Word of the Year – How to Choose Your Best Word

To some this post might feel like it’s a little late, but I don’t choose my word until late January or early February each year. I do this on purpose. If I choose something at the end of December, it tends to not really fit what I want to feel like in the new year. I seem to get caught up in all of the activity around me and get excited about possibilities that, in all reality, I don’t want. By waiting a little to choose my word each year, I’ve found that I’m more intentional about my choice and it fits my year and my desires much better.

But before I get too carried away with my choices for this year, let’s back up a little for those of who are just coming into this whole “word of the year” thing.

What is a Word of the Year?

It is a word that you intentionally choose to represent your life theme for the next year. It essentially guides how you approach the coming year.

The word you choose should be the essence of things you are striving for in your life and business for the upcoming year.

Before you get too far into the process of choosing, you need to decide if you are going to have one word for both personal and professional life. Or, are you going to choose separate words for each part of your life? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but you do need to think about it.

The chosen word is a reminder of what you are striving for in your life and/or business for the upcoming year. It also should inspire a push that will improve your life. You want it to challenge you to strive towards personal growth as well.

If you haven’t chosen a word yet, don’t stress, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for tips to finding your word. Plus, I’ve compiled a list of potential ideas from a variety of sources for you to download. Download the list here.

How to Choose a Your Word

Here are three quick tips on choosing a guiding word for yourself.

Choose one that challenges you but doesn’t drive you nuts.

What you choose should entice personal growth in an area that you really want to work on. It shouldn’t make you want to pull your hair out. Don’t feel the need to choose something in your biggest problem area that forces a massive amount of change quickly unless you’re prepared to take on that emotional rollercoaster.

You’ve got a whole year ahead of you to work on becoming better in this area. Slow and steady wins the race. Just a little change each day will make a huge difference in a few months.

Choose something that feels right.

Stay true to yourself and choose something that empowers you. Don’t choose a word because it impresses other people, or everyone else is choosing it. Don’t be ashamed to pick one that fits your personality even if you think it’s a word that no one else would understand or like. It’s your word.

Choose a word that gives you clarity.

Whatever you choose, make sure it gives you clarity on what you want for the next year. Try using it in full sentences that describe what transformation you see taking place. Everyone interprets words differently. Plus, you’re a lot more likely to follow through. Know what direction you’re going with your word and have clarity on what it means to you.

My 2021 Word

So, what did I choose for my 2021 Word? I actually chose two, BALANCE and FOCUS.

BALANCE is actually a repeat word for me because it is something I’m still struggling with. I’ve realized that my life is out of balance AGAIN. Over the past few years, I haven’t paid enough attention to my health and in late 2019 it put me in the hospital for almost a month. I tend to be the kind of person that is just go, go, go, without thinking about the costs of no down time. The quote by Lori Deschene sums it up perfectly.

I chose FOCUS because I tend to jump from one thing to another without ever really finishing anything. My hope is that by reminding myself to focus on one thing at a time I’ll actually accomplish more.

Hopefully, by choosing these for this year I’ll be reminded to slow down and enjoy life a little more, and to focus completely on what I’m doing in any moment. I even made shadow boxes with my words and hung them on the wall in my office to serve as a constant reminder.

What did you choose?

Let me know what word you choose to guide you in 2021. Let’s be accountability partners and remind each other on a regular basis of what we chose and what it stands for. Send me an email at janet@alifeofbalance.com or comment below.

Once you’ve chosen your Word of the Year, check out this post, Making Your Word of the Year Really Stick, for ways to incorporate your word into your life so that it really sticks.

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