I’ve Picked a Great Word of the Year — Now What?

Now that you’ve got your word of the year, you may be wondering what exactly you do with it. How do you use your word of the year to influence and improve your life? How do you keep your word of the year top of mind?

There are three things to think about for putting your word of the year to work for you. First, you need to plant the word in your mind. Next, you need to nurture the word. Finally, you need to use your word.

Plant Your Word of the Year in Your Mind

Word Analysis. The first thing I like to do is break down my word and do a comprehensive word analysis. Here’s an example of one I did for my 2022 word, which is release.

A lot of these ideas are really interesting, especially the idea of returning to a resting state. And the idea of allowing something to flow freely, which suggests (to me) releasing the need to control something. And I like the synonym relax, releasing all of the “shoulds” in my mind to rest and relax.

Brainstorm Ideas. I find it helpful to brainstorm ideas in the context of different areas of my life.

I use my Befriend and Tend framework as shown above (and you can learn more here), but you can use any framework or wheel of life that works for you. Start working your way through the different areas and brainstorm actions you can take to implement your word, as shown below.

Brainstorming Ideas

Nurture Your Word of the Year

This is when you help your word-of-the year take root in your psyche. There’s lots of ways to do this, and here are some of my favorite strategies.

  • Change the password on your laptop to your word of the year, or a quote related to your word of the year. That way every time you log in, you’ll be reminded of your word.
  • Buy some jewelry with your word of the year on it. I purchased a ring with my word on it from Etsy and I LOVE it, although I did have to sand down the edge of the ring where it closes so it wouldn’t irritate me. This is the vendor I used.
  • Create a vision board about your word of the year.
  • Journal about your word of the year and how things are going with respect to using the word. I like to do this every month, but you can do it weekly or quarterly, whatever works for you.
  • Make or purchase word art that uses your word of the year.
  • Collect inspiration about your word of the year. I created a folder on my computer where I saved articles and images and quotes, etc…, that related to my word of the year and that I found inspiring.

Related articles:

How to Choose a Word of the Year that Works!

Create an Amazing Self-Care Action Plan

How Journaling Can Improve Your Life | Journaling 101 for Beginners

Word of the year

Use Your Word of the Year

My favorite ways to do this are as follows:

  • Become intentional about using your word of the year when you are making decisions and choices. Ask yourself, “Is my word of the year relevant here?” And if it is, add it to your analysis. You don’t always have to decide in favor of your word of the year, but at least bring it into the equation.
word of the year
  • Use your word of the year when you are planning out your week. This is great time to pull out your brainstorming list and scan it to see if there is anything you can do during the week to live out your word.

Let me know if you have any other ideas about how to implement a word of the year!


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