It’s that time of the year when the waves of hope splash over us creating intentions for the year that is about to unfold. The time when our inner callings for change and growth bubble up to the surface nurturing dreams and New Year’s resolutions. I’ve recently written about my thought process to create soul-centric, SMART goals. Now I’d like to expand on the concept of centering on a word to ground you for 2023. I’ve been using it for the past couple of years and can affirm that it creates positive change. I invite you to come up with your power word and have fun in the process as you beef up your mindfulness muscles!
- Why create a word of the year?
- Will my word of the year replace my New Year’s resolutions?
- How to choose my word of the year?
- Ideas for your 2023 word of the year
- Can I have more than one word of the year?
- Can my 2023 word change as the year unfolds?
- Can my word of the year be the same as last year’s?
- My 2023 word of the year: Trust
- I want to hear from you: do you have a word of the year?
Why create a word of the year?
Your word of the year sets an intention and intentions are powerful catalysts for creating a life that feels true to you. Your word opens up energetic pathways that will lead to synchronicities and miracles big and small in the months to come. For example, it can call in people or situations that will guide you to your next personal or professional chapter.
On a practical level, it will help you keep focused on what really matters to you. Let’s assume you choose balance as your word of the year. If balance for you means having a couple of free evenings to indulge in self-care (read a book, get a massage, you name it), does it make sense to add another volunteer activity to your agenda? Balance can empower you to more easily choose “no” as an answer.
Will my word of the year replace my New Year’s resolutions?
It’s really up to you. I approach the word of the year as a North Star, a foundation for creating soul-centric goals. In addition to having a word, I’m a firm believer in creating specific goals that will support you on your quest to create your best life. As the CEO of your life, you choose what’s best for you.
How to choose my word of the year?
- Go to a place where you won’t be interrupted for a few hours. Grab pen and paper. Silence your notifications. If you haven’t meditated before, I recommend you do it now. Simply set a timer for 5-10 minutes, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Now write down without judgment some intentions for the year. List 3 to 5 things that would move your personal and professional life forward.
- Next, think about how you want to feel as you put these activities into action. Some ideas: do you want to feel joy? Ease? Accomplished? Empowered? Empowering? Loving? Sexy? Creative? Courageous? Healthy? Create a list of 5-10 words that resonate with your goals for the year.
- Now choose the one word that feels good in your gut. This is a very important step: don’t let your rational mind hijack your word. Your word must come from your heart. You’ll know it’s coming from your heart when it lands with ease in your body. You feel a sense of expansion and resonance.
- Let this word sit with you for a few days. Come back to it. Does the word still ring true to you? If yes, then you found your word of the year.
Ideas for your 2023 word of the year
Check out Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead list of values. They provide great insights into choosing your word.
Can I have more than one word of the year?
It’s always an option. I’ve used more than one word in the past, but now that I’m more familiar with the exercise I’ll choose just one word instead, one that really speaks to my heart at this moment in life. That’s my recommendation. There’s power in simplicity.
In 2021, the first time I tried the exercise, I chose two words: clarity and focus. At the time, certain areas of my life felt “off.” I wanted change, but didn’t exactly know what change meant. For most of the year clarity was the word that resonated with me. I realized that focus wasn’t created from the heart, but from my rational mind that strives on goal delivery. I started consuming a lot of mindfulness-related activities and by end of the year I gained the clarity I sought: I decided to take a career break.
Can my 2023 word change as the year unfolds?
Absolutely. Impermanence is one of the few truths in life. The world around us is always in evolution, for better or for worse, prompting us to create internal changes in how we interact with this ever-evolving world. Often, the change starts with us and then we transport it to the outside world.
I started 2022 with expand and ease as my word choices. I knew that I would be leaving my high-paying corporate job to embark on a year-long career break to travel and shift into new ways of being. Those words grounded me for the first half of the year, though for most part ease felt like a stretch. In those times of hardships, like when I had to undergo a major abdominal surgery, ease helped calm me down, but expand still felt more aligned. Deep inside, I was aware that my surgery was (a bizarre) part of a greater life plan to expand into my truest self.
By mid-year, after visiting seven countries in three months and experiencing great personal shifts, I was introduced to the concept of living in alignment. I could feel shockwaves of energy in my veins. It was the articulation, the language I needed to break the chains that were keeping me small. Upon reviewing my yearly goals, alignment became my word. I find it so powerful that I believe it’ll be my forever word, the underlying theme of how I intend to live my life: in alignment with my soul, even if the path to get there may at times be filled with challenges.
Can my word of the year be the same as last year’s?
I’ll say it again: you’re the CEO of your life. Does the word still ring true to you? Is it aligned with the activities you intend to deliver this year? Is it aligned with the person you want to become? Then I say yes, go for it.
My 2023 word of the year: Trust
In December 2022 I started to reflect on what I needed to do to powerfully continue on my path to self-actualization. Just as importantly, I reflected on who I needed to be. Trust landed on my shoulders like a beautiful colorful bird fluttering its wings and looking to nest. I want to trust in my gut to continue making choices and taking actions that come from a place of love and respect for myself and for others. Trust that my goals will come to fruition, such as my goal to “find work that I love, gives me mobility and pays well.” Trust that people are lining up to support me and that synchronicities will unfold abundantly as I create the new chapter of my life post-career break.
And so it is. The universe has my ear now. I can already see the wheels turning (and it’s only January 8!).
I want to hear from you: do you have a word of the year?
Do you have a word for 2023? Are you new to this exercise or have you been doing it for a while? I kindly invite you to share your experience by writing on the comments box below. Your sharing can empower and spur creativity among our reader community.
You may also enjoy this post: How my 2022 New Year’s resolutions unfolded and tipos for creating soul-centric goals