts that make you and your life move in the way you hope for.
IT’S HARD TO STAY POSITIVE WHEN LIFE STUFF HAPPENS
I have been through some of the hardest years of my life, and some pretty dreadful circumstances, all whilst having a word of the year.
Life stuff happens. There will always be challenges, things that cause us stress, moments that catch us out.
The thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that the moment life stuff happens and throws us off our path we feel like we’ve failed and often abandon the goals and resolutions.
But with a word of the year you can still use it to steer you back on track. You use it to make better decisions. You use it to ground you when things are hard, or you feel bad about yourself.
Choosing a word of the year is more about the journey, which is exactly the point of life. There’s no specific arrival in life, simply the journey.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
Remember, the process of choosing a word of the year is intended to be mindful, grounded, inspiring, and empowering. There is no rush to pick the word. Be honest and truthful with yourself. Pick the word when you are ready, or when the word finds you. This is a kinder process that allows for expansive thought and reflection.
Again, if you’d like to use my free workbook to guide you on choosing a word of the year with an epic list of the word of the year ideas you can download it for free using the box below.
I hope that this new year and new decade brings you much joy, light, love, and good health.
Have you ever picked a word of the year? How did it go? Did you find it useful? What effects did it have on your life?
Likewise, will this be your first time picking a word of the year? Let me know how you find the process. I’d love you hear from you if you use to download and use my free workbook to help you with choosing your word of the year.
Happy 2020, and I hope the good life unravels for you.