Resolutions are great - goals and plans and dreams are awesome. But the practice of selecting one word to carry throughout the year that encompasses the many things that are meaningful to you for the year is one of my favorite things.
I first learned of this idea from an old scrapbooking friend Ali Edwards. She has a huge amount of information about the practice on her blog (going back several years, in fact) and it’s definitely worth the read if you’re interested in this idea.
WHY I CHOOSE A WORD each year
I love goals and dreaming big and planning things, so picking a word that can help me do those things has always seemed like a great fit. I’ve been doing this for several years although I don’t always finish strong with the word. I try…and in my opinion that’s better than nothing…for me. I’ve taken Ali’s class before and the content is amazing at keeping your word close to you all year long. Other years (like this one) I’ve purchased an item like this key necklace from The Giving Keys that can help remind me of the word that I have selected and why it is important to me.
HOW DOES THE WORD [CHOOSE] TRANSLATE FOR ME?
There are a ton of cute quotes on pinterest all about choosing joy or today I choose to be happy…those are simple, easy to remember and sometimes simple is the best. I wanted a word that put me in control. I wanted a word that reminded me every day that I could choose the way I saw the world and reacted to it. I could choose the things that I can control (like how often I exercise, what I eat, how much water I drink, how hard I work and how often I let my responsibilities slide). And I can choose how I respond to the things that I cannot control.
how to select your word
Every year towards the end of the year I start thinking about my current year and how things have gone for me and I start thinking about what’s coming up. What are the things that I want to go after? Who do I want to be, what do I need to stop doing? What do I need to do more of? Sometimes a word will just jump out at me, sometimes I will read through past OLW posts on Ali’s blog to see if something speaks to me. There really isn’t a wrong way to choose a word (or a wrong word).
Reflect on your past year
Look at areas in your life that you’re struggling with
Look at areas in your life that you want to create a change
Look towards a subject that interests you
Think about where you would like to be, how you would like to feel a year from now
ways to live your word throughout the year
The biggest thing about choosing a word for your year is not to forget all about it by the 3rd week in January. You took the time and selected a word that you felt was going to help you be the best version of yourself - don’t give up on it. (Now…if the word isn’t working for you in the way that you thought or a new word all of a sudden feels better for you there is no shame in changing lanes…you do you.)
Share your word with others and if you feel comfortable, let them in on why you selected that word
Take a class (ali’s class is amazing) and join a community of like minded people working on their word monthly
Purchase or create something that keeps your word visible daily
Create a pinterest board that celebrates your word with quotes and other things that relate to how you want your word to work for you in the coming year
Read the definition of your word and look for synonyms that you can also use to keep your word close.
Revisit your word every month if not more often. Set a reoccurring event on your calendar with a reminder to take some time to think back on why you selected your word and how you have been incorporating it into you life and how you can make improvements.
how this relates to your self care
Self care is all about making sure that you are taking the time to ensure that you are working towards being the best version of yourself. Sometimes this means working hard towards something and sometimes it means taking time to relax, reflect and refresh. You need to do what is best for you and if you select a word to carry with you throughout the year, make sure that you choose one that is in line with your goals for the year. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be but find something that pushes you a bit (whether it’s pushing you to work harder or pushing you to slow down) and brings you joy.
Have you picked a word for your year? I would love to hear about it - what it is and why you selected it.