5 Tips for Choosing a Motivational Word for the Year

Printing press type letters.

Each year, I choose a word for the year to set the tone and guide my decisions throughout the year. The process of picking the word can be just as fun as implementing the word.

5 tips for choosing a word for the year

Consider the energy of the last year

What was the overall energy of last year? What do you want to bring into this year? What do you want to leave behind? What new energy do you want to manifest this year? 

Look back at your previous years’ words

How have the previous year’s words worked out? Which ones did you like, not like, or feel indifferent to? What can you learn from the past years’ words?

Use brainstorming tools

I like to use some of the brainstorming tools that I use in my brand strategy and brand naming work. An online dictionary and thesaurus are really helpful as well as some of these more specialized tools:

Write your ideas on a piece of paper

The act of writing down words, circling them, and crossing them out can spark ideas. The word starts to reveal itself serendiptiously.

Think about it for a day or two

Wait a few days and see what feels right. It’s OK if some years’ words take longer than others to reveal themself. It’s also useful to ask others for feedback if you feel comfortable sharing (I keep it to myself until I decide so others’ opinions do not sway me!) 

2024 word for the year: divine

My 2024 Word for the Year

Steps to take after picking your word for the year

Once you’ve chosen your word, start to apply your word to aspects of your life. Here are a few ideas:

  • Print it out and post it on your wall
  • Share your word on social media for accountability (it’s also a great conversation starter!)
  • Add your word to your goal tracker
    • TIP: I add it as a header in my Notion Goals doc
  • Consider the word when creating yearly goals
  • Use the word to guide decisions
  • Apply it to the monthly themes in your content calendar (one of my favorite ways to use it!)

And make sure to keep a copy of your word brainstorm list. It’s a good inspiration for future word ideas.

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