Word of the year. You may have seen that phrase a time or two and wondered what it meant.
A word of the year is like a guidepost or a lighthouse. It is your touchstone that reminds you to come back to your overall goal or focus.
I've had a word of the year for the past six years, and I've found that having one helps me re-frame and adjust as the year progresses, so anytime I'm caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, my word of the year pops in to remind me to slow down, and focus on what's really important to me.
And honestly, your word doesn't have to be a word exactly. If you've found a phrase or quote that works for you, go for it. You know me, I tend to not follow the rules anyway. ;)
How do I find my word of the year?
Each year my process looks a little different for finding my word of the year. Some years when I set time aside to think or meditate about my word of the year, one instantly comes to me. Last year was like that for me, as my word was devotion - I was looking to achieve better balance across all areas of my life: work/life, mental/physical, spiritual/mundane. This year was harder. It took me weeks to find my word.
So how did I find it? First I just set in intention and asked the universe for guidance, to send me signs to help me find my word of the year. And I paid attention. As I noticed words (while reading, talking, in a podcast, and so on) I would mentally try them on. Did that word light me up and fill me with joy? Did that word spark or resonate with me? With your word of the year, your word should encompass your goal or theme for the year ahead, but also resonate with you. When you think of your word or say it, you should feel it in your body. Perhaps it's a warm feeling in your gut that spreads out in your body, or maybe you feel your cells vibrating and dancing in joy.
After a couple of weeks of doing this, I had a direction I knew my word was in, but still hadn't found my exact word. I kept playing with words like joy and connection, but they didn't quite fit. I knew that 2021 was going to be a year of intense work, but that work was a foundation of the groundwork for the years to follow.
And one day, when I was just letting my mind wander, my word just popped into my mind. Sacred. When I first thought of it, I looked up the definition and found: "regarded with great respect and reverence by a particular religion, group, or individual". And that's how I want my life to feel. Regarded with great respect and reverence. And in terms of my business, I want to bring some beauty and sacredness into how my business feels on my side of things. More feminine flow instead of constant goal setting.
Keeping your word front and center
You may be wondering, how do you remember your word and keep it as a reminder? I usually have my word displayed in multiple areas: the front page of my bullet journal, on my yearly vision board, and the past four years I purchased word of the year flags from Roots and Feathers.