I’ve picked my Word of the Year, now what?

INSIDE : After you pick a word of the year, what do you do? Check out 8 ways to incorporate your “word” into your everyday life with practical and attainable ideas.

Picking a Word of the Year

This post has been updated from it’s original January 2019 publish date.

I love “words of the year”… it feels like I’m giving my year a direction, but without having hard set rules. Or even having a guiding light directing the bigger picture of the year. However, picking a word and knowing what to do with it can feel intimidating sometimes

In past years, I have set aside time early in the year to reflect on goal making and even starting to teach that concept to my children.  We just cut up magazines and made little vision boards for each of us. I love having images, colors and even words that help give you thoughts for the upcoming year.  

However, having just a word of the year feels more loose and forgiving. That’s my plan for this year – loose and forgiving!

Picking a Word of the Year

What is a “phrase of the year”?

Sometimes it is difficult to narrow down to just one single word for the year, so doing a phrase completely works as well.

I often start by listing out words that feel pertinent to me for this upcoming year.

Peace, Create, Active, Heal, Joy, Compassion, Generosity, Grateful

Then I look at those words and see if I can see any themes or phrases that would encompass them.

-Maybe my phrase would be Joyful Rest.
The past year was wonderful, but wow it was a BUSY time for my family. I need rest. We all do.

-Maybe my phrase could be Compassionate Creativity.
I find ENORMOUS joy in encouraging other women through both word and creating. Bringing compassion to life is so important.

-And then I circled back to maybe my word being rest because, guys… I am so tired from last year.  HA.

-Maybe my phrase could be Joyful Rest through Compassionate Creativity.

Best Tips for picking your Word of the Year

In previous years, I have also taken some time to reflect and really brainstorm what I was wanting from the year.  I would have a few good ideas and then on a whim, decided to search online for ‘Word of the Year generator’ because when all else fails, Google.  

The first website that popped up, I clicked and presto it was a simple word of the year generator site. I felt like it knew me and my heart because the word that showed up was SHINE.

Immediately I knew that would be my word. (2019)


I love the word Shine as my “word of the year” because to me, it encompasses so many aspects of my blog and direction.  

I want this year to be one that I shine – not that I shine and get all the glory, but that in all that I make and create, it is a shining light of inspiration.  I want the words that I write to be a shining light of encouragement.

You can check out my Just Start ebook here.

What to do with your word of the year once you have it narrowed down?

Okay, so pause here and take a quick second if you are having trouble narrowing down a word for the year and check out yours from the word of the year generator site.  

Are you back now with your inspired word of the year?

Word of the Year

There are tons of ways to incorporate your word into your life throughout the year.  Here a few ways I thought of and plan to do myself:

Action for Words of the Year

  1. Create a mood or inspiration board based off your word of the year using magazines, glue and markers – go old school arts and crafts!
  2. You could check out books from the library that are themed on your word of the year.
  3. Each month you could find a poem or inspirational quote based on your word.  Then print and hang it in your home.
  4. Do a word study on your word of the year, look it up in a dictionary and really focus on the definition of it.
  5. Keep a journal and write down each week or each month how you have either incorporated your word of the year or plan to incorporate into your life.
  6. Use your word to create a painting or another type of artwork in your home.
  7. Create a Pinterest board for your word and pin ideas or images that connect you to it.
  8. Plan to revisit your word of the year come June, mid year and see how far you have come.
Word of the Year

Words of the Year

Some of my previous words of the year have been…

  • Joyful Rest through Compassionate Creativity (2023)
    I want to prioritize myself in the time I give away. Saying no to over committing to things, even if fun so that I allow time to rest + recharge.  Finding joy in everyday moments through creativity, inspiring and serving others.
  • Creative Generosity (2022)
  • Calm Tenacity (2021)
  • Rest (2020)
  • Shine (2019)
  • Just Start (2018)

I asked my readers on Instagram Stories if they had selected words for the year and asked them to share with me what they were.  I LOVED hearing everyone’s word and thought you might, too.

Here are a few of the ones you are shared with me…

Word of the Year examples

Be Present
Faith give you peace
New Year, New Me
Unabashedly Joyful

Picking a Word of the Year

So, let me know in the comments below, do you have a word of the year? I’d love to hear.

One Comment

  1. Cara Bohart says:

    My word was easy. It’s “ORBISCULATE”. I was just reading the Dec.2021/Jan 2022 issue of Readers Digest.It is a Wonderful, Heartwarming,Sweet Sweet tribute to a Dad who’s family lost him to Covid-19 in 2020. Ms.Dingfelder tells how the word came about and she explains it far better than I ever could. Thier website is The Orbisculation Nation. I’ve been fascinated by words my whole life. Covid-19 has separated alot of us socially but this Word makes me feel a real connection to something bigger than myself. And that feels really good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *