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How To Choose Your Word of the Year: A Refreshing Focus or Intention

How To Choose Your Word of the Year: A Refreshing Focus or Intention

Choosing my word of the year is a simple way to bring more clarity and ease to kick off the new year. I find it much more fun and inspiring than “New Year’s Resolutions.” I use a quick system to find my Word of the Year which I’ll share below.

Making resolutions doesn’t seem helpful to most people. For one thing, they tend to have some negative energy in them and that doesn’t tend to have lasting power.

How is the New Year’s energy working for you so far?

  • Revved up about some big ideas to pursue?
  • Being hard on yourself about moving “too slowly” on those ideas?
  • Relaxing into the flow of life?
  • A messy mix of it all?

I’ve got a mix, and luckily, it’s mostly feeling OK because I’ve made that a conscious decision to look for downstream flow in my life.

Because a sense of downstream is the life I really want, I choose that as my focus, and my word of the year.

What perspective does your true self want for the new year? You can choose your perspective and let that lead the way. I’ve got an easy way to help you choose your word of the year.

Winter peace and clarity
Inspiration from a simple winter scene to help us set a simple one-word intention.

Quick Exercise to Choose Your Word of the Year

Hey, let’s take a minute right now to make a conscious choice for your perspective so that you’re energized instead of drained, or flowing instead of pushing.

I’ll help you make some simple choices about the new year, including choosing a one-word mindset or intention to keep you on track.

I’ve just done this exercise and I invite you to join me. This is quick. Get a pen and paper, for real, and jot down a few words for each question:

  1. What went well last year that you want to bring with you into this year?
  2. What is something you would love to leave back in last year and not repeat?
  3. What are 3 feelings you want to have that represent the “good life” you really want? (e.g., ease, fulfillment, freedom, love)
  4. What word for the year will help you stay focused on those feelings? (e.g., flow, laughter). I suggest that you’ve found your word when your heart says a big Yes when you say it.

Go ahead and write down those answers. I’ll wait here….. It’s quick and it will be well worth the time…..

OK, are you done with that? Are you feeling that Yes energy for your word?

Now we’re ready to start the new year on a conscious and fulfilling note, without all the mindless pushing energy of “Gotta do better, do more, figure it out.”

My word for the year = DOWNSTREAM

This means I intend to follow the energy of when it feels like I’m working with the downstream flow of life. I am saying Yes to downstream and No to upstream. That simple criteria answers all questions for my business and my life.

Downstream doesn’t mean I’m passive. Downstream has powerful movement to it, with a harmonious feeling.

I put my word for the year on the wall in front of my desk. Feels good. I recommend keeping your word front and center like that.

This one word has been surprisingly helpful to me these last couple weeks, even with some life-changing decisions I had to make.

P.S. I allow myself to use phrases too. One year it was “Go forth and be messy” because perfectionism was holding my hostage and needed to let go in a playful way.

Picture of Val Nelson

Val Nelson

I’ve been a self-employed career/business/purpose coach since 2009. I help introverts and HSPs (like me) who want to make a difference — in a way that fits our practical needs too.
Val Nelson | Coaching | Groups | Courses | Newsletter | LinkedIn

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