As one year comes to an end and another year is about to start, we tend to reflect on the year we are about to complete. We also tend to choose to make changes in our habits, actions and decisions for the year ahead. A unique process that I go through is choosing a word for the new year. A word that will remind me of my goals, keeps me centred and grounded in my journey. I choose a word that helps me to remember how encouraged and excited I felt the week leading up to the new year. This word becomes my theme for the year ahead. What is your word for the year ahead?
This year, leading up to New Year’s Eve I have seen a lot of posts on social media regarding choosing a word. Some have chosen a word super quickly, others say they were extremely methodical in their choosing. Then there are the ones who are starting to show the stress of not yet choosing a word for the year ahead. I see the panic in their posts and it pains me because I see them completely overcomplicating the process.
Over-complicating the process leads to high expectations
Choosing a word can be a hard task, if you make it hard. Way too much pressure has been placed on choosing a word. Let’s be honest, how many people keep their word, use their word or even remember their word at the end of the year? The harder you make the process, the more stress you will add to your life. Not to mention the expectations you will place on your life for the year ahead. Make the process simple, to the point and move on to creating an epic life.
3 Simple steps to choosing the right word for you
Think about what you want for your new year
It is important to lay a foundation for your word. A simple question to ask yourself is what you want for the year ahead? Is it happiness, love, joy, community, connection? Could it be building trust, respect, being organized. Also, ask yourself if there are any words that you have been using more often then usual. Make a list of the feelings you would like to grow, actions you would like to take and words you find yourself using often.
Words that make you feel good
The last thing you want is to choose a word that gives you a negative feeling. Choosing a word like revenge, fear or weak will lead you right down into a spiral of negative thoughts and actions. Make sure you choose a word that makes you feel good. A word that you could shout from a rooftop a million times over and would not get sick of shouting it. Also, choose a word that you enjoy writing down. Remember in elementary school we would doodle words because they were fun to write. Words like magic, friendship, believe, strength or inspire. Make a list of words that make you feel good when you say them.
Words that make you feel like a stronger person
Words have a funny way of making us a stronger or weaker person. As stated above, words give us feelings. These feelings can be positive or negative, which leads to us feeling stronger or weaker. Choose a word that every time you hear it, use it or see it, it makes you a stronger human being. Words like leader, giving, competent, balance, organized, productive, supporter or intentional. Make a list of all the words that make you feel stronger when you use them.
Put it all together
Now that you have three lists, place your lists side by side and answer the following.
- Are there words that resemble one another?
- Having your lists together, are there words that you would now eliminate?
- Are there words that you feel stronger about over others?
- Is there a word that completely sticks out like no other?
After answering these questions, you should narrow your lists down to one, maybe two. It is now up to you to choose the word that is for you and your coming year.
For 2019 my word is Tortoise.
My words get weirder and weirder every year. I choose tortoise because it is a word that I have been using for so long in my work. I often find myself repeating ‘be the tortoise Sara’ as I work on projects and work tasks. In past years I always wanted to be the hare. I would rush through projects because ‘done is better than perfect’, but not when everything is being done half-assed. ‘Be the tortoise Sara, be the tortoise’.
It is up to you to choose the word that will help you reach your goals and become the best you for the year ahead. It’s your turn to have the most epic year ever because you deserve it. Once you have your word, post it on social media and use #livebeyondsatisfied in your post so that I to can see it!
Life is all about celebration and it is time to celebrate you. Read more about Celebrating YOU!