Let Your Word Be Your Guide!

Chances are, you might have ever so slightly slid or even slam dunk fallen off your recently created, best intended, new years resolution.  Don’t worry, I’m not beating on you for it. As a matter of fact, according to U.S News & World Report, you’re with a lot of other people. The failure rate is 80%, and most lose their resolve by mid-February, which is exactly why I’ve got a solution to your broken resolution.

Several years ago, I resolved to end this ridiculous idea.  Why would I set myself up knowing that the odds are massively against me?

I replaced it with a new practice called “Word Of The Year” or “WOTY”.  It’s a kinder, gentler, and I would argue, more powerful change agent that keeps you going throughout the year — making remarkable changes in your growth and attitude. 

What’s in a word ?

Your word represents an idea/ feeling that you continually rise up to. Your word is kept top and center of all your actions and decisions throughout the year. What’s cool is that your word adjusts to each particular situation and different circumstance that comes along in your life.

Why I chose my WOTY

Truth be told, my word this year was exactly that. TRUTH.  It’s the word that kept coming to me and so I decided it would be given the place of honor for 2021.  Once you see how my word will fit into my life, you’ll see for yourself how to uncover yours. 

My WOTY reminds me that my focus and my goals all lead with truth. It means that I will choose truth, being always mindful that I speak my truth. That I know the ultimate truth, which enables me to further my relationship with God.  That I will seek the truth and not be blindly led my news or gossip. That I will allow others to experience their truth without judgement or trying to talk them into mine.

Wow, right?  I know, it’s so expansive. My word has deeper legs than any single resolution I could have made.  It’s easier to navigate and keep working with. It’s fun because I can watch myself learn and grow from it and can apply it directly to each life scenario I encounter. 

How to chose your WOTY

So here’s what you do.

First reflect on it –

You can do this by visualizing what your perfect day feels like.  What is your morning routine, how do you feel while you are working, how do you feel throughout the day?  Think of a feeling (what you would want your perfect day to feel like)  and look at words that match your feeling.  Make a list of the world that speak to you.  For example you can make a list like this:

action, balance, integrity, health, simplicity, peace, creativity, grace, patience, joy, fun, focus, growth…  

…you get the idea.  Use your feelings and look up words that represent it. Words you can aspire to and have fun with.  Circle 2-3 words that jump out to you.

Second meditate on it —

Place yourself in a relaxed state. Set the scene with soft music, candlelight. Close your eyes and let your intuition flow. Let it do the work. Which word will be yours this year?  Ask yourself what feels right, exciting, even a little scary?  (and don’t worry, you can pick 2 if you’re really fond of them)  This is a great way to practice your intuitive guidance – so let it lead the way.

Why it works

It works because it’s simple. It’s doable and it’s actionable. It’s fun and easy to keep your word with you.    

Here are 5 fun and effective ways to keep your word:

1) Post it – You can write it on a post it note and stick on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror and computer.  I like to make it into a book more.

2) Book Mark it – This is my favorite. I cut a piece of pretty paper to bookmark size, write my word, decorate with images and laminate it. You can do this at staples or your can purchase your own laminator.  Big tip: I bought a laminator years ago for this very project. You can turn this WOTY idea into an annual family new year project

3) Frame it – My daughter does this every year. She writes her word, and the definition along with it – so she’s super clear on her goal – puts her frame front and center in her home so she sees it everyday.

4) Bead it – One year I even made a beaded bracelet with those alphabet beads you can find at the craft store.  This is super fun, because your arm is never far from you. If you don’t want to involve yourself in making your own, there are companies out that there will do this for you – check out ETSY.  

5. Rock it – Paint your word on a rock. Use your rock as a paper weight for your dest or decoration for your dresser.

The point is you want to make your word your point. 

Your WOTY is expansive. It has the meaning you give it and can be applied to all areas of your life – remember the example I showed you with my truth.

It becomes the foundation you build upon. Unlike a resolution which is specific and sometimes narrowly focused, your word grows with you. You’ll find it less restrictive and you won’t throw in the towel on it.  You can use your word in your daily meditation journaling or as a mantra to keep you focused.

Don’t sweat that it’s not the beginning of a new year at this moment or that you need to wait for next new year’s eve to hit go.  Right now is the perfect time to begin this fun new practice that will take you thru the rest of this year feeling focused and good about what you’re up to.

Your assignment if you choose to accept it – Keep your word and use your feet (aka take action).


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  1. Loved this post, Rosie. What a great WOTY!

    I gave up resolutions several years ago and have been doing the word of the year. Interestingly back towards the end of December nothing had come to me yet for this year. It was during a coaching call & an exercise that Kelly took me through that some words came to me.

    After some other words were thrown out in the group, the one that went with a few words that came to me, but I liked better was illumination. So that’s my WOTY – illumination.

  2. I too have been doing a WOTY for many years now. I agree it is an empowering practice….even a bit mysterious in the way that word chooses us and then takes us on a journey through the year in surprising and unexpected ways. My word for this year is practice. I’m giving myself permission to do things imperfectly this year….to practice and explore the possibilities….also to establish practices that support my growth, dreams, plark (play+work)…to put it simply my life’s journey

    1. You’re Step Mom Boundaries Card Deck is so useful and impactful for those who are dealing with any relationship! You offer the most practical tools for creating peaceful family living Claudette!