It about slapped me in the face! Sometimes I have to sit and be still to hear what my word of the year should be for the upcoming year. January may even pop up on the calendar and I am still waiting to hear. But this year, my one word dropped in my lap with a decided thump, like when my oversized orange tabby decides he wants my attention. So how can you set to creating a word of the year and why does it even matter? Let’s chat!
Creating a Focus Word of the Year
A word for the year helps you hold onto your intentions for the entire year. Life a mother hen gathering her chicks, a focus word for the year pulls all of your goals and intentions together.
Why You Need a One Word for the Year
Give yourself the gift of clarity and intention by choosing a focus word.
If you decide that you want to really focus on your health for the year, you may choose the word Health. Then as you make goals for your family dinnertime, how many activities you allow your kids to take on or how many hours you will give to helping others you can keep coming back to your focus word. It will be easier to tell your kids that they may have to choose 1 or 2 sports to participate in rather than 3 or 4, since you need to allow for time to cook healthier meals or get to bed on time for more sleep.
A focus word also reminds you what your goals for the year are. When you start to get off track, you can think back to what your overarching theme is for the year. And your focus word will help you to get refocused or to work through the uncomfortable feelings of trying something new!
My Past Word of The Year For 2021
This past year, I felt like I had no routine. I was not on social media as much and I didn’t write many posts on my blog. It was hard to not check off those smaller daily goals that I like to do so much. But I reminded myself that my word was Intentional. I had decided to do some bigger goals for my The Reluctant Cowgirl and our Hickory Hollow Farm business. I wrote and published 2 books for TRC. I created a website and started an email list for Hickory Hollow Farm. I also hired someone to rebrand The Reluctant Cowgirl (soon to come) and help with Pinterest so that I could focus more on my daughter and husband.
I was being more Intentional but at times I felt so “messy” that it was a struggle. But at the end of this year, I have accomplished some bigger goals. And I feel like I gave more time to my family and our farming business. It was so helpful to keep reminding myself what my overarching theme for the year was in 2021. That is the beauty and power of choosing one word for the year.
How to Choose a Focus Word for the Year
There are many ways to choose a one word of the year. Here are several ways that you can choose your word…or allow yourself to hear the word that God has for you!
What Do You Want To Accomplish This Year?
As you look back on the past year and lean into the new year, what do you want to accomplish. What is a big goal or main area you want to focus your intentions on in the upcoming year? Was there something in the past year that felt lacking that you want to create for yourself and your family in the new year?
By thinking of your bigger goals, you may see a word bubble up to the top that encompasses some of the main goals you want to tackle. Do you see a theme among all the goals that you want to set for yourself in the new year?
If you want to create more margins in your life or time for a few hobbies then you may pick the word Rest or Care. Perhaps you want to challenge yourself to learn a few skill or start a small business, you may choose the word Hustle or Growth. Have fun and write down a couple words that come to mind.
Focus On What Is Missing In Your Life?
Are you missing something in your business or personal life? Do you keep running into the same problem or sticking point in your life?
For example, do you feel like you have had some great opportunities in your life the past few years but you keep backing down due to fear or a lack of vision. Maybe you need a little Boldness in your life! Encourage yourself to step forward toward what you want and long to have in your life.
Remember this is not about doing life perfectly. It is about taking small daily steps to becoming the person you want to be.
Choose a Focus Word To Help You Grow!
What would you like to add to your life? This may be about stretching yourself to let go of old habits or ridding yourself of your own mental blocks. Or it may just be claiming something that you know you need.
One year, I chose the word Joy! That was kinda scary for me as I am more of a the “glass is half full” type of girl. But I know that I wanted and needed more Joy in my life!
What One Word Do You Keep Hearing?
Sometimes we just need to be quiet. What word do you keep hearing? When you get together with friends, what are they talking about? On the radio what word keeps popping up? When you read a magazine is there a word that keeps being mentioned.
The year I chose Joy it was so funny how I started seeing it on everything! On a t-shirt I had purchased. It was scrolled on a picture I had picked up at a garage sale a few months earlier. And it was lit up on some Christmas decorations someone had given me!
My One Word Of The Year
My focus word for the year popped into my head before I even was in the middle of December. As I mentioned, sometimes by January I am still mulling around in my head what my one word of the year should even be. But there was no time to even think about my focus word. It came to me.
Why curious? It seemed like an odd word. But as I have learned to trust the process of choosing a focus word, I sat with the word and thought about it. Truly curiosity is one thing I need the most in the upcoming year.
Little kids and kittens are so curious. They are amazed at how things work. They will stare at anything that brings with it a new shape, sound or color. Curiosity brings with it the thoughts of hopeful expectation. The desire to learn, to see what happens. How will it all play out?
Yes, curiosity is something I will definitely need for 2022. In order to feel more hopeful and less scared about leaving the town we have lived in the last 23 years, I will need curiosity. I want to be expectant and curious as to the new friends I will meet. I wish to believe that there are wonderful new memories to be made even as I say goodbye to comfortable places and treasured friends.
The future holds so many unknowns this year, but I can be curious as to what is around the corner.
What interesting people will I meet? Will there be new parks and landmarks to explore? How will it feel to live on more land than I ever dreamed of owning?
Curiosity doesn’t mean I have to be excited about moving to a new place where I don’t know a soul. It just means I have to be willing to be open to exploring and redefining what life might be like for my family in a new city in the new year.
Choosing A Focus Word Of the Year
So what is your one word for the year? What would you like to focus on in the new year? I would love if you would comment below and share with me!
Oh, one more thing! You may have chosen your focus word. But be prepared to see it take on a life of its own. Sometimes, I get to the end of the year and I think I have missed the mark on my focus word, only to see that God really did use that word. But the word ended up being even more that I had originally intended! Mysterious but kinda neat!
Thinking of You!
I have never chosen a focus word before and really hadn’t planned on choosing one this year. But as I was reading your post one word kept jumping out at me over and over. FUN. These last few years have taken a toll on my mental health and I think I need more fun in my life. I’ve gotten bored writing blog posts for the “algorithm” and just want to do some fun stuff on my blog and with my kids while they are all still home. Thanks so much for this awesome post and changing my mind about focus words.
Julia, I can’t wait to see how God uses your focus word of the year! I am so glad that you took the challenge and that you listened to what your soul was craving.
Lisa White says
My husband and I have been talking about an indoor garden – we’re so excited! However, the only room that would get enough light is our dining room. So the dining table must be moved elsewhere; then that room’s purpose must be moved…. And since we’re changing everything, let’s do new paint and flooring and lighting, whew! My focus word is NEST.
Lisa, What a fun word for the year. And yes, I think that is clever to make use of the rooms in your house for what you actually want…and not just what they are “traditionally” used for!
My favorite two years ago was PAUSE! PAUSE before you speak before you react before you decide, etc.. it was a great one and changed how I continue to respond to all things!
Nancy, What a fabulous word! Love it!
I love the challenge that you encourage us to pursue with a Focus word for the year.
So for 2023, I want to spend time pondering and pursuing “present”. It is my desire to practice my awareness that God is ever present with me, and I want to be more present in the moment for others.
It will help me in my hunger to be less distracted and less anxious over what might be.
Thank you, Miranda!