My Word of the Year & Tips for Choosing Yours
This is the third year I’ve chosen a word to summarize my goals for the new year. At this point, I have developed a method for choosing a word so I wanted to share a little more about mine and also share my tips for how to choose a word of the year for yourself. I first heard about this idea on one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. In 2017, my word was “Steadfast”. In 2018, as I was approaching new motherhood, I chose the words “Growth & Grace”. For 2019, I didn’t have to think long for the word to come to me:
B L O O M
Learning to be “Steadfast” meant finding alignment and cultivating a spirit of preparedness and follow through. My year of “Growth & Grace” was about devoting myself to improvement but only in the areas that were most important to me. Not hustling for the sake of appearances or glorifying being “busy” but growing deeper into my values while giving myself space to make mistakes and change my mind in the midst of challenging transitions. I’m dedicating my 2019 to learning how and creating space to “Bloom”.
Over these years, I’ve been dedicated to cutting out what isn’t working in my home, business and life, developing systems, simplifying wherever possible and planting the seeds for what the best version of these things can be. In 2016, I essentially blew up my life (in a good way!) by leaving my full-time job to work for myself and this year feels a bit like that energy is coming full circle. Before you get worried, I’m not envisioning any huge changes like quitting a job or starting a new business this year!
I’ve told Anthony many times that I feel like I’ve been waiting for this season of life for as long as I can remember. I was kind of an odd kid and teenager. I was definitely the “mom” of our friend group, making birthday cakes for everyone at our lunch table and giving out life and relationship advice like it was my job. I thought I was so wise as a 17 year old… but I didn’t feel like I fit in with other people my age. I thought college would be where things finally clicked for me. I found amazing lifelong friends at my small women’s college and felt more at home than I ever had before, but I still felt like things weren’t quite right. Even in the early days of our marriage, I felt like I was always looking for the next thing and never content with where I was.
The day our daughter was born, that feeling completely disappeared for me. Not once since that day have I wished time away or wanted to be anywhere else. For the first time, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in life and all I want to do is give my best to this season. I feel so grateful for everything I have and everyone I hold dear and I want to do them justice. I am feeling called to step into my full potential as a wife, mother, entrepreneur, friend, interior designer and homemaker. To fully bloom.
Tips for Choosing a Word of the Year
First and foremost, my advice is to listen to your intuition. If there’s a word that pops into your head immediately, that’s probably your inner self guiding you towards what you need most. There are a few things I do around the end of one year and the start of a new one that also help to guide me in setting intentions for what I want to work on in the coming months.
Make a list of accomplishments from the past year. | First, I write a list of every victory from the past year - big and small. Things that I took and active role in achieving but also positive things that happened to me and my family by luck, fate or divine intervention - however you want to view it! It’s sometimes easy to dwell on the hard stuff and forget all the good things that happen to us. This exercise alone is so helpful in remembering the progress I’ve made and having a positive view of the year gone by. I love looking back on this list from years past and remembering all the ways life has been good to us.
Make a list of things that didn’t go so well and - most importantly - how to fix it. | I always want to focus on the positive but that doesn’t mean I ignore the negative. I try to view every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow, so this list is usually pretty short but at the same time, the few things on it can feel pretty heavy. My goal is to not write the same things in this list next year that I wrote this year, so I also think of an action plan. Taking steps to fix whatever didn’t go well may look like letting go of that thing or my expectations around it, seeking help from a friend, coach or therapist or most likely a combination of those things. Just a reminder that if you’re struggling with something, don’t be afraid to ask for help! I’ve worked with both a therapist and a life coach in the past and both helped me immensely in becoming a happier, brighter version of myself.
Ask yourself what you want most for the coming year. | The last list I make is a list of what I want to achieve in the coming year. This is a little bit different than a list of resolutions to me because it’s based more on feelings I want to bring into my life than just a list of to-do’s. I think about my deepest desires and just start writing a bullet list. I try to keep this to one page because I want to focus on just my top priorities for the year ahead and not overcrowd my mind with things that don’t aren’t as meaningful to me. From this list, I start thinking about themes or common threads that could tie these things together.
Listen to your intuition. | At this point, I’m guessing that a word or several words will have popped up for you that could be potential words of the year. If you are having trouble choosing, I recommend taking even just 5-10 minutes to meditate or journal about your thoughts on each word. What holds the most meaning for you? What captures your goals for the year in the fullest and simplest way? Don’t overthink this too much. Listen to the nudges your inner self is giving you and trust it.