How to Choose Your Word For The Year

“If you don’t choose a word for guidance, you end up with chaos.”

That may not have been my mentor’s exact words, but that’s what I remember hearing several years ago near the end of December. I’m now into the process for selecting my word for 2020, so I thought I’d share the steps I use for generating this powerful guidance:

  1. Select a special journal or notebook for writing that is specific to your word for the year.
  2. Look back and reflect on the past year:
    • Writing Prompt: “These are my successes ….” Take your time to look back and acknowledge all the steps you’ve taken toward growth, healing, and learning. Write down as many as you can recall no matter how small each step may seem. Take your time, perhaps returning to this exercise a few times.
  3. Look ahead at the year to come:
    • Writing Prompt: “This is what I want …” Envision the coming year and beyond. What do you want to manifest in your life? Are you dreaming of a journey to a special location? A book you want to write? A person you want to visit? Growth for your business? Healing a relationship? Begin growing your own food? Whatever it is you dream of, write it down.
  4. As you respond to the above prompts, pay attention to any particular quality that comes to mind/ heart that will support you in taking your important next steps.
  5. Write down your “word” and what that word means for you at this time in your journey. If you feel inclined, write down the goals you are planning to achieve, the dreams you want to manifest in the coming year.

Here are some examples from my journey:

  • My word for the year in 2017 was “Vulnerability”; in 2018 my word was “Opening”, and 2019 was guided by “Spacious Containment”.
  • Each year I experienced growth in ways I could not imagine, at the time I wrote words down and sealed them away in my journal.

Once you’re completed these steps, put away your journal. Don’t look at it until you’re ready for the end of year review.

Be prepared to be amazed when you look back at the past year. I certainly have been! What always surprises me is how much I have accomplished from my goal list, without remembering that’s what I’d written down. I’ve been doing this practice for six years now and I can see how each guiding word or phrase has acted like a building block, helping me to create the fullness of a life with possibilities, growth and potential.

Is this your year to take a courageous step toward your dreams? If writing a book is on your list, download my free e-book, as one way to get started.

Creatively Yours,



Contact Marie regarding upcoming retreats.
(Only tentative dates and locations are available for 2020 at this time.)

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