How to Choose a Word of the Year

How to Choose a Word of the Year

What is a “word of the year?” How will it impact your year personally and professionally? What could it make possible this year?

Your word for the year will help you set an intention for your year. This means that every action you take will have meaning behind it. Every decision you make is filtered through this word so you stay on track for your personal and professional growth. The question is, how do you know what word to choose?

I prefer to discover my word for the year before I start setting my goals and strategy for the year. If you know your word for 2024, you are ready to get your goals set and a strategy going for the next year. Here are a few things to consider before choosing your word if you are still unsure.

Reflect on the Past Year

Take some time to look back over each month of this year. Consider this like an after-action review of the current year or previous year depending on the time of year it is. Answer the following questions to help you look back over the last year.

  1. What experiences did I have?
  2. Were there any hard situations to overcome?
  3. What actions did you take to grow through life situations?
  4. What do you need more of in your life and work?
  5. Is there anything you need to let go of?

This exercise will help you find themes and patterns in your life that you are desiring to grow in.

Discover Areas of Growth Desired

Personal growth is important in many aspects of life, including your career. Determining the areas of growth most needed for you this year will depend on your strengths, challenges and goals. Personal growth can help you use your skills and resources efficiently in your business. As you ponder your word for 2024, consider looking at the following areas of your life to determine the next area of focus for you.

Mental growth will focus on the development of your mind, including the way you think, learn and behave. Focusing on your mental growth will result in an improved mindset; leading to increased productivity in your business.

Social growth focuses on growth in communication skills. Development in your abilities to communicate effectively will also help you improve relationships both personally and professionally.

Spiritual growth reflects on your culture, beliefs and experiences to help you discover the inner peace you are needing to succeed in life and work. While some may try to separate their spiritual growth at work, improving your spiritual health will help you build confidence in yourself and your abilities and manage on the job stress.

Emotional growth places emphasis on the development and management of your feelings and how you react to life and work situations. Mature leaders respond with their emotions in check, make high level decisions and manage conflict. If you are hoping to “next level” in 2024, this is a great area of focus when choosing a word for the year.

Physical growth will hone in on your body. Your physical condition and how you feel will greatly reflect your personal and professional development. If your word of the year is generated from an area of physical health you may consider eating healthier, exercising regularly and getting more sleep. When you feel great you will show up in ways you never thought possible.

Write down all of the words you are considering for this year. Place each word in one of the five categories. Try to narrow down your word of the year choices to three.

Will this Word Motivate You to Grow?

Spend some time evaluating what is most important right now to take you to a new level of personal and professional growth. Choosing a word can feel overwhelming. One year I chose the word “patience.” I will never do that again. I did grow in my ability to be patient. It helped me become more self-disciplined as well. The truth is though, it was a tough year. When you are looking for your word of the year, consider a word that will stretch you beyond your current abilities or mindset. Choose a word that will help you promote to something greater than you are today.

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

Whatever word you choose, it should motivate you towards a life of success and happiness.

What is your word for 2024?

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