Choosing a Word of the Year

Choosing a Word of the Year

If you’ve spent any time in the creative space, especially online, you’ve no doubt come across the idea of choosing a word for the year. It’s something I have been doing for about 10 years now, since first learning about it.

Along with setting resolutions or goals, you choose one word to guide you during the year. A word that will inspire you to meet your goals, or maybe a word that reflects something you want more of in your life, or reflects an idea that is important to you.

How do you choose this word?

I’ve chosen my word in different ways depending on the year. Most years I do make a conscious effort to sit and reflect on what I want my word to be. In the past I have used the free workbook from Susannah Conway to help me choose the word.

Some years, the word has come to me “out of the blue”, of course I later realise that it was because of being in the right frame of mind, and being open to inspiration so to speak. Here’s how I usually go about it.

  • I start my process by reflecting on the past 12 months, and thinking about what I would like more of, or less of in the year to come. This could be just my creative life, but also life in general: work, business, home, community.
  • I revisit the word that I had chosen for the current year, and evaluate its presence in my life. Was it really useful?
  • Then I sort of let all this marinate in my brain for a while. I make a list of any words that might come to me.
  • I think about what I want the next year to look like, and see what words come up.
  • I go over my list, highlighting the ones that speak to me the most. At this point I consider whether I want an action word, or a descriptive word.
  • Next, nerd alert! I look at the definitions of my favourite words, as well as any synonyms. Usually at this point, one word will stand out more than the others. It sounds weird, but you will feel it when the word is right for you.
  • I spend the next day or so trying on the word, and noticing how I react to it.
  • If it’s a good fit, then it’s a keeper! If something doesn’t sit right, I try to understand what any resistance might mean before deciding to choose a different word.

If you want to choose a word yourself, I recommend trying this out in your journal, but if you prefer to have the process laid out step by step then consider getting Susannah’s workbook as a written guide.

Have you already chosen a word for 2023?

2 thoughts on “Choosing a Word of the Year”

  • I have chosen a word of the year for the last 10 years, many of them with the workbook Susannah puts out. This year I am leaning toward delight.

    • Susannah’s workbook is so helpful! I love delight as a word, how lovely! Mine is flourishing, 🙂

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