Discover Your Word for The New Year
Hi, hello! And happy hump day. I hope are making it through this holiday season with ease. I was happy to spend two full days learning craniosacral massage during my stay in Arizona. It was such a great reminder to slow down this busy season.
If you missed it, last week I shared my 2022 Year of Intention workbook! One of the hardest parts of doing this workbook is picking a word to live by for the year, so I have this little guide to help you on your way. You can also do a more comprehensive 5 day program with Susannah Conway, which she offers in an email program when you sign up.
Why Pick A Word?
What I love about picking a word instead of a list of resolutions is that a word does not set you up for failure, like the latter can do. A word can help empower you and remind you of your intentions. And if you find throughout the year that your word is not serving you any more, you can easily shift directions and pick a new word (or words!).
A few personal examples:
I tend to pick verbs because they are easy to remember, to the point and leave me open to create action in a number of different ways, but it can be anything, even a mantra or phrase (and next week I will have a post on mantras to help you start your New Year strong! Stay tuned). Here are a few examples:
After a really difficult, depleting year, I chose "nourish" as my word and focused on self-care - I went to therapy, got monthly massages (before I became a massage therapist!), traveled to Bali and Hawaii. The following year, I was ready to evolve + expand, and "expand" helped me develop a stronger business plan and plan my first international yoga retreat.
Last year I chose "explore," which had surprising outcomes - it helped me keep an open mind (one of my supporting phrases) when I was searching to buy a condo (despite homes in the area being far far out of my budget) and I found myself in a healthy relationship! Keep an open mind with the ways your word can support you through the year :)
Let go of any pressure, rules and expectations you might be putting on yourself. There is no rush to have this figured out before the new year starts; one year I couldn't decide what I wanted and figured it out in June! That's okay. This is meant to support and empower you, whatever you want from your year. Picking a word has helped me be more thoughtful about what I want, instead of simply floundering through life and letting other people and events choose my life for me; it has helped me to live a more well-intentioned life.
Part 1: Journal + Visualize
Carve out special time to work through some or all these questions in your journal.
- What is definitely happening next year?
- What dreams do you want to fulfill next year?
- How do you want next year to feel?
- What do you need more of next year?
- What do you need less of next year?
- Are there any major changes you are hoping to implement for the new year?
- Characteristics I would like to work on/develop . . .
- Did you have a word for last year? In what ways did it support you? (It is also okay to pick a word you've used in the past)
Part 2: Listen and Observe
"This is less about fixing and more about observing."
Make note of any words, quotes or phrases that jump out to you as you go through your day. Pay attention when you're reading the news, listening to the radio/podcasts/music, in conversations, on social media, from your journal entries in part 1, everywhere.
Part 3: Worksheet
Print this out and circle (or download as a PDF and highlight/check) 5 - 20 words that really resonate with you.
Part 4: Pick Your Word + Supporting Words
Once you have a list of words, journal. How would you define each word? How does the word make you feel? Can you group some of these words into a similar category? Do any of these resonate more than the others? Perhaps some can serve as supporting words.
I hope these activities were helpful, but remember, let go of any pressure to pick a word right away. Hopefully you found something that you love that feels really fitting for your year. Perhaps not, and that is okay, too. The idea is that you have an anchor to return to when you get lost, feel overwhelmed, confused, or off track in the next year. A little reminder or nudge to get you back on track.
Feel free to do this over a few days, remember that everyday is different. You might be having a depleting day, you might be having a highly motivated and strong day, so there is no need to rush through this.