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Word of the Year

I came across this idea in January of last year, thought it was interesting and decided to give it some thought. What I immediately learned is that it's surprisingly difficult to pick just one word ... and ended up picking none. This year, I was determined to do better and was helped in achieving this aim by spotting someone online who'd selected three words. Taking that allowance with me, I dived into a short intensive exercise to make a selection, ending up with one primary word and three additional words.

Even though it's already February - I'd advocate you taking the time to select your Word of the Year. Why? Well, a friend of mine recently ran a Vision Board workshop for a group of friends. Although she provided us with the materials - scissors, glue and piles of magazines - the most important thing she did was have us consider various aspects of our life, our dreams and aspirations before we sat down to harvest images from those magazines. When I put together my completed vision board, I learned two things: 1) that words draw me more than pictures and 2) that I have a surprising hidden desire for a she-shed! That aside, the main reason I advocate you going through the selection of a Word of the Year is this ... I experienced something odd with my selection. Those additional three words totally slipped my mind until I sat down to write this post (when I had to go & look them up), while my primary word has remained clear and at the forefront of how I've operated these past few weeks.

So, how do you go about it? There is a website, but the word selection being the tricky bit and, with a whole lexicon of words to choose from, it's can be easy to suffer from overwhelm. I'd advocate using the free online resource of inspiration - Pinterest. You'll find plenty of results if you search for "word of the year ideas 2020" - indeed, here's a link. But, before you start, prepare yourself for this task - ensure you'll not be disturbed, go somewhere quiet with simply the tools you'll need: a pen & paper, access to those inspirational ideas - be they online or magazines/books, make a cup or tea or coffee to drink while you work, maybe even listen to a short meditation before you start. Then just jot down those words/phrases that resonate, don't question why they do, just note them down. Make as long a list as you need. Here's an image containing my long list ...

What's your Word of the Year?

Then, when you feel you've enough strong contenders, put aside your inspirational material and review your list. Mark those words which jump out - there's no need to limit yourself at this stage, you're just trying to whittle down the list and get a feel for what's rising to the top.

You'll probably notice a pattern and find that you can start to form words into smaller related groups. While words like educate, encourage, inspire, lead, nurture and teach quickly formed into one group for me, the group which called to me contained these words ...

Candidates for my Word of the Year

You may find you want to select more than one word of the year - perhaps one from each of your groups because your additional words back up your primary word, or perhaps you'd like a different word for different areas of your life. Give it a go, it doesn't take long and you might find it helpful, even enlightening.

Personally, December & January have been challenging months for me health-wise, but by channelling my word of the year to act! - I've been able to stay positive, to plan not only how to respond to the immediate situation, but also how to make the most of the post-operative recovery regime. And if that's all the selection of my Word for 2020 does for me, it's earned my gratitude and the certainty that I'll be choosing a Word for the Year for 2021 come the end of this one.

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