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  • Pamela Hatheway

Have you chosen your word of the year?



The idea of determining a word of the year to serve as inspiration for the next months has gained popularity over the last few years. Don’t just let this be something to do, a page to add to your journal, let this set the course for the year ahead. Your word, chosen correctly, becomes your mission statement, your mantra, your focus for the days ahead.


How do you choose your word of the year?


For me the process of choosing my word has become a bit of a ritual of self-reflection and self-projection. It may requires a warm bath, perhaps some candle light. It definitely requires a journal and black pen, and some quiet time, and perhaps a little music. This exercise forces us to go inward, and think about a word that encapsulates our desire for ourselves for the next twelve months. There are lots of great words, but the word you choose needs to resonate with your being. It is not just a word, it is to be your word.


Last year was the most difficult many of us have ever faced, many suffered tremendous loss, and heartbreak. Perhaps your word needs to reflect some aspect of self-care:





Perhaps as you look forward to the year ahead you see completion to unfinished projects, you want to propel yourself into a life of personal success and artistry:





Check out Pinterest for other ideas, there are so many choices. As you go through the lists, there will be something that jumps out at you, an affirmation of something deep within that will resonate with your choice.


Do you publish it widely or hold it close to the heart?


Of course, this is question is ultimately up to you. Some people believe that certain ideas lose power when they are shared with the world. That they are more powerful when allowed to incubate in secret. You may want to sit with it for a while. Let it take root.


I love to create rituals to mark things of significance. You could create a piece of art around your word, either with paints or pens or computer software. Laminate it and hang it in your office. You could write the word and your intentions and burn them over a flame, sending them to the universe, you could paint it on a rock that you would keep in your change purse or pocket as a talisman, a reminder of what you want to embody this year.


On the other hand, I have a friend who had a tattoo of the word, “Believe” inked on her wrist. She had this physical reminder of the dream that she set for her future. She has a mindset of determination that she would meet this goal even though the journey is sometimes harder than she expected. Her word has been a source of comfort during hard times, and a source of encouragement and momentum on smoother waters.


If you approach this thoughtfully, this word, your word can be something to lean into, something that can hold you up and encourage you to carry on. The scripture says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God… and the Word became Flesh...” This encapsulates the story of ultimate manifestation, it starts as a seed, an idea, a dream and as we allow it to grow in us and in our conscious minds, a guiding force, until ultimately it defines us.


What is my word?


Over a decade ago, I determined my word to be THRIVE. I had gone through a divorce, I was the mother of two teenaged girls, and I was on the beginning of a new season of life. I didn't just want to survive my circumstances, I wanted to make my mark. I wanted to THRIVE... and I believe I have.


Last year, I chose the word INTENTION. I am in my mid- fifties now, no longer a girl, my children have been raised, I am in the middle of a wonderful career. Although I am proud of the things that I have accomplished, I believe there are far more things ahead of me than behind. Unfortunately I find much of my time is filled with things that do not give me a sense of pleasure or pride. I eat things that are far from healthful. I spend more time than I want to admit, refreshing my Twitter feed and scrolling social media. This year, I am determined that I will live my life with intention. I will make decsions because they allign with my dreams. It is a life on purpose.


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