Why You Should Choose a Word of the Year

Do you choose a word to guide your year?

I've been selecting a word of the year for about a decade and what I've found is that my word gives me permission to explore new ideas. I love the process and how it's evolved over time. Each word I’ve chosen feels right for a set period of time and I remember them all fondly.

Years ago, I chose my word by myself, with my last year's calendar in front of me so I could remember my main projects, life events, celebrations and struggles. Over the years, I started inviting my friends to join me and that evolved into what is now Celebrate You®. We start with a day of unapologetic dreaming called the Celebrate You Extravaganza and continue to gathering in self-discovery and celebration as we evolve.

Some sample words you might want to explore:

  • Intuition

  • Abundance

  • Health

  • Connection

  • Self-compassion

  • Boundaries

  • Savor

  • Self-care

  • Truth

Do any of those words speak to you?

If not, ask a friend to exchange notes with you. How would they sum up your last 6 months? And you do the same for them.

Or the next time you've got family or friends around the dinner table, start a conversation. "I'm thinking about choosing a word of the year. Who's in?" You’ll be amazed at what happens next! Kids get involved, the conversation deepens and you all feel connected. After you each have a word, it’s easy to check in with the group, maybe weekly or monthly, to see how their word is influencing them.

Have you chosen a Word of the Year for 2019 yet?

It’s not too late.

In fact, today is the perfect day to choose a word to guide you.

Here’s how my word picks bubble up—I reflect on all that’s happened and the major lessons that I’m learning (or not!) I might look at my calendar to see where I’ve been lately and what I’ve achieved and what I’ve struggled with. I think about how I’ve felt physically and emotionally. Word possibilities start to swirl around my mind and eventually one or two stand out. It might take a minute or a month to filter through the options.

The Gulp Factor

I know I’ve got my word when I see it in my mind and I get excited and a little nervous. My friend calls this “The Gulp Factor”—seeing the significance and meaning behind the word and being a bit awe-struck by the depth.

Poet and artist Mary Anne em Radmacher and I had a blast sharing our 2018 words and how they have impacted our year in this video. Not surprisingly, we both had more than one word to guide us. We also choose words regularly to impact our week, day and hour.

Mary Anne em Radmacher & me chatting about our words of the year

Mary Anne em Radmacher & me chatting about our words of the year

In this Video:

  • Our 2018 words and how they’re influencing our decisions this year (spoiler alert—we both have more than one word!)

  • How our words sometimes have a different purpose than what we imagined. How funny is that, Universe!

  • Some techniques to choose a word of the year

  • Our 2019 words!

How to choose your word Video

Why a WORD is better than a New Year’s Resolution

You know that exhilarating feeling of setting a Resolution in January… followed by that “oh well, guess that’s not going to happen” disappointment in March? Let’s avoid that. Setting a huge goal then realizing you aren’t going to do it isn’t kind to yourself. The classic example is “I’m going to the gym every day and I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year.”

That’s a BIG goal.

And there’s brain science behind why big goals fail most of the time.

Our brains just can’t handle that kind of massive change. We’ll have more success if we take tiny steps toward choosing new habits that support the big goal, like step one might be putting our tennis shoes by the front door for the first 3 days and step two might be putting on work out clothes the next 3 days.

See that? We haven’t even gone to the gym yet and we’re on day 7. But that’s how your brain works.

Instead, when you choose a word, it’s easy to incorporate that word into your day. Maybe your word is Health. “Health” will help you make micro-decisions throughout your day. Maybe you’ll take a smaller portion of breakfast. Maybe you’ll journal for 5 minutes. Maybe you’ll count your steps and challenge yourself to take 50 more steps each month. All of those actions support your word “Health”.

Get someone else involved for success

The other piece of successfully choosing a word is to have someone to talk to about your word. To have accountability on what you say you’ll do. To offer compassion when you forget. To encourage you when you need help. Family, friend, co-worker… find someone you can share this journey with.

You’re invited to join my tribe

You're invited to join the Celebrate You tribe for a day of unapologetic dreaming. A day of opening up to the Universe and partnering with magic. A day that holds laughter and self-discovery in an intimate setting. The Celebrate You® Extravaganza is a life-changing event that will provide clarity and focus, based on your values. Join HERE.

Let me know your word in the comments.