Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series titled, “How to Find Your Perfect Word of the Year.” See Part 2: 211 Word of the Year Ideas.

Have you decided on your Word of the Year for 2020 yet?

I started picking a word of the year four years ago. I love this ritual.

I think it’s the perfect way to start the new year.

Tip: If it’s not a ritual for you yet or you have not had time to do it at the beginning of the year, just do it now, no matter what month it is.

In fact, I actually think its MAGICAL (Word #121 in my new list of Word of the Year Ideas ;)).

The first time I chose a word of the year, I didn’t know it was a thing. It just felt so good to come up with a special over-arching word that fit how I wanted to feel in the brand year, I found myself being drawn to picking a new word every January.

Now it’s become part of a New Year’s ritual I look forward to every December. What’s new is I’m finding creative and practical ways to keep my word top of mind all year long and seeing the results of living more intentionally.

In this blog post, I’ll share with you:

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.

What is a Word of the Year?

A word of the year is a word you choose as a theme or intention for the year.

Reflect on that for a moment.

You can use a word or phrase to help you create a more beautiful year, even as challenges arise.

Thoughts really are things.

When I first chose a word of the year, I really, clearly saw – probably for the first time – that thoughts are things.

My Word of the Year 2020

I chose Grace and then just seeing the word online, on paper, or even in my mind relaxed me. I became aware after a short while that even just intermittently remembering that I choose Grace as a word of the year,  I almost automatically set an intention to give myself more Grace and to experience more Grace throughout the year.

I discovered what I was doing was realigning my FOCUS on the energy or vibe of Grace . . . and it was so powerful.

I had experienced some life changes or turning points, I guess you could say, in the last few years in the areas of health, family, finances and career/business – that’s a lot.

Whenever I found myself in overwhelm, I would start to remember my word, Grace. It was almost tangible – the positive results I experienced when I remembered to Choose Grace.

I started to regain my footing, naturally reframe situations in a more positive light and find easier solutions to challenges.

With each new year, the idea of choosing a word of the year is expanding for me. It’s like building and shaping muscle. I’m taking “inspired action” more seriously.

This year,  I’m creating my own vision journal and goal-setting / planning system. More on that later.


How to Choose Your Word of the Year

So how do you select a word of the year?

By asking yourself some questions.

Is there a feeling or state you want to move toward? Happy, Renewed, Committed, Inspired? Is there a feeling or state you want to move away from? Disappointment, Fear, Grief, Complacency?

Now that I think of it, this reminds me of a chapter in my favorite self-help book, Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins. I discovered this book decades after it was written and it is one of those things that for me has withstood the test of time.

At the time, I found Chapter 15 (Life Values) of the book interesting but I don’t think I really got it. Tony suggests you write out a list of your Top 10 Moving-Toward Values and your Top 10 Moving-Away-From Values – and to use this list to clarify the priorities of your life and therefore, shape your destiny. He suggests you “condition yourself to use them as your new compass” in life. As much as I loved that book, this idea did not resonate.

I don’t think I really got it until years later when I started choosing a word of the year – and then suddenly Chapter 15 made all the sense in the world.

Maybe I had to take it one word at a time.

I did come up with my own list of 11 questions to ask myself each year to help me discover my new word of the year.  I’ve made it into a cute freebie worksheet guide for my readers that you can download here if you’d like. *))

These questions can help you reflect on your life and tap into your intuition to come up with your ideal word of the year.


11 Questions to Find Your Perfect Word

  • Question 1
    • Imagine how you’ll feel when you get that goal or dream you are working toward. (Income or investment figure, ideal weight or fitness level, dream job, business, vacation or home, relationship, children or whatever it is that you wish for) What word comes to mind? What word comes to mind?
  • Question 2
    • What kind of person do you want to become?
  • Question 3
    • Imagine what an ideal day would look like for you?
  • Question 4
    • What do you want more of in your life?
  • Question 5
    • What do you want less of in your life? (Reverse this to a positive word. Example: Survive / Thrive)
  • Question 6
    • Are any words or themes presenting in your life?
  • Question 7
    • How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning?
  • Question 8
    • How do you want to feel before you fall asleep at night?
  • Question 9
    • What outcome excites you?
  • Question 10
    • What feeling or characteristic are you drawn to that will help you create the year you desire?
  • Question 11
    • What do you want to focus on this year?

I recommend you also check out Tony’s book, Awaken the Giant Within. You can probably borrow it from your library. I have two copies of the book at home. These are two of my most cherished hardcover books that I will never part with . . . even during my most ruthless decluttering and go digital sweeps.

All right, that wraps up Part 1.

Click here to read Part 2 of the Find Your Perfect Word of the Year series: 211 Word of the Year Ideas.

In Part 2, I’ve got some goodies to help you hone down to discover your ideal word after you go through those 11 Questions. How about a huge list of Word of the Year ideas and more.

Here’s what’s covered in Part 2:


Please follow and like us: