You don't need new year's resolutions, goals to use as a metaphorical stick to beat yourself with or a bucket list that feels way out of reach. Just pick a word for the year and let it be your guide.
Here's how to choose one...
Why choose a word for the year?
Choosing a word for your year acts as an anchor to keep you from drifting and a compass point to gently guide you throughout your year.
I like to choose my word before setting any intentions as I find that the word helps me to set the mood for my year and any dreams, intentions and plans seem to flow naturally from it.
When self-doubt creeps in or you have a tricky decision to make, your sacred word can help you work out which course of action is most aligned to you and your needs. It also acts as a motivator if the word you have chosen is there to stretch your comfort zone.
My word for 2020 was 'gutsy' and it's amazing what that word helped me to achieve this year, even in a global pandemic.
How to choose your word for the year
Choosing a word for the year can feel exciting and expansive, so set aside some time for yourself to reflect. I love cosying up somewhere quiet in my PJs with a blanket and a brew to do this, though I've also enjoyed doing it on New Year's Eve with a glass of bubbly.
In your journal or a notebook, note down your answers to the following questions:
When did you feel most alive?
When did you feel most like your true self?
What were your wins? (little or big - they all add up)
What do you want to let go of?
Notice how your answers make you feel in your body - particularly when thinking of what made you feel most alive or what you want to let go of. A tingly feeling or an uncomfortable shift in your seat are your body's little ways of telling you something.
Take a few minutes to read back your responses and look at which words or ideas you're drawn to. Are there any patterns or things you've noticed?
On a new page, let your mind drift and note down any words that speak to you - give yourself permission to write down whatever comes to mind, even if it feels outrageous or 'out of character'.
Listen to your soul - it will whisper to you through the words.
Look at each word you've noted down. Which ones jump off the page at you? Circle them. Try each one on for size. You might have one that feels 'right' and one that feels tingly, almost scary.
Using Your Word for the Year
Once you've chosen your word for the year, you need to keep it somewhere you'll see it every day.
You could simply write down the word on a piece of paper and put it in your purse, take a photo of the piece of paper and use it as the lock screen on your phone or write it on a post-it and stick it on your mirror.
You could also get more creative and make a piece of wall art using the word.
Use your word to guide any dreams or plans for the year. It's best not to overload yourself - just pick one or two for the year and focus on making them into reality.
Whenever you find yourself unsure of which way to turn, look at which path will take you closest to your sacred word and you have your North Star to follow.
Seasonal Trig Points
The seasons are perfect signposts for tracking your progress using your word for the year. If you were setting out on a journey, you would check your progress on the journey using landmarks, and checking in on your dreams is a similar process.
Each season is marked with an equinox or solstice, we are seasonal beings, so it makes sense to use these natural markers of the year to check in on our dreams and plans. I've given you the dates for 2021 below, mark them in your diary and plan a little celebration for each one.
Spring Equinox - 20th March 2021
Summer Solstice 21 June 2021 (the longest day)
Autumn Equinox 22 September 2021
Winter Solstice 21 December 2021 (the shortest day)
The Perfect Journal
If you're looking for a beautiful journal to hold your hopes, dreams and plans, then I stock beautiful hand-bound journals.
Featuring unique hand marbled paper covers, embossing and beautiful flecked, textured hand-cut pages of recycled 140gsm cartridge paper, each journal takes Amy at Graphis Books two days to craft.
Find out more here.