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Choosing My Word of the Year

Have you chosen your “word of the year”? I don’t know how long this concept has been around, but it’s something I have been hearing about the last couple of years in business and self-help circles: Choose a word that you really want to define your year ahead and direct all of your efforts to it.

Sounds a little gimmicky to me, but I’m willing to give it a try. Anything that will improve my business, relationships, caregiving…life! worth trying, at least once.

So now, onto the word. What to choose? What to choose?

With starting a new business and all, the hard-charging action words immediately come to mind: Focus, Determination, Action, Do, Persevere, Relentless.

With dealing with ever increasing caregiving challenges, the more soothing words come to mind: Peace, Tranquility, Faith, Joy, Rest.

Back and forth I go. The Type A part of me keeps going back to the hard-charging words. Yes, action. Yes, laser focus. Yes, stop at nothing. The worn-out part of me keeps returning to those soothing words: faith, peace, rest… especially rest!

As so many of us do – particularly us women – overthink has once again set in. In the meantime, January is moving right along.

But the great thing about your word of the year is that it can be your word of the winter or your word of the quarter or your word of the DAY! You get to choose. (Choose was actually one of my word finalists!).

So with that in mind, my word of the year is…release. Release for me equals releasing the dark and negative thoughts that are always looking for ways to creep in. Releasing the fears that caregiving can bring. Releasing the need to meet others’ expectations. Releasing the expectations I have for others. Releasing the expectations I have (often unrealistic) for myself. Releasing the need to try and control every situation. Releasing the tension that builds up in my muscles, brain, and heart.

Wow! That’s a lot of releasing. Which is telling me why “release” might be just the right “word of the year” for me. And that’s the key, I think, to making the word of the year work for you. There are lots of great “words of the year” out there. But to be really authentic (love this word but now so overused) you have to dig deep to find that word that you can really own, ideally, for an entire year.

So happy I can now “release” this project and move on to something else. So what’s your word of the year? I hope it helps you reach a “happy new year.”

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