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by Lindsay Adams

Here we are wrapping up another year. But not just any year. 2020. The unprecedented year. And even though January 1, 2021, is only 24 hours away from December 31, 2020, I know I am not alone in hoping that all of a sudden with a New Year will come better days. Like, immediately!

Of course, that won’t be the case, but nevertheless, we dream of better days ahead and set our sights on change. Which brings me to the topic of this article… what’s your WORD? Let me back up a bit. It’s not unheard of that at this time of year, as we set our eyes on the new year, we ponder what we could change about our lives. Some people make it official by declaring “resolutions” for the upcoming year; others poo-poo that concept, believing that most people break their resolutions within the first few months of the new year anyway. That may be true, but I say, “A for effort!” I’d rather be someone who wants things to be better and heads in that direction, even if I fail, then someone who never tries at all.

Maybe resolutions and goals are too big and heavy for you to shoot for. If that’s the case, have you considered landing on one single word that guides and motivates you as you walk through the next 12 months? I love the concept of choosing a word because it is like an anchor or beacon that keeps you grounded, or growing, depending on your word. It’s easy to recall, and one thought or look at your word can bring you back to center, which will ultimately remind you of the reasons you chose it. That can’t help but affect positive change.

So, try it on for size. According to (the creators of that fun, “washer” bracelet that you see everyone wearing), while in the process of choosing your word, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What virtue do I want more of in my life?
  • What is a challenge I want to overcome?
  • What am I most passionate about and want to do more?

You may find that a word pops right into your head, but I would encourage you to sit with it for a day or two. Not trying to talk you out of it, just trying to make sure it has staying power. You may want to think about how your word translates into all areas of your life; work, personal, relationships, spiritual, etc. Try googling synonyms for some of the words you are thinking about if one doesn’t sound quite right. Or, you may want to get some opinions of close friends and see what they have to say. But, choose these people wisely…picking a word is a personal thing. You want people encouraging, questioning, clarifying, and helping you to choose. You don’t need judgment.  

Let me share a process that I have found helpful. Usually, in mid-December, I start thinking about this, and I begin writing thoughts in a journal or on a piece of paper. I write words that resonate with me. By this time, I’ve taken a little time to reflect on the past year and perhaps even put pen to paper with some goals for the upcoming year. Again, the word you choose should flow into all areas of your life, so don’t rush into it. Write down all the words that come to mind, and spend several days trying them on for size.

In the end, if you choose a word that several weeks later is in fact not at all what you want, it’s not like you went out and had it tattooed on your wrist (NOTE: Please don’t have your word tattooed on your wrist!!) You can always change it. Your word is meant to feel comfortable and “right.” Your word is intended to help you stay on track to being the person you want to be in the upcoming year. It serves as a reminder, a motivator, an accountability partner, and a light to the path you have chosen.

Lastly, let me leave you with a few of my favorites in case you are just stuck for ideas:

balance  kind  centered  determined  strong  beautiful  mindful  present  intentional flow  trust  focus still faith  forward  essence  perfect  confident  trusting  expectant  rock  free powerful  blessed serve heart-led tough tender perseverance overcome invest bless steady breathe habits health  grateful abundance peace grace

Oh, and lastly, lastly, maybe there isn’t one, single word that you want to hang out with for 12 months. Perhaps you’re more of a “quarterly” word kinda person? Or, maybe you choose a new word each month. Do whatever works for you and have fun with it. Choosing a word to guide you is all about moving forward, and that’s the most important thing to keep in mind.

Wishing you growth, peace, and hope in the New Year!

Lindsay Adams is a local resident who “encourages women to live a well & happy life at each new stage.” You can find her at