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4 Steps to Choose a Word of the Year

Updated: Jan 5

I LOVE choosing a word of the year to set intentions, direction, and boundaries on my time and energy. I was first introduced to this idea about 5 years ago. I saw some random influencer talking about it and thought, "that's something that totally speaks to me!" I've been doing it ever since and it has a had a huge impact on my focus and intention throughout the year.

Not only is it a fun exercise it's also a great alternative to a rigid resolution by staying focused on creating positive change. Use your word of the year to help guide your decisions and continue moving towards what you want.

Your word sets an intention (or a theme) for what you want your year to unfold. You may want to choose a single word, a group of words, or a short phrase. Whatever speaks to you, go for it!

Today I'm going to share my four step process to choosing your word of the year:


Step 1: Reflect

The first step to knowing where you want to go is reflecting on where you came from. So, grab a piece of paper and a pen and lets get started. Write down everything that went well over the past year. Your wins, personally and professionally. I find scrolling through my calendar or my photos on my phone can really help jog my memory for this part of the exercise.

Review and reflect on the list you created. First off, notice if there are more things on this list than you originally thought there would be (I bet there are!). How do these things make you feel?

Step 2: Look Forward

On a second piece of paper write down what you want to achieve in the year to come personally and professionally. It might help if you use categories to give you some focus. This year I used: marriage, family, home, financial, career, and self. How do these things make you feel?

Step 3: Feel your Word

On a third piece of paper start jotting down words or small phrases that describe how your wins and your goals make you feel. Nouns, verbs, anything works—just words that feel good to you. Don’t get caught up in the grammar, just write. Once you've exhausted all your feelings onto paper look at what's there. Picture each word as the theme for your upcoming year. How does it feel? Cross out words that don't feel right until you have one left that truly speaks to you.

Step 4: Shout it From the Rooftops

Write your word or small phrase on a pretty notecard and stick it to your bathroom mirror or anywhere else you’ll see it every day. Some other ideas are on your car’s sun visor, your office wall, or make it your computer desktop or phone wallpaper. Or even better put it in multiple spots!

Whenever you see it say it aloud to yourself.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Balance • Kindness • Gratitude • Hope • Passion • Wellness • Adventure

Consistency • Focus • Laughter • Dream • Mindful • Resilience • Unite

Forgive • Community • Generosity • Organize • Trust • Prosper • Courage

Seek • Alignment • Change • Fearless • Love • Simplify • Elevate

Compassion • Beauty • Faith • Cultivate • Family • Sparkle • Awareness

Fulfilled • Play • Friendship • Happiness • Purpose • Abundance • Dedication

Journey • Overcome • Serenity • Forward • Centered • Dance • Give

Intentional • Positivity • Rise • Let Go • Joy • Savor • Less • Healing

Free • Boundaries • Creativity • Heart • Light • Perspective • Connect

Spirit • Harmony • Action • Exploration • Contentment • Allow • Glow

Healing • Thoughtful • Soar • Calm • Transform • Peace • Movement

Inspire • Breathe • Flourish • Create • Believe • Grace • Possibility

Self Love • Delight • Connection • Acceptance • Integrity • Reflect

Thrive • Strength • Persevere • Listen • Embrace • Commit • Bloom

Grounded • Pause • Stillness • Meaningful • Brave • Appreciate • Renew

Clarity • Grow • Present • Vulnerability • Build • Shine • Streamline • Wonder

This list is by no means all-inclusive, just some ideas to get your creative ideas flowing.

My Word of the Year for 2024 is OBSERVE.

Historically, I've been the type of person that can make decisions very quickly. I almost always have an answer to any question and I'm confident in my ability to make decisions. As a result I'm often going 100 miles a minute and rarely slow down. I actually have trouble relaxing and taking my time with things.

This coming year I feel called to slow down, observe the world around me, and take intentional and deliberate action. I'm going to stop telling myself that things have to feel hard and never ending and start living in the present moment.

So this year my word is CONCIOUS.

PS. This is the first year my kids are old enough to take part in some of this mindset work for themselves. So we chose a word as a family... LOVE POWER (an idea that came from my MIL).

If you're looking for more mindset work check out this article:

Over to you! I’d LOVE to know what your Word of the Year is and why you chose it. Leave it here in the comments to share it with our community.

Happy New Year!

Taya XO

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