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One Word as a Tool for Change


Pausing and gaining awareness of yourself and what you are experiencing is so important to our mental health. Having a word of the year can help you do this. This practice is choosing a word and using it to guide you throughout the year. You can choose a word based on a goal you want to accomplish in the next year. You can also go within and intuitively let the word choose you. Either way, your word sets the intention for the next year.


Choosing a word of the year may be better than setting New Year’s resolutions. For me, resolutions rarely work. But the word I choose guides me and gently reminds me of what I’ve chosen to focus on. When we don’t keep a resolution, it’s easy to feel shame and beat ourselves up. We don’t need more of this in our life. Having a word to guide us is like a touchstone. We can continually go back to it and keep trying.


Questions that might guide you as you choose your word are:

What do you want more of in your life in the coming year?

What do you want less of?

Is there something missing in your life?


Benefits to having a word of the year:

A word of the year can give you a framework as you navigate the new year.

It can help you through difficult times. Having one word for the year is like an anchor for your goals and it encourages you to focus on the thing or things you want to have more of in your life.

It helps you focus on what you want for your life.

It helps move you forward rather than getting stuck in the past.

It’s a strengths-based practice, rather than shaming ourselves, meaning it looks at what is possible, rather than what you are doing wrong.

Ways to keep your word in your mind throughout the year.

Post it where you will see it often.

Do art using your word.

Create a mantra around your word that you can repeat often.

Find inspirational quotes that use your word.

The more visible your word is, both in your environment and mind, the more meaningful this experience will be.


I hope this inspires you to pick a word to guide you in the new year. Be kind to yourself in this process. It isn’t an item on your to do list that can cause shame and judgement, if not accomplished. Choosing a word for the year is meant to be gentle, life-giving and help you on your journey. This is a simple process, but the benefits are great!


Click here to download a free page with 25 words you can choose from. Also, if you sign up for our email list, you’ll receive more information about how to choose, maintain, and benefit from choosing one word to guide you through the year.


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