How to make 2018 the best yet!

How having a word for the year can help make 2018 the best yet!

I imagine picking your word for the year is a lot like being a musician picking the right name for your album. It’s personal, summarises what the album conveys, cohesive, and meaningful.

But why choose a word for the year, you might be asking. The way I see it, this time of the year is filled with so much promise. Resolutions, goals… everywhere I look, the #newyearnewme vibes are strong. This is where your word comes in. You can either have one instead of resolutions, or have both. There are no concrete rules, really. Having a personal word for the year is like having your own northern star – it’s the guide that you keep coming back to when you’ve lost your way. It’s what pulls you back in when you’re met with a challenge, or if you fall off the wagon with your resolutions. Simply put, your word of the year is what grounds you.

I’ve been doing this for three years now, and each year I’m more convinced that having a personal word for the year is what makes a year MY year! The first year I had one, I picked the word ‘nourish’. I wanted every aspect of my life to be nourished. From my family, relationships and career down to the food I eat and the people I surrounded myself with, I wanted it all to be nourished. Instead of relying on unrealistic goals that year, I relied on my one word – is this nourishing me? Is the food I’m about to eat nourishing me? Is the friendship I’m putting all my time and effort to nourishing me? I was guided by that word in everything I did.

2016 was all about movement for me. I wanted to move my body more. One of my resolutions wasn’t to lose weight, but it was to be more active. Movement. I wanted movement in my goals and career and 2016 was the year my magazine – the one I worked hard to get off the ground and served as the editor in chief for three years – folded unexpectedly. Because that’s the thing about setting a bold intention for the year such as movement – sometimes the movement is painful. I didn’t know it then, but that door shutting was opening up a large and exciting one for me and by the end of the year, I was further along in my goals than I ever have been.

Ready to try picking out a word for the year? Here are three tips that can help:

  1. Think outside the box – Funnily enough, my word for the year didn’t come to me until I started writing this. It was a few days into the new year and none of the words I’ve been looking at were resonating with how I wanted 2018 to be for me. I did, however, write down ‘Don’t stay past your prime’ on my journal while I was thinking about the lessons 2017 brought me. Then my eyes landed on prime and after a quick search on the meaning, I realised that this was IT. Most of the definitions I could relate back to how I want this year to be and it’s definitely not the most obvious choice for words!
  2. It only has to make sense to you – Don’t worry if your word doesn’t make sense to anyone else but you. I had a friend who picked out ‘ten’ for her word for the year once. It didn’t make sense to us, but it was the perfect word for what she wanted to achieve in the year – she wanted 10 times more fun, to lose 10 pounds, and 10 new places to travel to! Similarly, my word last year was ‘pilot’ and it didn’t really make sense to anyone but me and that’s okay. It’s YOUR word. Choose it for you!
  3. Think about how you want the year to look like – Do you want to feel more inspired? Maybe you want to travel or practice being more grateful? Envision how you want the year to look and feel for you, what you want to be doing in the next 12 months, where you see yourself by the time December rolls around… Do you want to be happier? Free? Write it all down. Chances are, there’ll be a word that stands out the most.

I always feel like the New Year doesn’t officially start for me until I find my word for the year. Words, after all, have the power to transform us. I hope your word for the year guides you and takes you to who you want to be this year.