Do you know how powerful a Word of the Year is? I was astounded at the change my word caused in my life.
It’s the start of a new year. And as I reflect on the previous year I’m astounded.
I’m almost floored by the change that I’ve encountered in the past twelve months.
Last year, for the first time, I decided to have a ‘word’ to characterise my year. I drastically needed something because I knew my life had to change. So I chose the word ‘Habits’. And in the first post I wrote about it, I mentioned how it could change your life. Because, in truth, our life is the sum total of our daily actions – our habits, if you will.
What I did not expect was how dramatically my life would be different as a result.
The Effect of My Word of the Year
My desire to develop habits and study them has had a knock-on effect on my life. I have since;
- finished several business courses
- started writing my first book that will be ready for publication in a couple months
- knocked off the goal of attending Salsa classes – a goal that I’ve had on my list FOR YEARS!!!
- and I’ve had a huge increase in my confidence and ability to achieve more things.
It all started with my word of the year – habits.
Why was this word so profoundly impactful?
I think it was to do with the fact that I kept looking back at it. I kept reminding myself that I was focusing on habits this year.
And because I chose to focus on habits, I began to see how lots of different things I did were habits. And I then began to go deep and study them. I read countless articles on it and looked up several books about it. It became something that I could see was connected to so many areas of my life.
But the continual reminder that I had chosen Habits as my word of the year kept me going back to it and seeing it in numerous places.
How can you choose a Word of the Year?
I think the process of choosing a word for the year begins with your goals. What do you plan to achieve, accomplish or experience this year?
Look at all your goals and plans for the year in one place. Write them all out spread over a blank sheet of paper or on a whiteboard if that helps. And ask yourself – ‘Is there a theme that runs through several or even all of these items?’.
Try to see any connecting dots. You could even try circling your items in two or three colours if you think there might be more than one theme (this girl loves some colour!).
Once you see a pattern or theme between your items, write that down.
Does this word or theme feel good to you? Would it work to have this theme as your Word of the Year?
You might find that it helps to take a day or two to reflect or pray on it. And even ask someone close to you their opinion about your Word of the Year.
How can you make sure your Word of the Year is powerful?
Review, review, review. Once you’ve chosen a word for your year, keep reflecting on it. There’s no point setting a word for your year and then promptly forgetting all about it when you get up out of your chair!If you want to make your Word of the Year powerful, then you must review it regularly.Click To Tweet
Here are some ways you can make sure you review your word regularly
- write it on the top of each weekly spread in your paper planner
- stick it on your computer screen or on your laptop
- if your phone has a see-through protective cover, write or print it on to a piece of paper and slip it in between your cover and your phone so you can see it every time you use your phone (which apparently is around 150 times a day according to studies!)
- buy a mug with your word of the year on it and use that for your daily cuppa – like these awesome mugs I found on Vistaprint (I added the text myself so you can see what it would look like) and there are loads more in their store. I mean, how COOL are these?!!:
Want to know my Word of the Year for 2018?
In this post, I wrote about my goals for this coming year. I have a few big goals. Which, being the undeterred optimist that I am, might not come as a surprise. And I chose the word ‘Opportunity’ because of two things.
Last Sunday, I sat in the front row of my church on New Year’s Eve, with my two daughters. I often sit at the front because I’m a member of the song leading group and getting to my seat quickly is useful when you have to keep standing up to sing.
My five-year-old sat next to me and was quietly, and rather messily, cutting up some washi tape I had given her to keep her occupied. I had brushed her hair that morning, but it was hard to tell now with her curls frizzing up on top of her head. Her curly head was bent down in the concentration of her important task.
The message of the sermon was on Focus. And I couldn’t help but think how funny it was that I had just written about that same topic in my book. But in particular, the sermon was referring to whether we were focusing on the right things. And whether we were using the opportunities given to us. How every single day is a new opportunity.
Suddenly, something went “ding” in my brain. I don’t think it was quite the light bulb experience. But nonetheless, that word ‘opportunity’ stuck.
I began to think about how every single day – every moment in fact – is an opportunity.
And later when I got home and began to think about my goals for the year, all I could see was how I was taking the opportunities to try something new; to step out of my comfort zone; to use my time to accomplish a lot. I would be seizing all of these opportunities. There it was staring me right in the face.
I didn’t choose my word this year – it chose me.
So however you’re going into the year ahead, don’t underestimate the power of a single word.
Choose one wisely and seize those daily opportunities to make your year epic!
Have you chosen a word for the year? Tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to know!
Speaking of making your year epic, make sure you sign up below if you want to hear about my epic course called SSMASH Your Goals.
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