Let’s talk about HOW to choose a word of the year. Have you ever chosen a word of the year? It can be very helpful in providing direction and inspiration for a new year. Now, I was introduced to this concept several years ago and it’s a process that I enjoy to kind of help focus my intentions for the year. 

Some of my past words have included words like “Simplify” and “Focus.” For some reason, I got away from the habit of choosing a word for the year for last year. 

However, this year I’m excited to get back to choosing a word for the year, and so I’m going to walk you through the process that I go through to choose a word of the year. 

My word of the year for 2020 is “Calm.” To me, calm means slowing down and focusing. It means letting go of some of the anxiety I get when I push myself too hard and just move at too fast of a pace.

So that is what calm means for me and the vision of what it will mean for the year ahead. All right, so let’s kind of go over the process that I use so you can learn how to choose the word of the year. 

Learn my 5-step process on how to choose a word of the year that will help you focus, reach your goals, and live a life you love.

Step 1: Reflect

The first step is to reflect on the past year of what went well, what did not go well, what needs to change and what you’d like to do differently. What caused the most stress, what made you happy, what were the circumstances surrounding the moments that you could truly be present and enjoy? 

Those are just a few examples of some reflection questions to think through the past year or season and what that looked like for your life. This will give you a good idea of what needs to stay the same and what you will need to change moving forward. 

Step 2: Think ahead

The next step is to think ahead. Think through the next year: the major events or life circumstances going on and what you want your year to look like.

Be realistic, if it’s going to be a really crazy year with a bunch of major events, maybe you also need a word like calm or simplify. If you have some big goals for the year, maybe you need a word like “Focus.” Your word can be anything you need it to be. It can even be a short phrase. So think through your year ahead and what you want it to look and feel like.

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Step 3: Make a list

Step number three is to make a list. Make a list of possible words for the year that might work for you. You could end up with a couple of choices or a long list. There are lots of suggestions out there to get you started. Here are just a few:

  • Focus
  • Simplify
  • Calm
  • Driven 
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Peace
  • Breathe
  • Celebrate
  • Cherish
  • Learn
  • Encourage
  • Grace

Step 4: Pray

The next step is to pray through the list and see what you feel God is speaking into your life for the year ahead. This step has always been how I really decide my word of the year. I’ve always felt God placing a certain word on my heart to focus on for the year ahead. 

So I pray through the list, I pray through my reflection questions and thinking ahead and just see what I feel like God is placing on my heart for the next year. 

Step 5: Choose

And finally, choose your word of the year. Take all of those steps together and make a decision on what you would like your word of the year to be. 

Please note that you can change your word in the middle of the year if it’s no longer working for you. This does not have to be set in stone. There are no hard and fast rules to this process. This is about YOU and YOUR life. So don’t think that it has to look a certain way. This is just the process that I have gone through and that has worked for me for choosing a word of the year.

So that covers my process of reflect, think ahead, make a list, pray and choose to come up with a word of the year that will help you to focus, reach your goals and to live a life that you love. 

So chime in below and let me know what your word of the year is going to be! I can’t wait to hear about it.

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