every year there is this big crazy popular push to find your word for the upcoming year. and i admit that i have been a part of it. but, this year, i am thinking about it a little differently. oh, i’m still taking part. just not with all of the stress + must-dos that can come with finding your word of the year. this year, i am focusing on finding my word for right now. and that means that it may be my word for the entire year, but i also may be my word for the first half of the year, the first 3 months or even just for january.
do you choose a word of the year? a word to focus on and help inspire you? if you haven’t embarked on this soul-searching, visioning, intention-setting journey, then i recommend it. creating + unearthing the word that your soul wants you to have is a magical experience. buuuuut, it has to be done honestly. and without any thought of “i must follow through with this all year long or else i am a failure”.
in other words, embarking on this spiritual discipline (as i like to call it), needs to be done with an open heart + mind. without pressure. without any outside influence on what it means to succeed. with only a sense of unfolding, flowing, and being in the present moment. because, choosing a word can possibly lead one to think that it is an absolute must to follow through + keep at it. but, in my world, there are no rules. there is only now. and there are only intentions.
that said, to find your word for the year is truly an inspiring and grounding thing to do. it is deep soul magic. and i highly encourage you to seek that word that seems to just well up from within you. if you slow down and listen just a bit, you will feel it + hear it. there is one there. in all of us. just waiting for us to let it unfold and inspire us.
i have had words for each year for the past 5 years or so. and, to be honest, in recent years it had begun to become a bit of a stressful burden to create this post + discover my word of the year. not the creating of it, but the committing to the word, is where i seem to have had my troubles. it felt like finding a word for the year had just morphed into another “resolution” kind of thing. something i had to do because it’s what i did. another task for the beginning of the year with the potential for failure to follow through again.
but, i am so over living like that. soooooo over it. so, i almost gave up finding a word for myself for 2019. until my word found me. i don’t know how or exactly when, but sometime back in the dark, mysterious autumn, my word emerged suddenly from my soul. it was so obvious. so clear. so perfect.
whether this word is what i am meant to focus on all year long remains to be seen. but, i feel that the energy of it is so very strong right now. so, i am going to go with it and see how long it lasts. prepared + open to my word for 2019 to change, shift, disappear, or become even more inspiring. (i will share my word later on this week.)
in any case, i believe that my word came to me so clearly for a few reasons. one is that i have practiced this annual discipline for a few years now. it’s become how i live + breathe… with a word, as my medicine, guiding my way. also, i have connected much more deeply with my intuition in the past year. so, it’s not a hidden, unknown part of me. my intuition is something that i dare say i tap into daily, on a regular basis. and that makes me more receptive, focused, and open to receive the magical wisdom of my own soul.
so, with that said, i decided that i would share with you all, once again, my steps for creating + finding your own word for the new year. when we practice something over + over again, then it becomes part of us. so, if you need all of these steps + are new to this process, then they are right here waiting to reveal your soul’s word to you. if you need only a few steps, then fine. and, if you don’t want to take part in any of the steps, but just would like to read this as a refresher + to get you in the mood, then that is just fine as well.
wherever you are, whatever you need, trust that you know. now. let’s see what we can uncover for 2019. all it takes is a few intentional minutes set aside for digging deep and listening softly. and, i guarantee that, in the end your soul will share with you a vision for your 2019.
find your word: part one
// get quiet. find a quiet space alone for about 30 minutes. light a candle + grab a glass of your favorite drink. get ready to open your heart and set some intentions. be open. listen. breathe deep.
// reflect. i’m sure you’ve spent some time during december thinking back through this year. the ups + downs. the highs + lows. here’s a chance to think a little deeper + to begin to lay to rest your word, your focus, your missed opportunities, your accomplishments. let them go. release them all. give thanks for what was good. ask for the wisdom to learn from the difficult. write it all down, if you wish. burn your list or simply a piece of paper with 2018 written on it. let it all be sent out into the universe + sink into your soul. now, you are ready to look ahead.
// create your vision. imagine how you want 2019 to look, what you want to be + do. think about your dreams and goals and wishes for the new year. set some intentions. write everything down, if you want. or make a collage. doodle. create. brainstorm and dream away…
// inward or outward. based on your thoughts from above, decide if you feel that 2019 is a year to focus on slowing down and looking inward or if it is a year to be more active and social and putting yourself out there.
// take note. look over the lists of words below and notice 2 or 3 that seem to stand out at you. use them as a starting point to kind of get in the groove. don’t think about it or analyze it. go with your gut. remember, these are only a few words that are suggestions to get you thinking. use them, or pay attention to others that seem to pop up. just let them come to you.
// write it down. note on paper or in a journal any word that pops into your mind. gather about 3-5 possible words and let them sit there on the page. then, close your journal or put way the piece of paper. leave it alone and come back to it tomorrow.
examples of passive words:
nurture, be, rest, peace, spirit, heart, soul, magic, truth, light, calm, meditate, grounded, centered, breathe, simplicity, slow living, meaningful, zen, balance, honesty, love, purpose
examples of active words:
motivate, energy, focus, radiate, soar, grow, strength, change, flow, direction, create, travel, love, compassion, explore, brave, proclaim, manifest, balance, trust, freedom, bliss, embody
now, just let the words just roll around in your head. give them over to your heart. and move on to something else. come back to it later today or on another day soon to narrow it down. trust that the perfect word (which may not even be one of the ones you chose to write down) will emerge. trust yourself. everything you need is already within you.
finding your word: part two
now, let’s finish up finding your word for 2019 – if you haven’t settled on one yet.
you may have had a word bubble up and just come to you. it’s totally possible that you already discovered your word just by thinking about it a bit. however, you may also not know exactly what word to settle on or need a bit more time to figure it out. no worries. we’ll deal with that right now.
// envision the perfect day. ponder this for just a second: what would the perfect day in 2019 look like to you? what would you do? who and what would you see? where would you be? what are your intentions + dreams for the upcoming year? what do you want? what do you need? how are you being called to live your truth in your daily life?
// take out your possible words. if you followed part one, then you should have about 3-5 possible words written somewhere. hopefully you were able to write them down + set them aside until now. go ahead and pull out those words and look over the list again. think about them and notice if they are passive or active words. have you chosen which type of word you feel that you need for 2019? do you need to focus more inwardly, on your self and your spirit/soul? or do you need to get things done and focus on things that are outside of you?
// define the words. using the 3-5 words that you wrote down… think about the meaning of each one. how would you define each word? how does the dictionary define each word? what are other words (synonyms or related words) that come to mind for each word?
// feel the words. now that you’ve gathered your list of words + thought about their meanings, see how they feel. which one seems to make you feel warm? which one inspires you or energizes you? which one brings you a sense of calm and peace? which one feels like a gift that you have received that you’d been longing for?
// the one you love. you’re looking for that word that you have fallen in love with. the one that just seems to fit. trust that, and go with it. let that be your word. however, perhaps you are stuck between 2 words. well, flip a coin, assigning one word to “heads” and one word to “tails”. flip the coin and see what your immediate reaction is when you see which word the coin lands on. were you disappointed? or excited?
// commit. there is no absolute perfect word. but, it should make you giggle and feel excited, at least more than your other words. so, which word is it? which word feels just right to you? no explanation, it just feels… well, right.
// but be flexible. remember this: your word may change in the middle of the year. it may even change next month! that’s ok. let it grow and move and be fluid. give yourself permission to change your mind, if you need or want to. this is for you. there is no right or wrong.
// trust. write your word down. look at it. feel it. run your fingers over the letters. trust that your soul has given you exactly what you need. take a deep breath and soak it in. let the word become part of you.
// create + incorporate. over the next few days, explore ways to use your word + to make it part of your life. create a pinterest board. make/buy a journal to use throughout the year, writing + reflecting on your journey. decide on a monthly blog post or instagram update all about your word of the year.
congratulations, my friend. you have listened to your life + to your soul. now, remember, this is what is different this year. your word for the year may just be the word that guides you all year long. but, it may only guide you through january. the key is to check in with yourself. to check in with your soul. to feel how the word feels, and to let it evolve if your soul is guiding you toward a new word or to just letting this word go. as a general intention, reflect on your word at the end of every month or with every new moon. and just go with the flow of your soul.
now, if you’d like, share your word with me. send me an email (use the contact button at the top of the page) or leave me a comment below. share your word with the world, too, if you’d like. create a blog post or a tweet or a Facebook status. take a photo that represents your word + your vision. use the hashtag #findyourword2019 and discover more people sharing in this journey.
i am so excited to have shared this process with you. setting an intention + vision for 2019 makes every day so much more meaningful + purposeful, i believe. and i’d love to stay up to date with you on how your year + your word unfolds. i’ll most definitely keep you updated on how my 2019 goes. you’ll find out what my word is in january!
for now, it’s time to embark on the last day of 2018. i wish you peace + calm + a centered being as you bid farewell to this year and welcome a new year filled with new magic, light, + adventures. enjoy your new year’s eve, lovely you!