How to Pick A Word of the Year
whether or not you are super into making ‘new year’s resolutions’ or setting goals, the start of a new year is an excellent time to get a fresh start and set some solid intentions.
before we get into the particulars of goal setting…please know that this whole ‘goal setting’ doesn’t come naturally to me and i resisted for many years, much like i still resist eating an variety of vegetables. as you may know, i’m married to a motivational speaker (really a “motivational live-r” in general) and BIG dreams and goals are second nature to him.
after i stopped resisting setting goals (and i even eat asparagus now) and wrote down a few, i was pleasantly surprised how they didn’t suck as much as thought it would. i even started accomplishing them.
this was the first year i set a ‘word of the year’ and it’s been BOLD! the point of picking a single word is so you have some simple yet profound to set some of your goals around as well as reminding yourself to be stretched. i chose bold in 2014 because it was my first full year of being a full-time entrepreneur, i had speaking opportunities in far away places that terrified me, traveled a ton (did you know i’ve struggled with anxiety) and was nervous to try new things.
having the word ‘bold’ as my word of the year helped me find the strength to say yes to things.
let’s get down to business (like in mulan) on how to find your word of the year:
1) do the big things you want to accomplish next year have a common theme?
for example, this year my husband set a lot of goals around increasing his speaking skills so his word was “speak.” he wanted to increase how often he spoke, the size of his audience, his fee and to really solidify what he speaks about so this was an appropriate word for him.
2) what is a word that will motivate and inspire you? there will be cold and rainy days (both outside and inside your own head) when it’s hard to convince yourself to keep up with your goals and change/enhance your life.
for example, when i was offered the opportunity to give a 45 minute workshop in china, my initial (and common reaction to most things) is to say ‘nope! no thank you. that’s terrifying and i’ve never spoken to an audience in asia, let alone about relationships and the mere thought of doing so is making me want to pass out.”
instead, i reminded myself that my word this year is BOLD and it would be a bold action for me to say “yes, i’m still scared but yes i’m being bold and i will do it.” and i did (and i didn’t even pass out).
3) choose a word that feels right for you, not what you think others want you to pick. this is about your life, your dreams and your goals so take time to think about what word can help encourage you the most.
this is the process i went through to find my word of the year and it is:
i decided on this word because although this year i was bold in many areas (like also speaking in toronto, sticking up my beliefs, growing this blog and sometimes even making phone calls because i truly hate them), i really struggled with confidence.
because i have zero background in business, i often feel inadequate running businesses with my husband. since my background is in social work, that is really the only field that i feel somewhat capable in and since i’m going about using my skills in a nontraditional path, i find myself feeling a lack of confidence in belief i’m capable of more.
this is why i chose “capable” as my word of the year. it’s a reminder to myself that i am capable of being successful in an unconventional way. i am capable of learning new skills and coming up with ideas. i am capable of making money on my own (as opposed as through a traditional 9-5 job) and i capable in my abilities exactly as i am. i’m also realizing that nobody really knows what they are doing so i’m at least as capable as others around me!
here are some ideas to help get your juices flowing in picking your own word:
- healthy: maybe you want to eat healthier and lose weight or gain muscle so your word may be “healthy.” this serves as a reminder to get up and walk, order salad instead of fries or do 2 more reps.
- grow: perhaps you are feeling stagnant in where you’re at in life and want to grow and evolve. this will help you take on new opportunities to expand your mind or maybe even your business or career.
- love: who doesn’t want to feel more love in their life? this could be a great word if you are wanting to experience more love within your marriage, other relationships and most importantly…yourself.
- family: maybe your career has taken hold and you want to get back to putting your family first. this is a powerful word to serve as a reminder to get home in time for dinner, stop checking your emails and engage with your family.
- observe: with the digital age exploding, our minds are in a constant state of distraction. this word can help bring forward being present and taking time to observe the world around you.
- action: sometimes life gets overwhelming and we are afraid to take action (totally guilty of this) so this word serves to remind you to take action instead of being a bystander to your own life.
other ones: strong/adventure/happiness/increase/fun/business/curiosity/art/expand/music/etc.
i’d love to hear what your word of the year is and please feel free to pass this article along to a friend a family member so you can both hold each other accountable for your word of the year!
1) have you picked a ‘word of the year’ before?
2) pick one and share with me why!
3) did you grow up setting goals or is something newer to you?
ps. stay tuned for an exciting announcement tomorrow specifically for strong woman looking to use their voice to make a different! this is me definitely utilizing my new word of “capable!”