Do you choose a word of the year? I do. I've been doing it most years for a while now (can't quite remember how long, that's how long it's been!). I love the idea of having a guiding light for my year.
It can be hard to choose, though, and I feel a little bit like it's harder this year. I'm trying not to put too much pressure on 2021, but the feeling of needing something much better is hovering around me. So, in case you're new to choosing a word of the year or if you're also having a hard time choosing, I thought I'd share how I choose mine.
Choosing a Word of the Year
- Decide how you want to feel throughout the year while you're taking steps to reach your goal. For example, I want to feel like I am taking steady, everyday actions and steps that incorporate my goals into my daily life.
- Pick out some keywords that match that vibe you're aiming for. For me, I picked everyday, steadfast, persistent, consistent, regular, and practice. Pop open a thesaurus site (I love Power Thesaurus and Word Hippo) and start looking up your words. Follow some rabbit holes and click on words that stand out for your, and see if something resonates. It's fine if you have a list of words. Audition them and see what works! Or maybe even use more than one word.
- Don't feel like you have to commit right away. Spend some time with your words. Use them as prompts to do some journal writing for two minutes or five minutes (something short, whatever feels good for you). Write the words on sticky notes or index cards and leave them where you can see them in passing throughout your days and think about them as you're going along. Notice if any of them seem to draw your attention more than the others.
- Pick a word. There is no wrong choice. And you can always change. You could even change words every month or every season. Let yourself be flexible.
Ways to Use Your Word of the Year
- Look at your goals for the year and do a short journal writing session for each goal, writing about how your word might interact with that goal and how taking steps toward that goal would look if you're keeping your word in mind.
- Write your word at the top of your weekly planner spread (if you use a weekly planner, of course--you can also do this for a monthly or daily planner). This will remind you to approach the world with your word in mind.
- Make an art card (ATC, index card, whatever size you like) for your word and put it somewhere you'll see it regularly.
I hope this helps you decide on a word and gives you some ideas of how to actually use your word to help you with your goals. Drop me a note and tell me your word, and I'll tell you mine as soon as I've made a final decision.