3 Ways to Choose Your Word for the Year

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We all get lost in the day to day business of life. It's easy to forget or get side-tracked from our purpose and goals. (As I found out yesterday by looking at my goals for last quarter and having only reached one of five, ahem.)

Thinking in terms of vision, mission, or values may be a bit much in times of urgent need, but one word that encompasses all is easy to remember. So how do you find that word?

1. Figure out your theme

What is the one thing you want more of in life? What's been missing? What brings you joy?

When was the last time you had a huge belly laugh and caught yourself being completely un-selfconscious?

What were you doing at the time?

Group all those things together on a mind map, or on sticky notes, lay them out before you and see if you can connect the dots. Distill it down to one thing, and see how that resonates.

2. Choose from a list

Perhaps you have 1o or 57 words that all resonate? I know the feeling. To help you decide, write all of them on individual pieces of paper, fold them, and pour them into a container.

Then pick one. If it feels right, go with it. If you love more flexibility and one word for a whole year is too much commitment for you, choose your word for the month, or word for the week.

3. Look inside

Light a candle, burn some incense, do a meditation, pray, go for a run. Whatever works for you. Spend some time breathing deeply and feeling supported, trying to connect with your inner voice. Ask, "what's my word?" in your mind, and the answer will appear.

My word for this year is CLARITY.

I chose it because my mind is often running 100 miles per hour in 5 different directions. Making decisions becomes a fearful process, and as a consequence, fewer decisions get made. Which results in fewer results, and more worry about where to even start. Clarity of purpose, of communication, of message reminds me I'm a work in progress, and that it's worth the work. Makes the ride kinda fun, too. :-)

Image by Keiko Hampton, Flickr, Creative Commons License.