Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How to choose the word of the year: 5 tips


New Year´s Day feels like a clean slate. We feel we can start over, plan what we want to do, where we want to go to.Goals Lists Word of the Year
Some people write lists of New Year Resolutions, some choose a Word of the Year. For the past nine years I´ve belonged to the second group. You can click here to read which words worked and which ones didn´t 
How do I use the Word? I use it as a compass. Quinn McDonald calls it a “verbal amulet”. When I´m about to say Yes or No to something, I check if it takes me towards or away to where I´m going. If it takes me closer to my North I say Yes, if it takes me farther from it, I say “No, thanks.”. Yes, I´m polite like that. πŸ˜‰ If you have decided you are going to choose your Word of the Year for 2015 I´ll tell you what helped me along the years. 
Tip #1: choose something that is REALLY yours, not “what everbody else is choosing”. Trust me, I´ve been there. The word doesn´t work if it doesn´t come from your own heart, personal story and wishes. 
Tip #2: start with stating where you are and where you want to go. The “What brings me joy?” approach will remind you of things you might have lost sight of in the busyness of modern life.
Tip #3: choose positive action words and not avoidance ones. For example “eat healthier” works way better than “stop eating crap”.
Tip #4: talking avoid avoidance, avoid the “should”.
One year I found a word list at an influencer´s blog. You know the type, one of the cool girls around the web, who everyone follows. I had a look at the word list and mine wasn´t there. Why not? *dangerous path alarm* Was my word not good enough? *comparison and shame alert*
Well, no. My word is MY word. My word of the year is NOT about what I “should” do, it´s about how I want to feel, what I want to do.  Read tip #1 again.
Tip #5: “one word” is great for focus, have a main one but do not feel constrained by it. A few carefully selected ones will give you a strong structure to work on. Verbs are awesome because they point to action, phrases/sayings might work too. A personal favourite of mine for 2014 “Live long and prosper” #startreckfan
Let’s say you are one of the many people who would normally choose “Get Organized” as a resolution. You look around to see clutter and crap all over your life. You’re tired of the chaos. So, you think, “I need to get organized. That should be my Resolution this year.”But then you read this article. You decide to try it.You sit with your clutter. You spend a few days pondering words that will inspire you. You realize in an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you tend to cling to lots of things. You’re scared to let go. So you choose the word “Release” because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go.Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself.You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the extra weight you’ve gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.Your clutter became your teacher simply because you shifted your intent towards it. This wouldn’t have happened if you’d opted only to “Get Organized.”
You can read more of Christine´s work on her site and download her Word of the Year discovery tool.
Tell me, have you chosen a word for 2015? Or are you more goal oriented?

43 thoughts on “How to choose the word of the year: 5 tips

  • December 22, 2014 at 9:07 am
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    I have never heard of choosing a word of the year before. It sounds like fun, though.
    Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm
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    This is such an encouraging article. I’ve chosen “heart” for this year–not the sappy, twee hearts for sentimental use. Nope, this one is the tough, focused, discerning choosing heart. What do I want to present to the world that is me and not competitive, grasping, or fearful? What is truly me and how can I put it into the world to connect? It sure will narrow down my choices. Frankly, I’m a little apprehensive. But hey, what’s a good word for?
    Reply
    • December 31, 2014 at 10:40 am
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      Thanks Quinn! Looove you! Your “heart” choice did surprise me at first but reading your explanation it makes sense. I´m not that brave yet.
      Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm
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    Omg chosing a world of the year sounds Pretty fun!! I should do this with my hubby!
    Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm
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    I have never heard of choosing a new word for the new year but I absolutely love this idea! Thanks so much, I can’t wait to do this now <3 p="">Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 3:06 pm
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    I’d like to kick off the new year in a fun and productive way like this. I’m looking forward to doing better next year!
    Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm
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    I had just recently heard about people choosing a word. A word to inspire them. I think it is a great idea!
    Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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    I have always done New Year Resolutions. I haven’t heard of choosing a word, but I really like the idea…I’m definitely going to give it alot of thought!
    Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 11:08 pm
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    I guess positive and encouraging words would do better than using negative ones. I hope you get the right words this time. Removing clutter is a great resolution.
    Reply
  • December 23, 2014 at 2:23 am
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    What a great way to start the new year! So many different great words to choose from, I’m excited :)
    Reply
  • December 23, 2014 at 3:19 am
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    This sounds like an interesting thing to do. I’ve never done this before, but maybe I will this year!
    Reply
  • December 23, 2014 at 4:13 am
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    hmmm this is interesting, never heard of choosing ‘a word’ for the year and thinking of it i do not know what i would choose. I also do not like setting resolutions as do not want to back out and feel like a failure so i do month goals and they work for me
    Reply
    • December 31, 2014 at 10:54 am
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      Finding a system that works for you is key. Setting realistic goals is great. Too big ones set you in the path of dissapointment.
      Reply
  • December 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm
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    Great advice, Paula. I’ve been working on my word for this coming year as well as reviewing my word from the current year. It’s been a bit surprising as well as satisfying to see how well this year’s word worked. I think above all we really need to listen deeply to ourselves. Also, I don’t do resolutions as much as lists of goals… I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily goal oriented, but by writing them down as a sort of to-do list, I’m inviting them into my life for the year — I’m not trying to remake myself, just invite more of the good stuff.
    Reply
    • December 31, 2014 at 10:58 am
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      It is a helpful addition to the goals system, setting a general direction for the year. Love the “see how it goes” attittude. πŸ˜€
      Reply
  • December 26, 2014 at 9:56 am
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    Picking a word of the year is such a great idea! I had never thought of doing that before — instead I’m the long list writer who doesn’t usually do half the things I wrote down to do.
    Reply
    • December 31, 2014 at 11:01 am
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      Have you rechecked your list at the end of the year Penny? Asking yourself why those things didn´t get done is a useful learning experience. There might be some goals that don´t belong in your list any more, just because you changed your mind or something better showed up.
      Reply
  • December 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm
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    For a few years I chose a word, then last year I actually opted for a quote. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do this year, I think I may go back to a word.
    Reply



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