When I was struggling with choosing a guiding word of the year so I could write something in my planner, that space would go empty for months for a long time, but for 2020 I found mine weeks before.
By using the guiding tips in this post you can also find your very own inspiring and motivational WOTY today. Just grab a pen and paper and follow along.
First, why do people choose a word of the year at all?
Why have a word of the year? one may ask.
People choose a word of the year because a guiding word is like a compass. When you use it regularly, it helps correct our thinking and decision making in everyday activities. It sets an overarching theme for the year. You can then see how this theme helps you in the various roles you play. For example, if ‘joy’ is your word for the year, you will want to bring joy in your home, in your relationships, in your work, etc. In my recent newsletter, I explained this with my own example:
For 2020, mine is baby steps. I’m currently in the growth stage:
-of my business, and
-most importantly of my personal life –
I have work to do. A word of the year will help you in every role you play.
Before I started using a planner to survive the craziness of an s.a.h.m. life, the biggest issue for me was remembering my new year resolutions. The reason why I love a good word of the year is that it is so much lighter to ‘carry‘ in your head. It’s a small thing that sticks with initial practice (and by setting up simple ‘anchors’ I’m tied to my guiding word of the year, which we’ll discuss in a bit.)
How to pick a word of the year that truly benefits you
How is a word of the year chosen?
Let me share with you how to come up with a good guiding word of the year. You may also call them your one word intentions for 2020. Use one, more or all of the suggestions. Do not feel pressured if some of them do not fit with your circumstances. If you take notes as you read, use a simple pen and paper or if you’re busy (or lazy) you can just split your screen and use notes in one section as you answer the following questions:
- Look around you, what do you need most in life right now?
- What season of life are you going through?
- Where do you want to be as the next step of your long term plan?
- What is the EASIEST or FASTEST or SIMPLEST (choose the one that most aligns with the current season of your life as a SAHM) quality that will take you there?
- What lights a fire in you? This is non-negotiable. A WOTY has to motivate you, give a sense of hope, OR stroke your ego till it inflates to the height that makes you DO what you decided to do.
- Can you see it helping you move forward or grow in all major areas of your life, like:
- belief system etc
- Is it short enough to stick in the mind and stay
- If you like, you can try word of the year generators for inspiration or for getting started. Personally I wanted my word of the year to come out of my heart after seeing how it goes with different roles I play.
- You can Google for the word of the year quizzes that can recommend to you your word.
- Is there a quote or a verse which is your guiding source frequently, you can pick a word from it too.
The language form of your word doesn’t matter. It can be a word, a compound word or a multi-word phrase. Just don’t make it so long it doesn’t remain sticky anymore. (Remember, smaller phrases stick in the head easily?) Just don’t overthink this.
what to do with your word of the year for lifechanging results
Your word should steer your decision making in everyday life. Once you settle on a word you should pray to God why He settled you with this word and how you can implement it more, and most importantly in what area of life.
The first and most powerful step in activating your word is writing it down. And the best place to do it is in public so use the comment section of this blog post and put your word of the year in writing and form accountability by sharing it with everyone over here.
Next, write it down in your planner. My planner has a special space designed for the word of the year but you can also put it in your daily schedule or in your daily journaling practice (click the yellow button below to sign up and grab your word of the year inspired journaling worksheet with prompts) to see how it comes in action into your daily life. This way you remember to implement it in whatever is going on that day.
You can use word of the day or word of the month synonyms that support your overall guiding word of the year.
Use a scripture or supporting quote by someone you hold in high esteem to support your personal themes for the year.
How else can you trigger your word of the year out of the paper into your life?
I mentioned ‘anchors‘ or reminders for bringing your word more and more to life. This concept came from Denise Duffield’s training on manifestations. She said when she was manifesting her dream travel trip, she used close to 50 anchors that held her tied to her dream and didn’t let her thoughts wander into doubts. We will use this concept for our word of the year.
If you think you won’t remember your word, do this, put it in as many places as you can. Here are 20 anchors to start with:
- in a wall art
- fabric paint or print it on your shirt
- on your coffee mug
- put it inside your pen as a pen insert
- get a pendant, a bracelet or wristband made with it or DIY it
- use your child’s magnetic or sticker alphabets to write your WOTY on the fridge
- put it on your computer screen
- on your phone wallpaper
- record your voice saying your word and use that as your alarm
- save your name in Google and everywhere else where you can with the middle name as your word e.g. for me it would be Hena-Baby-Steps-Bilal
- replace your catchphrase, pet phrase or watchword with your WOTY
- instead of saying shoot, the f word or any other exclamation, start using your WOTY
- Make a door sign or hanging for every door you frequently use
- write it on the corners of your bathroom and bedroom mirrors
- put it on the front-facing inner wall of your cupboard (or the door, whichever is more visible to your eye.)
- Write it on top of your planner/journal
- Get a car decal
- Set up a daily IFTTT email or text message that sends you a notification every day with your WOTY first thing in the morning
- get a pocket or purse talisman with your WOTY on it
- write it on the back of your remote controls (ac, tv..)
The list can be endless.
Make your word of the year 2020 the first and the last word you interact with every day this year.
If you have bigger kids, you don’t have to do it alone, choosing a guiding word of the year for the entire family can become a fun activity. Everyone can come up their own family word of the year suggestion- one word to define 2020 for everyone! You’ll be amazed to see what each person expects from the family.
100 word of the year ideas to get you started
Here is my 2020 word of the year suggestions you can use to describe your new year. I first visualized each one of these in my own life before putting them here. Each and every word is my personal favorite and not just randomly picked. I personally would love to use these in various seasons of my life.
- Baby steps (my 2020 word)
- Consistent (my 2019 word)
- Choose (my 2018 word)
- Easy (my favorite blogger Ruth’s word)
- Organized transformation (my friend’s word, her supporting quote is ‘everything is figuregoutable’)
- No (I will use it sometime in life)
- Attack (what’s keeping you small)
- Carry on
- O.D.A.A.T (One day at a time!)
- Why not?
Download Your Word Of The Year List & Journaling page with prompts
Click the yellow button below to download a pdf version of your word of the year ideas list and a worksheet for journaling.
Keep reading: 30 Easy But Unique Bucket List Ideas For Simple People
I hope you found this post useful for choosing a guiding word of the year that truly benefits and inspires you to make positive improvements this year.
Table of Contents
- If you’re still stuck on choosing a guiding word of the year that you really like then here is help for better goal setting this new year. (This post contains affiliate links.)
- First, why do people choose a word of the year at all?
- How to pick a word of the year that truly benefits you
- what to do with your word of the year for lifechanging results
- 100 word of the year ideas to get you started
- Download Your Word Of The Year List & Journaling page with prompts