At the beginning of the new year I choose a Word of the year.
I consciously choose my word during this period and not at the end of December, although sometimes I am consciously and possibly unconsciously working on it earlier
The reason for choosing a word in January is to really take the time, after closing the previous year, to look and feel what I want to develop further in the coming year, which direction I would like to go in more, what I would like to do more of and what I can and want to let go of.
The word is then a kind of anchor for my own personal growth.
During the year, I sometimes pick up the chosen word to remind myself and see how things are going.
And before I determine my new word, I first take the time to carefully reflect on what developments I have gone through based on the word of the previous year.
A word can be very broad, and yet it is specific.
New Year's resolutions vs Word of the year
Yep, at the beginning of the year we often make great resolutions. Very good of course, but we often don’t keep it up, or we simply forget about it after a while.
Although a resolution and your personal word have similarities, they are not really the same. A word is compact and easy to remember. A word is powerful, and it clearly summarizes your purpose or intention.
An intention is often a whole sentence and often focused on action; I will exercise x times a week, eat healthier, quit (fill in the blank), drink less, make more social contacts, look for a new job, etc etc.
Why choose a Word of the Year?
There are many benefits to choosing a word. I have already mentioned a few above, but for a clear overview here is a short list:
1. Motivation and inspiration
This can be in terms of personal development, but also in the areas of your work and social life. By turning to your Word every now and then, it can motivate you to take steps and inspire you, for example, when things are not going well or when you could use a little more focus.
2. Personal growth
There is always something we could develop more and your word of the year helps you define what you want to work on and/or achieve. The purpose of your word is to motivate you and remind you of what your personal goal(s) or wishes are. It helps you to evaluate where you are in your personal growth during and at the end of the year so that you can make adjustments or make different choices if necessary.
You gain insight when you become aware of what is happening in and around you. A word can help you become aware of what you want to develop and how certain things are at that moment. Your personal word is your word and not what someone else or society would like.
A word of the year helps you to become aware of what your goals and wishes are and also what your choices are or will become. And from awareness and insight you can make changes that will have a positive effect on your general well-being and life.
Your word can help you make decisions and determine your priorities. Focus can give you a direction to what you consciously pay attention to, and to what you want and will invest your time and energy in and in what you don’t (anymore) or at least less.
During the year there will certainly be challenges related to your word. Your word can help you clarify what exactly those challenges are and provide insight into what you have learned from them, such as how you dealt with them, what you could do differently next time and whether you have already noticed growth in your response or acting on a challenge. Maybe you already approach something completely differently or have already experienced something differently. A challenge can actually be a kind of gift to see how you grow and your word helps increase your awareness and focus.
6. Evaluation and Reflection
When the year is over, you can evaluate and reflect very effectively based on just one word. What challenges were there, what learning moments, what changes have occurred, what have you learned, what successes have you achieved, what did your growth consist of, are there still steps you could develop further, what will you take with you to the next year? And perhaps this evaluation and reflection will also influence your choice of word for the coming year.
Word, color and chakra
You can help yourself even more by seeing whether your word also corresponds to a certain color and possibly also a chakra. For example, you can wear clothes in that color, even if it’s just your socks, and set the color as a screensaver on your phone so that you see it often to remind you what your word is. And during meditation you can focus extra on that particular chakra.
My personal words from the past few years
In 2019 I started by choosing a word of the year. I was inspired by a friend who did that, and later I started hearing it around me more and more.
To be honest, it was sometimes difficult to choose just one word. What would I like to develop further? That could be so much! In this process of choosing a word AND sharing it, it was also confrontational at times. But it also helped me to take an honest look at myself, where I stood and where I wanted to go. Without judgment and without shame.
For this year, 2024, I choose Letting Go. This word also crossed my mind in other years, but it didn’t become it. But this time, ‘letting go’ came to my mind more and more at the end of 2023, and it now fits exactly with the process I am in. As if the time is now ripe for it
Previous Words of the Year:
2019 – Explore
2021 – Trust
2022 – Decisiveness
2023 – Wander
And 2024 will be: Letting go
Letting go corresponds to the sixth Chakra and that includes the color indigo.
Hi, my name is Jolinda, and I work as a holistic health practitioner. I provide yoga and meditation classes and massage and Reiki treatments, mindfulness training and happiness coaching,.
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