More on Choosing a Word of the Year

You are having so many good ideas for choosing the word of the year, I don’t really want to move on. So today’s blog post encourages you to add why this word you are choosing is important to you.


Tree heart. Take heart. Heart of the matter. Words count and matter.

If you’d like, you can explain how you will keep the word close during the year. Here’s what I’ve done in the past:

1. I put it on the computer calendar on a random day each month and attached a “notice” to it, so it comes up the first time I start the computer on that day.

2. I write it on a piece of paper and stick it into random places in my journal. When i come across it, I think about what it means.

3. I tuck it into my sock drawer so that it turns up at random intervals, surprising me and giving me a different perspective.

Here’s a quote to think about while choosing that word:

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”   ~  Joseph Campbell

44 thoughts on “More on Choosing a Word of the Year

  1. Pingback: Six month check-up: Paintings Accepted for Silent Auction and Gallery Opening and More News! | Heart and Soul, an Artist's Journey

  2. I have also decided it is time to focus on mind and body. I chosen ZEN as my word for the year.
    ZEN is “1. …a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. ZEN is a way of being. It is also a state of mind. ZEN involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts…
    2. The closest translation for Zen is contemplation (Watts 22)…
    3. Complete and absolute peace.”
    Urban Dictionary
    I also considered Creative Meditation or Creative Reflection, as well as Harmony for my word or phrase for the year, but picked ZEN as I think it incorporates them all.

  3. Happy New Year Quinn, and to this wonderful community – I love reading the thoughtful and thought provoking comments. What a gift!

    I can’t remember what my word was for last year nor can I find where I wrote about it . . . perhaps because I made it up for myself. I worked too hard on it. This year however, I have been given a word.

    I woke on New Year’s morning in the early hours with the word CONTENT in my head. I like it, it fits as a noun and an adjective for where I am at the moment – examining all that my life contains and being satisfied with what I have . . . with what I am right now and the direction and pace I’m moving. Learning to place expectations off to the side, to shelve demands, often self imposed, knowing they’ll be there, or not, later. I am replete.

    I’m learning to be more like water, flowing but powerful in and of itself.

  4. I finally figured out my word for 2013…WONDERMENT! Nothing was settling in my head or heart but I realized I’ve used the word wonderment a few times in the last week and it suddenly clicked. I want to have a year of curiosity, amazement, surprise, marvel and awe so wonderment fits the bill perfectly!

  5. Persevere. It took me a while to get it, but it’s the one I need for so many reasons. Like everyone I have so much going on in my life, and can get distracted or lose focus on what’s important to me, to my journey and to what I am meant to do.
    Perseverance is about staying the course, being focused and moving ahead, with all the highs and lows that are part of that road – it’s “Never give up, never surrender!”

    I am always and daily inspired by you, Quinn. I wish you and yours a most happy and healthy – and creative – New Year!

  6. For 2012 my word was hypervigilance. For 2013 I think I’ll choose art. Art. Make it, live it, appreciate it. And it’s a big part of heart – heART. Hearts are one of my favorite symbols and you can’t have heart without art. Art = happy.

  7. Last year, I was making weekly journal quilts, and for the first week of 2012, the subject of my quilt was my word. Every time I came across it flipping through the book of quilts or saw it posted on my blog, it was a great reminder. But more important, I chose a word that related to something I wanted to work on during the year, so every time an issue came up, I was reminded of the intention set by my word. I thought about it several times a week throughout the year.

    I chose “accept” as my word for next year because it is something I need to work on, and I hope I will be similarly reminded of this intention. I’m no longer making weekly journal quilts, but I do plan to make a small quilt about this new word as well. I think creating art with the word acknowledges the importance of the intention, at least for me.

  8. I have decided that my word is “savor”. I want to savor absolutely everything in the coming year. I had been tossing this word around along with slowing down when I received news that a very dear friend has inoperable esophageal cancer – the same cancer my first husband died of. This news made my decision for me and savor will be my word for 2013.

    • What sad news for you to hear; I’m sorry that you have to revive sad memories. That you would choose “savor” is a sign of your great spirit and resilience, and speaks well of your savoring 2013! I love that lightness of spirit.

  9. This is not exactly a word of the year; more of a “perspective on a year” idea. There’s an entry on Wikipedia titled “Timeline of the far future.”

    The page is a fascinating meditation on deep time — the SOONEST event it lists is 8,000 years from now (when there’s a different North Star because the earth’s axis slowly moves), and the furthest one is a number very difficult to express: (ten to the tenth to the tenth to the tenth to the tenth to the 1.1 power) years away.

    It’s also a jumping-off place to a raft of concepts, each of which can unfold into hours of contemplation all by itself — proton decay, Poincaré recurrence time, Boltzmann brains, supercontinents. In 11 million years Mars will acquire a Saturn-like ring. And my favorite, in the “technology and culture” category: “At 15:30:08 UTC on 4 December 292,277,026,596 AD, the Unix time stamp will exceed the largest value that can be held in a signed 64-bit integer.” Once upon a time people were worried about the supposed “year 2000 crisis”!

    Here’s the English version of the page:

  10. My word that’s been clanging in my brain for a few days is MISTAKES, odd but true. This was inspired by my paralyzing perfectionism, and by a resounding Neil Gaiman quote from the High Road Artist blog today: “. . .So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

    Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

    Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ― Neil Gaiman

    I’m on my way down to the studio to make some new, amazing, glorious mistakes!

  11. So many great ideas and GREAT words! Dixie, I love your thinking. I, too am older and reflect often on the changes I’ve lived to see….most notable for me is that a tootsie pop in my day was two cents and now costs fifteen! :smiles:
    We are planning a word grab bag for our New Year’s Eve dinner entertainment. I’m writing all the words we have thought of on “something”. I haven’t decided just what yet…tongue depressers, popsicle sticks, paper…? Suggestions anyone? And we’ll each take one out unless of course the individual exercises the option of choosing their own.
    As I was reading Ruthee’s comment it occurred to me that perhaps my word “needs” to be “NEED”. Ruthee “desperately” needs to believe in herself. I “need” to consider my needs, the needs of others, how much stuff I need, so many directions for me with this word. This word will help me in so many ways.
    I also want to take this opportunity to thank the comment community on Quinn’s blog for so many thought provoking comments this past year. You have all become great friends to me. Your comments, funny, thoughtful, insightful, compassionate have found a place in my daily routine. I’m looking forward to another year with all of you.

    • Isn’t the comment community on here the BEST? I learn so much more than I could ever think of myself. I love the idea of putting the words on sticks–Popsicle or otherwise. (I’ll help you eat all the Popsicles!) The Jo-Anns near me carries blank, fake dominoes that I kind of like. In case of “need” (which is very attractive), I’d probably write Want on the other side (or opposite end) so I can think about the difference between the two.

  12. I didn’t really pick that sort of word, but I do have a reminder-type system that might be interesting. There’s a text file on my computer called “rmbr.t” that appears on-screen when the computer is started up and also in cases where (1) I’m not currently busy with something else on the computer, (2) based on three parameters there’s a good chance I’m really there, and (3) it hasn’t been displayed since yesterday OR it’s recently changed (it can be changed by other software, not just by me).

    By the way, it goes through all that because my computer is well trained not to interrupt me. More often than not it’s set up not to even display different programs in different windows — no windows at all, in fact. One thing at a time. So it’s too polite to just pop things up when *it* thinks it’s important.

  13. I’m adopting President Obama’s slogan, “Forward,” as my word. I’m 65 and don’t want to turn into one of those old people who are constantly talking about the good old days when things were better. I happen to think things are pretty great right now and I want to keep moving forward, learning and doing new things instead of indulging in rosy hued nostalgia.

  14. I have bought wooden letters to spell my word -harmony- and it will be up on my wall where I will see it every morning. I tend to be pretty impatient about some things and have already been reminding myself of my wish for more harmony in my life when I lose patience with people and the ridiculous, greedy policies of some corporations. It should prove to be an interesting year.

  15. I`m planning on making a plaque for my studio and possibly one to put on the fridge with the word “Believe“ on it. I desperately need to believe in myself and not allow others to sway my ideas. I`m sure the sign in the kitchen will draw some snickers. Like seriously, what could Ruthee ever manage to accomplish. Well, quite a bit when I set my mind to it! So, the internal critic and the human ones can all step aside this year. 2013 is going to be my year to shine in my own way.

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s