How to Choose a Word of the Year

If you're anything like me, you enter every new year with a optimistic view of everything you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. Whether you have a list of resolutions ready to work on starting January 1st or still aren't sure of what you want to focus on, figuring out what to do first can be difficult.

Most everyone wants to get stuff done in the new year, but I think many of us get bogged down by the amount of goals we stack on our shoulders. So what's there to do? Work ourselves into exhaustion or quit on our dreams by mid February? There has to be something better, right?

There is! Instead of setting resolutions this year, or what I like to call goals, consider choosing a word of the year to help you make progress in all areas of your life. Something as simple as choosing the right word can inspire you year long, without the stress of feeling like you failed at getting any one specific task done.

Related Post: A 10 Step Plan on How to Have Your Best Year Ever

What is a word of the year?

Think of it as a defining trait or characteristic that inspires, motivates or describes the types of things you want to get done in the new year. For example, if you chose the word joy, your resolutions/goals would all relate in one way or another to the word. Goals could include: only purchasing items that make you happy in the long run, saying yes more to plans that you look forward to and no to those you want to cancel on the night before, or finally finding that physical activity that you look forward to doing every day. (That's possible, right?)

Once you find the right word, at that's left to do is tailor your resolutions/goals to your chosen word. If you're the type of person that writes your resolutions down and displays them somewhere, you can decide to instead write the word instead for a subtle reminder of what's pushing you to get work done.

Now that you know what a word of the year, it's time to figure out which word is right for you. Answer the questions below to help you choose a word that you can carry with you throughout the year to keep you motivated and accountable.

Related Post: My Word of the Year for 2017

What is your resolution/goal for the new year?

This step helped me the most this year, because by writing out my goals for the year I was able to better visualize the type of work I would be doing, as well as obstacles I would most likely face. Take a day or two to think about what you want to accomplish, narrowing it down to things that are both attainable yet challenging.

Is there anything that connects all your new year's resolutions/goals?

Once you know what you want to do, take a look at what you've come up with. Is there a common theme to any of the goals? Is there something missing from your life each year that leads to you giving up on your goal?

For example, if you resolutions were to get outside more, be more active and meet new people, a word like explore would fit all three. Be creative with your word, or better yet, try to pick a word that has multiple meanings!

Related Post: What to Do If You Still Don't Have a New Year's Resolution

Who do you want to be in the new year?

Think about the reason you are making resolutions and setting goals for the new year. What about those changes do you hope impacts who you are, or better yet, who you want to be? I'd like to think most of us like who we are, but understand that some parts of ourselves could use some improvement. Take some time to consider what aspects of yourself you'd like to improve on, and from there use those traits to help you in choosing a word.

Are you more of a word of the year or resolutions type of person? Either way, share one thing you hope to accomplish in the new year in a comment below!

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