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How to Choose a Word of the Year (and why you want one)

Choosing a “word of the year” is a popular trend that has gained momentum in recent years. Whether it’s a word that represents a quality you want to embody or a mindset you want to adopt, choosing the right word can have a profound impact on your life.

As the new year approaches, people are often eager to set resolutions and goals for themselves. I used to consistently set lofty – and poorly planned – goals that I inevitably broke within a week or two.

“I’m going to lose weight”

“I’m going to eat healthy”

Those were my two favorites.

Of course I didn’t stick to those goals – they were vague, undefined, unmeasurable.

If you are someone who likes to make new year’s resolutions, make sure that they are SMART goals.

However, instead of setting specific goals, choosing a word to guide you through the year can be a more effective way to achieve personal growth and development.

I personally prefer a word of the year, because I can then apply that intention to all areas of my life.

My very first word of the year – a few years back, now – was “shine”. As in, step out of the shadows and into my own light. Make it bright enough to help light the way for others, as well. Interestingly, that was the year I started this blog.

Other words I’ve chosen include “grow” “achieve” and “brave”.

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Understanding the Concept of a “Word of the Year”

Choosing a “word of the year” involves selecting a single word to serve as your guide, intention, or focus for the upcoming year. This word is meant to be a compass that helps you align your decisions and actions with your desired direction.

Your word of the year is meant to be a compass that helps you align your decisions and actions with your desired direction.

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The idea behind choosing a word of the year is to create a theme that will guide you throughout the year. A way to concentrate on new beginnings and forward movement.

It’s a way to connect with your intentions and aspirations and to stay aware of your goals.

Your word of the year should be a word that resonates with you and has meaning in your life. It should be a word that:

  • challenges you
  • inspires personal growth
  • encourages you to be your best self
  • helps you stay focused on your goals

Your word can be a new word or one that has been a part of your journey for some time.

Steps to Choose Your “Word of the Year”

Choosing a word of the year is a personal process, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.

You may want to choose your word based on a specific goal you want to achieve. It could represent a quality you want to embody. Whatever your approach, the key is to choose a word that feels authentic and meaningful to you.

Here are some steps to help you choose your word for the upcoming year:

Reflect on the Past Year

Before choosing your word for the upcoming year, take some time to reflect on the past year.

Consider what you have learned, what you value, and what you care about.

Think about the moments of hope and joy, as well as the challenges you faced.

This reflection can help you identify areas where you have seen personal growth, as well as parts of your life you want to change and improve.

Envision Your Upcoming Year

Once you have reflected on the past year, take some time to envision your upcoming year and what you want to achieve.

What are your goals and dreams?

What intentions do you want to set for yourself?

Your word should be something that motivates you and reminds you of your purpose. With the right word, you can approach the new year with a positive mindset and the determination to make meaningful changes in your life.

Finalize Your Word

After reflecting on the past year and envisioning your upcoming year, it’s time to finalize your word. Make it intentional and meaningful to you. It should inspire you to take action towards your goals and dreams.

Some possible words to consider include: embrace, peace, present, action, personal growth, relationships, adventure, compassion, progress, patience, gratitude, honesty, and forgiveness.

Choose a word that resonates with you and feels right for the upcoming year. Remember to be intentional, authentic, and committed to your word.

Implementing Your “Word of the Year”

Once you have identified your guiding word, it’s time to put it into action.

Here are some tips for implementing your word and making it a part of your daily life:

Create Daily Reminders

One of the keys to successfully implementing your word is to remind yourself of it every day. This can be as simple as setting a daily reminder on your phone or computer.

You can create a visual reminder like a poster or sticky note.

Or perhaps you will want to create a vision board or write about it in a journal.

Place your reminder in a prominent location where you will see it often, such as your bedroom or workspace.

Share Your Word

Sharing your word with others can help you stay accountable and motivated.

Talk to your family, friends, or coworkers about your word and why you chose it.

Committing to your word can help make you more accountable – you’ve told everyone what it is, so they will expect you to follow through!

You may even inspire others to choose their own words of the year!

Review and Adjust

As the year progresses, it’s important to take some time each month to reflect on how your word is influencing your life.

Are you seeing positive changes?

Do you need to make any adjustments to better align with your word?

“Intentional days create a life
on purpose.”

Adrienne Enns

Benefits of Having a “Word of the Year”

Here are some of the ways that having a word of the year can positively impact your life:

  • Focus and Centering: Choosing a word of the year can help you focus your energy and attention on a specific area of your life.
  • Motivation and Commitment: Having a word of the year can help you stay motivated and committed to your goals.
  • Reflection: Your word of the year can serve as a tool for reflection and self-awareness. By regularly checking in with yourself and your word, you can gain clarity on your values, priorities, and aspirations.
  • Positive Mindset: Choosing a positive word of the year can help cultivate a more optimistic mindset. When you focus on the good things in life, you are more likely to attract positive experiences and outcomes.
  • Personal Growth: Your word of the year can be a catalyst for personal growth and transformation. By choosing a word that challenges you to step outside of your comfort zone, you can expand your horizons and discover new possibilities.
  • Connection and Relationships: Your word of the year can also impact your relationships with others. By choosing a word that emphasizes qualities like compassion, forgiveness, or gratitude, you can deepen your connections with the people around you.

Overall, choosing a word of the year can be a powerful tool for personal growth, motivation, and self-awareness.

Regardless of the word you choose, your word of the year can serve as a guidepost to help you navigate your journey with intention and purpose.

Read More:

do you have a word of the year for 2024? let me know in the comments!

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