How I Chose My Word of the Year

How I chose my word of the year

I haven’t picked a word of the year every year, but when I have it’s been helpful for seeing the big picture.

This year to help map out and track my goals, I’ve been using Power Sheets. In the workbook’s prep pages, it encourages you to do a lot of things, one of which includes choosing a word for your year.

For me, having a word for the year helps me maintain focus. You know when you’re working out, and your heat is starting to hurt a little and your muscles are ready to tap out? I have those moments a lot during the year when I’m working through some of my bigger, harder goals. The ones that require more discipline.

But when I reach that point in a workout, what really helps is finding one spot, on a wall, the floor or anywhere, that I can focus on. I can let my body do the work and motions of the exercise on concentrate on one spot instead of all of the pain and discomfort I’m feeling in the moment.

So my word for the year is just like that spot on the wall. And when doing the work gets hard, I know I can look it and focus on that action to get through the tough part.

How I chose my word of the year

As I was going through my Power Sheets this year, a few ideas and words kept coming up. Create was one of them.

I’ve been pretty transparent about wanting to create more content on the blog and on other platforms in the new year and really grow the Space on Third brand. So it seemed like create would be a perfect fit for my word of the year. But the more I kept writing ideas and grouping things together, I realized create only described one side of my overall goal for 2018.

So I went to the dictionary and the thesaurus. Yep. I went there.

I went through words, looking up their definitions and synonyms to find one that really encompassed everything I wanted for 2018. Flow and produce were both strong contenders for a while

Until I found that word that said it all. The word that became my word of the year.

How I chose my word of the year


Its meaning has a few parts.

One, to give forth or produce by a natural process or as the results of cultivation. If that doesn’t perfectly describe what I hope to do with my content and brand in 2018, nothing does! It means that by doing the right work, by putting in true effort and time, something will come from that, There will be a harvest.

Secondly, it means to give up or give over; to surrender yourself. Once I read this part of the definition, I nearly fell over at how perfect it felt.

Because putting yourself out there, putting so much of your life and passion online really requires you to get over yourself. Promoting yourself and your work shouldn’t feel gross or off putting, but it can. I’ve missed opportunities and held myself back countless times because of self doubt or not wanting to seem a certain way to others when I talk about the blog and what I do online.

This year, I want to get over myself. Because as uncomfortable as putting yourself in the spotlight can be, nothing is more uncomfortable than feeling like you’re holding yourself back from living your purpose.

Nothing is more uncomfortable than feeling like you're holding yourself back from living your purpose. Click To Tweet

In 2018, I want to do the work that produces and bring forth and delivers while also giving over my plans for the bigger plans I know God has for me.

And you know what happens when you focus on doing things that bring forth while also focusing on giving over yourself? Balance. A natural give and take.

How I chose my word of the year

If you you haven’t found a word of the year yet, here are some tips to find one that rings true to you:

  • Write out your goals, hopes and wants for the new year. What do those things have in common? What keeps coming up? Your word is the common thread of all those things!
  • Read some definitions of words that keep coming up in your list and check their synonyms. One word may not do it but a similar term may be the one.
  • It’s okay to change your word during the year, so don’t feel married to just one.
  • Be intentional about the word you choose. Make sure it really means something to you and doesn’t just look good on paper. Let it be personal.
  • Read Lara Casey’s post on choosing a word (hers follows the Power Sheets model, but you don’t need the workbook to get something out of her prep series!)

Do you have a word for the year? If you do, share it in the comments and let me know why you chose it!

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  1. That’s such a great word.