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Last year I came across an interesting concept that I’d never heard about before — choosing a personal word of the year. Instead of setting new year’s resolutions or goals, you choose one word on which to focus for the entire year.
Now, while I wouldn’t recommend not setting goals, I think there is a benefit to choosing a word of the year in addition to setting your personal goals.
So, in this my second year of choosing a word of the year, I’d like to show you why you should choose a word of the year, how I chose my word for this year and give you some tips to help you choose your own.
WHAT IS A Personal WORD OF THE YEAR?
A personal word of the year is one word that reminds you of what you want to focus on for the entire year. It helps to bring you back in line when you lose focus and get distracted.
I don’t know about you but when I have too many thoughts in my head when I’m focusing on all the things I need to do, I get overwhelmed. Then I’m paralyzed because I’m not sure what’s the best thing for me to do next.
Having one word to help you remember what’s important brings you back into focus and helps to prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
WHY YOU NEED TO CHOOSE A personal WORD OF THE YEAR
Seriously, guys, multitasking is overrated. While some things are good for multitasking like listening to an audiobook on your commute, trying to do too many things at a time quickly becomes overwhelming.
Having a personal word of the year is a simple, easy way to remind you of what’s important for you to grow. It helps you to remember what you need to say yes… and no to. It helps you to move in the direction you want to grow.
I found that having one word to focus on was a great help when I became overwhelmed. Instead of looking at all of my goals and freaking out because it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress, I simply needed to focus on my one word.
That helped me to shut out all the noise and made getting back on track a little less stressful.
HOW I CHOSE MY WOrd for 2020
Last year (2019) the word I chose was “application”. I had spent all of 2018 learning all I could about blogging and writing. But then I got stuck in analysis paralysis. I kept trying to learn all the things instead of implementing them.
But learning is so fun! One of my personality types from the StrengthsFinder test was “learner”. I could go on learning forever and not actually do anything with what I’ve learned. Unfortunately, this also causes me to procrastinate. Once I’m learning something new, I convince myself that it’s beneficial and that I’m not really procrastinating.
So how did that work out? Well, honestly, not as well as I thought it would. I still think I spent way too much time learning and reading and not doing. But when I remembered that the word I chose for the year was “application“ and that I should be applying what I had learned, it helped to get me back on track.
What I realized though, is that even though I knew that I wanted to focus on applying what I had learned, I had too many ideas in my head and often wasn’t sure where to start.
the word I chose FOR 2020 – clarity
Which brings me to this year’s word of the year. Yes, I thought I’d give it another try. As of September 2019, I’m no longer working full time and I need to trust God’s direction on how to create income. I really really need His direction on my next best steps. So my word of the year for 2020 is “clarity”.
Now I swear, I didn’t choose it (at least not consciously) because this is the year 2020 – you know, 20-20 vision and all that jazz. I chose it because I truly want to hear God’s voice on my next steps… and every step after that.
Honestly, I don’t just want clarity for this year alone. I want a clear vision for the next decade. And that’s why I chose it.
At a recent Sunday service, our pastor said that she has so many things she wants to do for God that she doesn’t know which one to do first. God said to her, “Do one at a time”.
Like her, I have so many ideas. So many things I want to do for God that I need His direction on what to do first. Having “clarity“ as my word of the year will remind me to check with God on my next step. That one thing that He wants me to focus on now, for this season, however long this season lasts.
So that I can not only make my next step but my next best step.
SIX SIMPLE TIPS TO HELP YOU CHOSE YOUR WORD OF THE YEAR
Now that you’ve seen how I chose my personal word for this year, it’s time to choose your own. Here are six simple tips to help you do so.
- Think about the goals you have and where you want to be at the end of the year. Remember you need to set goals, not resolutions. If you’re not clear on what you want to do or which direction to go, consider creating a personal purpose statement first.
- Think of something you might have struggled with in the last year. Choose the word that represents how you plan to overcome that struggle. Or you could choose the word that represents what life looks like when you have conquered that struggle. You might also want to add the solution to that problem to your list of goals.
- Make a list of all the words that you can think of that represent your goals.
- Choose the word that represents something that will help you go from where you are now to where you want to be. Something that will help you grow. A word that encompasses all of your goals or a word that represents your most important goal.
- After you’ve chosen your word, find a few Bible verses related to your word. Write them down and memorize them.
- Write your word of the year on a post-it note or a sheet of paper from a small notebook. Then write your chosen bible verses below it. Stick it in a place where you will see it daily and memorize the Bible verses. (I didn’t do this last year. Maybe if I had, I would have used my word of the year more successfully.)
- BONUS TIP: Every time you feel discouraged or overwhelmed, revisit your word of the year and recite your Bible verses.
Choosing one personal word of the year can help you stay focused or bring you back into focus when life gets in the way. The word you choose should reflect what’s important to you, represent your goals, and remind you of where you want to be at the end of the year.
Leave a comment and if these tips were helpful to you. If you’ve already chosen a personal word of the year, you can share that too.
Safiya Robinson says
Yay I love this!! And you know me – I can’t choose just one…. I started with connect – I want to connect to people and ideas – a new podcast, a writers group, and my friends and family. But other words that have come onto my radar – fun, and supercharged! Ask me in December how it went!! And I pray you receive a lot of clarity! xx
Thanks, Saf! Just one word for me, thanks! I tend to be like the dog in “Up”… squirrel! Lol!
Jo Scheidt says
Hey Deborah – nice article and great thoughts. I might give that a try. Blessings to you and success in your business. I, like you, also am stuck in learning. I actually get anxious about not seeing anything done in my business, so I’m doing something about that now. I think I’ve stood behind the racehorse gate for long enough. The gate needs to open so I can run! I may not have all the info I need (but who does? – we’re all learning!), but I am at the point where I need to just run and ask questions along the way now. It’s great to connect with a sister in the Lord!
Thank you, Jo! Yes! We have to “do” not just learn lol. I know that part of that for me is fear of failure because I don’t have all of the information. But I’m learning that failing isn’t so bad thing when you learn and grow from it.