Daily Actions to Use Your Word of the Year

Each year for the past quite a few years I've chosen a word to work with for the 365 days of that year.  Some years have been more successful than others.  Most years I choose a word and then say 'oh shit, I guess I picked that word 360 days ago.  Yikes!' near the end of the year.  But some years I've been super intentional.  
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Words I've chosen before have been Focus, Explore, Forward, Mindful, & Authentic.  I think that Mindful (2017) and Authentic (2018) were the first words that I really, really worked with a significant portion of the year.  In 2017 I did the Ali Edwards One Little Word journal class which was very helpful to work with my word consistently.  In 2018 I created a Journaling Challenge to help myself find my word and connect with it in the beginning of the year.  I intended to repeat the challenge in 2019, changing the prompts a little for that year but I honestly can't remember if I completed it or not.  Unofficially I'm going to say my word for 2019 was GROWTH, better yet how about TRANSFORM.  I grew a whole damn human and grew myself too.  If the word of the year is about transformation, boy 2019 was a transformation.  I wasn't able to do this in 2020, but the prompts are perfect for anytime of the year!  

In this post though, I want to share with you four simple exercises to connect to your word.  You don't have to get elaborate or feel intimidated.  This is to help you take actions each day while only putting in the effort to create the actions once!  Here is how to connect with your word and work with it consistently all year.

Define it

First, define your word.  Put this at the front of your planner or on your mirror or on your fridge or in your car or at your desk.  Put the definition in multiple places.  Just be sure you put it where you'll see it everyday.  When you define your word you get close to what it actually, truly means.  This will help you to decide which aspect of the definition you want to apply to your life.  Maybe there is a meaning you didn't know existed.  Maybe the official definition is surprising to you.  When you define it you'll have a literal grasp of what the word means and then you can find out what it means to you.

Choose 3 areas to apply your word

Since you'll want to work with this word each day choose three areas of your life that you want to improve with your word.  Start with a broad area you want to improve like family or home, personal, work, or health.  Then narrow that down with three more (or fewer) focus areas for each section.  When it comes to creating your focus areas, ask yourself how your word of the year can be applied to your broad areas.  My broad sections this year are family, personal, and online.  Then I asked myself how I'd find HARMONY in these three ares.

  • Harmony with my family means spending time together as a family of three, giving more, and nurturing our partnership.  
  • Harmony in my personal life means focusing on my spirituality, moving more, and finding time for self-care.  
  • Harmony for my online presence means prioritizing creating content for my blog, my Etsy shop, and my YouTube channel.

Create daily actions

After you've narrowed down the areas of your life you'd like to improve or focus on with your word, create a list of a daily action (or a few) you can take to apply the word to your life.  For example, to spend time with my family I can plan healthy meals, eat at the dinner table, and intentionally shut out technology (phones, computer, distractions, etc).  Once you create your daily actions you'll be more likely to take the steps to implement your word rather than just choose it and be done with it.  Creating these daily actions also gives you something that you can track.  Use a habit tracker in you planner or in your phone to remind you to take these actions daily.

Reflect monthly

Once you've outlined what you'll attempt to do each day to incorporate your word into your life, be sure to set aside time each month to reflect.  Maybe you keep a journal each day of how you implemented your actions.  You could even do a monthly or weekly habit tracker.  Take time when your planning the next month in your planner or calendar to ask yourself how you'll take these daily actions in the future.  Remember, everyday is a new day and don't think a missed day or a missed week is a failure.  Resolve to do better.  Outline how you will do better.  And then do better.  The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday....and it's ok if you fall behind.  Just do the next thing!  Just keep going!

Bonus: Create a Vision Board

A bonus activity to connect to your word of the year is to create a vision board.  Choose your word and define it on your board.  Then create some branches off of that word with your three areas.  Under these areas clip pictures from magazines or your Pinterest boards that represent success in these areas.  Be sure to include some images of yourself succeeding at those areas too!  When you see yourself on your board you're more likely to identify with it!  In fact I have a whole post on creating a successful vision board right here.

Connecting with your word of the year can be a make or break type of deal.  Spoilers: if you don't feel like you connect with your word, go ahead and change it!  This whole thing is about growth so if you outgrow your word or if it isn't serving you, change it!  Doing the January Journaling Jump Start can help you to find a word that you can connect with by asking you questions about your current state.  But if that state changes...feel free to change your word.  It's your life to live!

I love breaking down my word in the these manageable chunks because I'm more likely to take action if I have an outlined action to take.  Saying to myself 'I'd like to find Harmony this year' doesn't really help me to find it.  It's about creating space for your word to occupy through daily actions and behaviors.

If you want some inspiration for a vision board or working with your word this year check out my Vision Planner video over on my YouTube channel.  You can also find a ton of Word of the Year posts on the blog especially this one on Mantras.  Mantras are my favorite way to work with words each year!  I shared on Instagram my mantra for my word Harmony, you can see it here.  Read more about my vision planner here.

What is your word of 2020?  How did you discover it?

xoxo, Moe 
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