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How to Choose Your Word for the Year

How to Choose Your Word for the Year

Meddlers Founder Tara Collison discusses why she chooses a word instead of setting a resolution each year and how you can choose your own word to pursue.

Written by:Tara A. Collison, Ph.D.

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.” - Yehuda Berg

A few years ago, a colleague of mine told me that instead of setting a resolution each year, she chose a word. It was a way to keep her goals and intentions in mind. I loved the idea, tried it, and never looked back. Since then, I’ve realized that my word is not just a goal or desired outcome, but rather an anchor for how I want to show up in the world, and what I want to embody.

For me, the word of the year has become an important piece to the puzzle that is self-improvement – something you can bring along for the next trip ‘round the sun and revisit in moments of stress, confusion, and success. None of us are 100% perfect when it comes to yearly resolutions, but you can use a designated word as a sort of true north – a guiding principle behind your thoughts and actions.

So, how do you choose your word?

  • Reflect on the previous year. What went right? What could’ve been better? There’s no need to overanalyze. Just go with the first things that come to mind.
  • Visualize how you want to show up. Imagine you’re accomplishing the things you want to achieve. Are you passionate, excited, and inspiring others? Are you moving through goals with the ease and grace of a dancer? Are you quiet and thoughtful like the wise sage?
  • Pick ten words attached to a specific goal. With all of the above in mind, start creating a list of words that inspire action in relation to your goal. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, your list might include words like patience, motivation, determination, or endurance.
  • Narrow it down to three words. It’s likely there are a few stand-outs already. Eliminate words that don’t compliment your goal or relate to your intentions.
  • Choose a winner! It never hurts to ask a trusted friend or family member for their opinion. I did, and it made a huge difference. Chances are, the people in your life have better insight into your goals and behaviors than you might think.

What’s My Word? 
Some of you may know I chose “Flow” as my word for 2019 as a reminder to work toward a state of intrinsic motivation, prioritize the most important work, and go deep to capture the best of what I can bring to my clients, family, and self. Read more about the thought that went behind this choice in our recent blog, and let us know which word you’re focusing on for the new year!

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