Bring focus to your year, with one meaningful word. 4 questions to help you discover yours.

Dec 19, 2018 | Motivation, Well-being

If you’re like the majority of folks and find new years resolutions don’t work for you, but you love the sense of a ‘new start’ that January brings with it, you can still embrace the sense of a fresh focus by choosing a word to bring focus to your year. It can bring you a sense of focus and direction for the year as a whole.

3 Reasons to Love a Word of the Year

This approach brings you flexibility to roll with the ups and downs of everyday life.  There will be things that happen throughout the next year, that right now in January, you have absolutely no idea are going to be happening. You word or theme, allows you to roll with the unexpected and return to your focus when you can.

It provides a thread for you to hang all the different hopes and goals on throughout your year. If you feel like you are continually juggling numerous goals, choosing a word or a theme, will help you bring them all together so that you are working in one direction rather than scattered in various directions. Your goals and plans can evolve throughout the year, when you have the capacity and motivation for them, rather than forcing yourself to start everything in January! You can use it like a guide each time you are about to embark on something new by asking yourself “Does this fit with {insert word here} for 2019?”

A word or theme also makes it easier to review your year, by asking yourself “Did this year reflect {insert word here}?”. When you are grading the success of the year against a set of specific goals, it can be disheartening. It doesn’t often give you the credit that you deserve, for all that you have achieved throughout your year, despite the ups and downs that characterises life. Evaluating your year against a broader theme allows for more of a narrative and compassionate review, which then motivates you to continue moving forward next year. It was fabulous sharing this with some of the women at the Cup of Tea and Clarity meet-up at the end of November. They had each chosen a word in January, and when we reflected on their year, initially they began saying “mmm..kind of” but on closer reflection, ended the evening recognising it had been reflected throughout their year. This allowed them to see more progress than 1 specific goal would have done.



4 Questions to help you choose your word of the year

If you love this idea, here are some questions to help you discover your word of the year:

  1. How do you want this year to feel? Take a few moments to daydream, to imagine the year ahead. Where does your imagination take you? What does it look like? What do you want more of this year? What do you want less of? 
  2. Consider ALL areas of your life, and the different hopes you have. When you think about specific goals you often think about it in isolation, which is where you hit the first hurdle. Take the time now to consider every different part of your life, all the hats you wear, all the different things that you enjoy doing, the things that make you, YOU! (some ideas to get you started: health, family, friendships, home, work, community, spirituality, financial, leisure, fun) You don’t need to get specific with goals right now, but thinking about every element of you and what you would like to achieve will start to help you think about your priorities. 
  3. What words inspire you right now? Be curious for a few days and see what words you are attracted to in your environment. Are there certain phrases or quotes that you find yourself referring to? 
  4. What word feels like it encompasses the answers to 1, 2 & 3? Considering your answers to the previous questions, start writing down words or phrases that you feel bring it all together. What can be a thread which runs throughout your whole year, that you can then chart your progress against?

Once you have identified your word or theme of the year, have some fun with finding a way to represent it. For you to be able to remain focused on it throughout the year, you need to write it down and keep it somewhere to remind you throughout the year. In terms of motivation and successful completion of goals etc the evidence is overwhelming, about the importance of writing it down. There are loads of different ways that you can keep your word alive throughout the year:

  • screensaver on your phone or computer
  • incorporate into your password to get onto your computer
  • a vision board, with the word at the heart of it
  • a note on your dressing table / stuck to your mirror
  • journal it
  • in your diary (the Stop the Flitter Diary has space in the Vision Board section and your promises section)


When choosing your word of the year, it is really important that you don’t look outwards at what everyone else is doing or what word they have chosen. It does not need to be a trendy, buzz word that has a great hashtag. It needs to be a word that will help ground you again when things have been hectic. It needs to be a word that brings you comfort and reassurance if you become a bit lost along the way. It needs to be a word that can bring excitement and determination alive for you. Your word of the year is just that YOUR word of the year.

If you would love to have some help getting clarity and focus for the year ahead , I would love to help you so please do get in touch,


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