How’s Your Word of the Year?

It’s already March, and time to check in on your word of the year. Do you remember it? If you don’t, consider

  • The word may not have been the best one to move you through a whole year
  • You may be avoiding the word because it calls you into action and you don’t feel up to it
  • Your inner critic wants you to use an easier word
  • You wrote it down somewhere, and it’s time to find that

If you do remember it, what have you done with the word you chose? Is it supporting you? Are you using it as a tool? Is it something you think of every day?

Do you use it in your journal? Do you use it to be creative–in your thoughts, in your music, dance, singing, parenting, idea creation?

My word was “heart,” and I think about it every day. I’m rebranding my business and re-inventing myself, and every decision is done with heart in mind. Is this what I really want? Does this feed my heart? Because if it doesn’t, I am not bringing it one step forward.

Tell me what’s happening in your world with your word.

-Quinn McDonald is realizing that she chose a really demanding word of the year.


40 thoughts on “How’s Your Word of the Year?

  1. Hi, I’m even later than Suzanne. My word was focus, on my creative stuff in particular. It seems to be paying dividends at the moment, and is really helping me in my big clearout. I feel the tug of diversifying now and then, which I think will be relevant later, but for now focus is serving me well.

    • I can see how focus comes first, then diversify, after the focus has helped you weed out what you don’t need. And you can change your word whenever you want. So far, there is no “word of the year” police.

  2. I am late as usual! My word of the year “mindfulness” fits me well. I noticed that spending lots of time in front of my computer in the evening did me no good, so most days I prefer to live in the real world, work on my projects and get them finished. I listen more to what my body tells me and my yoga helps me to see clearer.
    But I still follow your blog regularly, even though I don’t comment often. You had some great posts these last days.
    I wonder how you manage to write and answer all these blog posts… besides all the other work you do!
    Thank you!

  3. I chose “simplify”. My husband and I have been living and working as volunteers in northern Peru for the past six months and have astonished ourselves with how little we need to live well. It has motivated us to choose simplicity in our life when we get back home and we have already started here in Peru to make choices to support that (jobs, volunteer commitments, home and belongings). I’m quite excited to see where my word takes me this year.

  4. I chose GALLIVANT. While I have not made any big trips (several planned for later this year), I have made an effort to get out more on weekend day trips with my family. I have also traveled to new ideas and to new Facebook groups to explore issues of interest.

  5. I chose “content”, as in satisfied with what I have…it occured to me that it can also be read as content, as in stuff/things contained within. My word for last year was, “One”, and it was so solitary and pared down.
    Thus far, I have been content! And my life is gaining more CONtent, too.
    I got married on Valentine’s Day and have more
    happiness, companionship, interest…
    I look forward to new adventures and appreciate feeling supported in who I am and what I want to do.

  6. I dithered around trying to find the right word for what I want to achieve. Was I looking for the perfect word? Right now you could be either shaking your head or laughing. Well Quinn, I thought about Focus but chose Perfect as a verb and to do that I must focus. So I have to stop procrastinating, do it, stick with it, extend it, perfect it . . . because whatever I can achieve if I focus is perfect for today and tomorrow it will be better if I stay with it rather than dabble here and there. Good enough is not good enough any more as a goal . . . I’m after my own standard of excellence.

    I’m tackling my perfectionist streak head of, challenging it, making use of it to elevate what I do from craft to art . . . to my satisfaction. I’ve got this streak in this area so I’m going to employ it but on my terms.

  7. I chose divest and I’ve been doing it: getting rid of clutter, overstock, lame excuses, and precious family stuff (to other family members). It’s working in one really great way: I’m getting rid of the things and people who mean very little to me and pulling the ones I love and need closer.

  8. This year my word is “Listen,” something I’ve realized I don’t do enough of. I have a lovely script printout hanging on my wall at work over my monitor to keep it in mind. I was dubious at first about this choice. It has helped. I’ve been able to stop formulating my comments and actually listen (most of the time) to what the other person is saying. I’ve left time for them to finish without jumping in. I am doing better at not assuming what they are going to say. With my husband, I hold eye contact and don’t look back at my book, iPad, needlwork, TV, until our conversation is over.
    I had the word focus a few years back; I’m finding Listen is helping me focus, too. And pay attention. It’s going well.

  9. My word is Home. It’s been working well, I think. We had a little bit of a hiccup when I was in a car accident last month, but I think we’re moving nicely now. Next week we’re going to meet with our landlord about buying this house, and while on spring break, I’m going to be doing some improvement projects…as well as applying for jobs that will bring me home (I currently work 90 minutes away).

    I’m also slowly figuring out my home online. I feel like things are coming together. Slowly. But surely.

    • Good things take time. Things that grow from nurturing, feeding, pruning–those are the bush plants that bear fruit. In your garden at home. I love the word, and it sounds like you, do, too.

  10. This sounds very cliche but I chose LOVE. It’s been in my prayers lately to learn how to LOVE God more and to LOVE myself. This helped me to let go of people and appreciate each trying time I have had thus far.

    • If we are smart, we choose the word we need, no matter how it sounds to someone else. We provide the context, the meaning and the need. “Heart” is about the last thing I would have chosen voluntarily, but there it was, and it needed taking.

  11. My word is ‘community.’ I’m all into building safe and supportive communities. So far I’ve seen it in action, and in some ways helped it along.

  12. I have a word/phrase for the month. I’ve found that the word for the year doesn’t keep me. I forget; I lose focus; I don’t have a sense of momentum. That being said, my word for the month (and February) is compassionate grit. Jen Louden has been talking about this quite a bit recently and it grips me. To be compassionately creative, working hard, pushing hard, but leaving room for understanding and nurturing yourself. I need that sense of balance. The inner critics were starting to take over. Time to return to a loving place of creativity.

    • Compassionate grit sounds like something that will give your creativity traction. Something we all need–to dig in. I swear, grit has gotten me through more bad meetings, great ideas, tough places and happy moments than I can remember.

  13. Grace. State of, fall from, amazing, one of my Inner Critic’s nasty names for me when I do anything clumsy (amazing how much that IC sounds like my dad), the name of someone in a short story I’m working on, aging with … and the list goes on. It took me till mid-January to settle on it, and until it happened I had *nothing.* Now it’s a mantra, or an affirmation, or something of both.

  14. I chose Clarity. So far, it’s been less about actually achieving it than about discovering the path toward it. I noticed recently that I tend to say “To be clear” more often — last year (when my word was Wonder) I said “That being said”, followed by an alternative point of view.

  15. I chose FOCUS and I believe it’s serving me well. I’ve astonished myself in a few goal meeting situations, actually done more than I gave myself credit for being possible. Is that just being more focussed? Maybe it’s one aspect. But I’ll happily take the results whatever the cause! How’s the rebrand progressing?

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