goal setting

How to Pick Your Word of the Year + FREE Word of the Year Worksheet

The new year is upon us.  With that, comes new possibilities and fresh starts.  We all want to kick off 2021 simply on purpose.  We all have good intentions and hope and dreams.  However, will you accomplish them or they will diminish once real life sets in?

Several years ago, I ditched the new year’s resolutions that always left me defeated in favor of picking a word of the year.  The word became my anthem for the year, the ideal I wanted to live out that year.  In 2018, I chose the word grateful.  In 2019, I chose the word believe.  In 2020, blessing.  In 2021, savor.

woman holding letter board with believe word of the year

What we look for, we will see.

There were days that were easy to be grateful and days that were hard but daily obedience made it possible to practice on all days.  At the end of 2018, I had cultivated a daily habit of gratitude and have seen the purposeful positive change in my life.

So, how do you pick a word of the year and cultivate new habits that lead to a purposeful positive change in your life?  

word of the year free printable worksheet

5 Steps to Choose Your Word of the Year

1. Reflect on areas of your life that could use refinement.  

Start by reflecting on an area of your life that you want to improve.  What is an area of your life you are struggling with?  Where would you like to grow?  Do you want to be more present?  Do you want to let go of fear?  Do you want to find freedom from something?

2. Make a list of word choices.

Now that you have reflected, what are some words that are coming to mind?  Record them all, you don’t have to pick yet.  Give yourself some options.

3. Look for a word that is actionable?

Once you have a list of words, you need to look for one that you can and want to take daily action on.  You won’t make a lasting change unless you practice daily.

Last year I was able to practice gratitude daily by recording things I was grateful for in my journal (get your simple purposeful living daily journal here).  Think about how you could practice your word daily.

4. Choose 1 Word.

Your inclination will be to choose them all but remember to keep it simple so you can be purposeful with the change you want to make.

5. Make your word of the year visible & practice it daily.

Now that you have your word of the year make sure to write it in places where you can see it daily.  Whether it’s your journal, your planner or your cell phone screen.

Then, make a plan for how you are going to live it out.  It won’t just happen by good intentions.  Make your word a part of your daily life.

This year I chose the word blessing. I chose that word so I can accept the blessings that come and also see all things in life as blessings, whether that’s in the moment or not.

In 2020, I am going to practice looking for blessings and also hopefully being a blessing to others.

Don’t forget…

Take Time to Reflect during the year.

Sometimes, change happens so gradually we don’t stop and celebrate.  It’s important to celebrate the positive change in your life.  Take time to reflect on how you are doing.

Is your daily practice enough, is it too much?  Do people see a change in you?  These are all good indications you have adopted your word of the year as an anthem for your life.

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A word of the year is just a word until you make it a purposeful practice in your daily life.  You are in the driver’s seat of your life and you have the ability to make changes and course-correct as you drive through life.

Let your word of 2021 be the anthem that leads you to where you want to go.  What will your word of the year be?  Tell me your word of the year in the comments below.

If you are making new years resolutions, check out these articles –

5 New Years Resolution Mistakes to Avoid 

5 Questions to Ask when Setting Goals

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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5 Questions to Ask when Setting Goals

It’s that time of year again, everyone is talking about resolutions, setting goals and even words of the year.  On average 50% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions and most of them center around improved health.  Unfortunately, most of those resolutions will never be met.  (see more information here)

85% of people will not keep their resolutions.   

That means only 15% of people will actually keep their resolution. I all about keeping on keeping on and part of that is leading a purposeful life.  So, I want to share some questions I have learned to ask that have helped me set and, more importantly, keep realistic goals.

At the beginning of every year and then again every month, I sit down and reflect on areas and things I would like to improve.  Then, I brainstorm possible goals in those areas.  After I ask myself these questions and pare down my list, you will see why!

5 Essential Questions to Ask When Setting Goals

**These questions center around the SMART goal philosophy and you can do a simple google search and find more information on this methodology.

1.  Can I measure my success?  

For example, this year I want to make sure I am going to the gym consistently.  I can measure that by making my goal to go to the gym 3 times a week.

Quantify your goals so you can measure your success.

2.  Are my goals realistic?

Can you, with the time and energy you have committed to reaching that goal?  If it means working around the clock or sacrificing your priorities, is it worth it?  Do you have too many goals?  It’s better to have 1 or 2 really good goals you can attain than 10 and only attain 1 or 2 of them.  Even though, we accomplished the same amount we don’t see it that way.

We are setting ourselves up for failure if our goals are not realistic.

3.  Does my goal have a deadline?

Can you achieve your goals in the time you set?  If I say I have always wanted to run a 5K (I have said that SO many times) but don’t sign up for a race and have a deadline I am unlikely to complete the goal.  Point and case, I have yet to do it.  Monthly goals are great because you have a shorter time frame to meet the deadline.

If you struggle with monthly goals, start with daily or weekly goals.

4.  Can I take a big goal and break it down?

I want to grow my social media following so I set a number I hope to reach by the end of 2018 but then I divided out that number by 12 so I know how many followers I have to gain each month to achieve that goal.  I divided it out even further to know how many per week and per day.  Then, I have a note on my phone with those numbers so I can plug in my actual results.

Breaking goals down makes what feels like an unrealistic goal, realistic.

5.  Can I see them?

Writing down our goals and seeing them will help us not to forget what we have set out to do.

Remember, to keep it simple and give yourself grace.  I have set many a goal I did not achieve and it’s easy for me to focus on all I did not accomplish instead of celebrating what I did achieve.

Goal-setting takes practice like any other learned skill.  It might feel uncomfortable at first but with practice, it does get easier.  Keep on Keeping on #tribekoko.   What one goal are you hoping to achieve this year and how are you going to achieve it?  I would love to hear your goals, so tell me in the comments.

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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