Well, after talking about my Handlettered Word of the Year Project, I’ve had a quite a few questions about how I go about chosing my word of the year. So I thought I’d talk to you a bit about my process and see if I can help out!
Seriously, I could go on and on about this, and I probably will, but for today I thought I’d share some simple steps for you, about how to go about choosing your word of the year – what I’m sharing here is a big chunk of what my own process looks like when I’m working through the word of the year question…. there are SO many options and so many words… It can be easy to get overwhelmed!
You can certainly look up lists upon lists of word ideas (seriously, just google “one little word ideas” or “word of the year list”….) but I find it is really helpful to get personal while you are working on your own Word of the Year. We are talking about a word that is going to be your own for a full year…. I don’t want you to feel like you have to keep up with the Joneses or pick from some pre-prescribed list.
So! If you are still wrestling with your word – just grab a random piece of paper and a writing utensil of any kind and try the following ideas. No pressure here friends, just see where it takes you!
Some simple ideas for choosing your word of the year:
Look for connections: Write down the various goals you have for the upcoming year and look for what they might all have in common…. health?? happiness?? focus??? Write those main ideas down.
Go deeper: When you list out your goals, try to think past the literal to-do of them and think about the motivation – are you seeing yourself looking for more intensity? More rest? Simplification? Write down the reasons BEHIND your goals and your word might show up for you right there!
Look around you – what words are showing up in your life over and over? Are you seeing the word “shine” everywhere you look, maybe intention keeps coming up in everything you hear… sometimes the universe is speaking to you! Write any words down that seem to be following you around.
Have the idea of what you are looking for but struggling to find the perfect word to capture it?? Look it up on thesaurus.com and see what happens when you start clicking through from one word to the next… write down your favorites as you go.
Look up some of the quotes/poems/bible verses that have been speaking to you, sometimes you will find your word right there on the page!! Write down the words that stand out to you.
Now that you have a page filled with words, start looking for repeats/themes/connections in your list of words… Don’t be afraid to just let your intuition take over, if there is a word on there calling to you LISTEN! There is a good chance that once you see your word on your scratch paper of ideas you will know it is the ONE… sometimes it will even feel like you have known it was the one all along!
FINALLY friends, I simply MUST say this:
Don’t let perfectionism hold you back. This isn’t a contest, your word does not have to be the most one-of-a-kind, unique word. It does not have to wow the masses, it does not have to be fancy or 4+ syllable.. It only has to be YOURS.
Don’t pressure yourself so much that you stop yourself before you even get started! The very best thing about the word of the year journey is exactly that. THE JOURNEY. So let yourself set course, even if it feels like an imperfect one, and see where you can go with it.
Every single word has the ability to grow, and evolve and to meet you where you are at. So don’t be afraid of picking the wrong one. It isn’t possible, you don’t need a perfect word, you need a willing heart and the courage to look inside, and let your soul guide you through this process.
If you commit to a word, ANY word that feels right to you, it will change your life for the better. I honestly believe this with all my heart. Every word I’ve chosen had something to teach me, and any word I could choose right now could teach me something new, so follow that heart of yours – seriously. Because the best part is what comes after you plant that little word – and watch it grow.
Next up I’ll be sharing my own word of the year Journey, so keep an eye out for that one! But today, if you are still struggling to find that word try some of the above ideas – you’ve GOT this! The journey is just beginning and it is going to be AWESOME!
*Want to know more about what my word of the year project is?? Read this post to learn more!*