Merry 3rd Day of Christmas! Today is also Call A Friend Day. Here’s a good question to ask your friend…
Have you ever used a word of the year?
A word of the year is a motivational word or phrase of the year that is relevant to you and your goals. For example, if your word is “fitness,” your goals might include a healthy diet, regular exercise and massage. Your one word is a beauitfully simple way to maintain your focus on an an area of self-improvement…and it can help you power through times when you feel discouraged or unmotivated.
For example, one year, my word of the year was self-care. When I encountered obstacles or setbacks, I said to myself, self-care, self-care, self-care, like a mantra. I made a self-care kit. I created self-care challenges to complete each month. I read about self-care. I wrote down in my planner the self-care activities I completed. My devotion to my word and my goal made an aspiration into a daily habit that had wonderful impact on my wellbeing. It transformed the way I treated myself. My focus on my self-care also enabled me to achieve other goals.
The Power of One Word
Having a word (or two or three) that you can keep in mind for a year — or as long as you need it — is a way of embracing your personal power to change your life for the better. You can decide to that your life will be different today and make positive changes. Change does not happen overnight but in a year, you can achieve great things. Some people feel stuck in negativity or in habits that do not serve them. We all have had negative experiences and dealings with unsupportive people and it is natural to feel discouraged about those things, sometimes. However, you do not have to allow those memories of the past to shape your future to the point where it undermines what you want to achieve for yourself or to build healthy relationships. If you are stuck blaming others or experiences for the ways you are unhappy or stuck, consider that you may be giving those negative aspects way too much power. One way to address that is to seek help from a therapist to help you learn ways of thinking and behavior that will help you be effective and happy. The magic of a word of the year is that it helps empower you to break through those negative cycles and keep your focus on your own wellbeing and belief in your ability to change. It can help you become a solution-oriented person who is focused on his or her real needs.
How to Pick Your Word of the Year
Sometimes, picking a word of the year is very easy. The answer is so obvious to you. Other times, it takes a bit of reflection and research. You mght spend some time brainstorming, looking at lists of words of the year and deciding what feels just right for you and your goals.
Here are some things to consider when selecting your word of the year…
- Make it positive in nature. If you want to cut down on your gossiping habit, your word might be “Positivity.” If you are an emotional eater, your word might be “Mindfulness.”
- Make it specific to a need that you have right now. We all have lots of goals but I bet there are at least one or two that float to the top as the most urgent to you. Focus on that goal for now. You can always pick a new word and a new goal if you need to. Or you word might help you meet multiple goals, as my “self-care” word of the year did.
- Think about a single change you can readily do without much investment that would positively impact your life in more than way. For example, if you walked every day, which doesn’t really cost anything, you might have less pain in your joints. You’d probably lose weight. You’d also have more energy for work and tasks, and your mood would improve, as would your resting heart rate and blood pressure level. “Walk” might become your word of the year.
How to Use Your Word of the Year – Have some fun with it!
- Look it up in the dictionary or thesaurus (online). Read the meaning of the word. Read the antonyms and synonyms of the word.
- Meditate on the word, or repeat it like a mantra.
- Doodle the word in your planner or journal.
- Find a TED Talk, blog or podcast that is related to your word.
- Create a tongue-in-cheek motivational image with your picture and the word.
- Make a bracelet with alphabet beads spelling out your word or phrase.
- Create a Pinterest board of images and quotations associated with your word.
- Put the word next to your bathroom mirror and over your desk.
- See if your word has a national recognition day associated with it.
- Buy or make a coffee cup or water bottle with your word on it.
- Use your word as a hashtag in social media posts, e.g., #Abundance.
- Buy items to use that remind you of that word. Maybe your word is self-love. You could buy a journal with a heart on it, or a rose quartz that is symbolic of unconditional love (there is a crystal for just about everything!)
- Create a vision board of images, quotations, memes, stickers, etc. that exemplify your word and the changes you want to make in your life. For example, I wanted to lighten up one year, so I pasted a favorite picture of me having fun at the beach on my vision board one year.
Here are some words of the year I came up with for 2022: Word of the Year. I hope one of these resonates with you! I would love to hear what word you have selected!