How to Choose Your Word of the Year

Rachel Batchler shares how to choose your word of the year and why it has such a profound meaning behind it.

Choosing a “Word of the Year” can be an extremely stressful process if you aren’t really sure what you’re doing. Not because you will do it wrong, but because you think you will do it wrong. Most things that stress us out are directly related to our thoughts, more than the actual process/activity/thing. This is no different.

Just as it’s pretty impossible to meditate wrong, it’s pretty impossible to choose your word of the year wrong. However, I totally understand that it can be stressful. It feels like whatever you pick, you are stuck with all year. And of course, your word of the year should be something that will help guide you from start to finish.

I feel that as a society we put a lot of emphasis on years. The new year is looked at as a fresh start. Every birthday we think about a year gone by, we are “one year older” and should be “one year wiser”. As kids, each new year brings an exciting new age. We want to feel older and older… until we want to feel younger and younger.

In reality, a year is just 365 days. Every day can start a new year, since it is 365 days from the last time it was that day. I point this out to say, your word of the year doesn’t have to be set in stone.


The best way to go into choosing your word of the year, is to not be stressed by it. While you don’t want to go into the new year thinking that you will be changing your word every other day as it fits (because then, why even have one?) you can definitely take a breath knowing if you feel you have chosen wrong three months from now, you have the ability to go ahead and fix it.

Now that you are relaxed, we can get into the process a bit. First off, there is no right or wrong process either. My suggestions here are just that, suggestions. They are to help you weed through your thoughts and ideas and plans and goals for the year, to come up with a word that will help you see those things come to life.

Some things you may consider when thinking of your word of the year might be:

  • What goals and plans do you have for each area of your life?
  • What are some qualities you want to enhance or change about yourself?
  • How did this past year go?
  • What are some things you want to stop, start and continue?

These are just a few examples of how to start digging in. However you decide to start mulling it over, give yourself time to truly, and honestly, think about where/who you are now and where/who you want to be one year from now.



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