A “Word-Of-The-Year” is a very simple concept that many people use instead of New Year’s resolutions. It’s a single word that sums up your intentions and provides focus for the next 365 days. It’s also called “One Word Resolution”, “One Word Intention”, “Personal Mantra” or simply “One Word”.
Instead of focusing on a list of goals that often get abandoned by February, a simple word or phrase will be your guide. One word is easy to remember, simple to focus on and can gently guide your decisions, plans and actions in all areas of life.
Choosing your “Word-Of-The-Year”
Only One Word?
Often people have difficulty deciding on a single word, afraid it will be the wrong choice. But there is no right or wrong here, just pick a word that speaks to you. Choosing a single word will help you focus more closely, but often 2 or 3 words (or a phrase) will more accurately reflect your intention. Sometimes it can make sense to pick one personal word and one for e.g. your business, or some other specific area of your life. Some people simply prefer a set of 3 words, others settle for a phrase or quote.
Going Beyond Jan 1st
While Jan 1st is a great place to start for a lot of people, there is absolutely no reason to make this the one and only way to do it. You can use your birthday as a starting point, the Chinese new year, the school year, the summer solstice, the first of any month, the day you get divorced or any other day you see fit. And while a year is a good amount of time to integrate a concept into your daily life, shorter or longer periods certainly work too. You can use one word intentions for any given month, week or day.
Picking Your One Word
There are different ways to find your word. You can actively search for it or let it come to you. You can seek it in meditation or prayer. If you have done this a few times, your word will most likely sneak up on you when the time is right. First-timers will often need a little more help to jumpstart the process. A good start would be to just make a list of words that appeal to you. Set aside some undisturbed time, but also make room for the process to expand over a few days or even weeks. Then pick the word that resonates the strongest with you.
If you need more help, Christine Kane has a wonderful little guide to help you discover your word. Check out her “Word-Of-The-Year” Discovery Tool.