You’ve seen the posts on social media about choosing a word to describe your year, right? Me too. There was a time when I would have scoffed at the idea and just kept scrolling. But in the last year or so, I’ve changed how I look at things. And as a result, I am choosing a 2019 word of the year.
My word of the year is: BLISS.
Why choose a word of the year?
Choosing a word that you want to describe the year ahead of you gives you a focus point. A goal to work toward. It provides a touchpoint that you can compare all your decisions to. You can ask yourself, “Does this bring me closer to [my word of the year] or does it move me away from it?”
Your word could be anything. I’ve seen someone who is using the word accelerate, because she wants to accelerate her business growth in 2019. I know another who is using the word love, because she’s been in a rocky relationship for a long time and she’s determined to make it better. Another is using the word courage because she wants to break free of her fear and do several things that have always scared her.
By figuring out what you want to do with the next year and distilling it down to a single word (or perhaps a short phrase, if needed), you narrow your focus and eliminate the need to keep track of multiple unwieldy goals. You can just come back to your word and determine whether something aligns with that word or not.
What do you do with your word?
Once you’ve chosen a word, what do you do with it? There are plenty of options for what to do.
You could create a vision board that holds your word front and center. You could write it on a sticky note and stick it to your computer. You could write it on every page of your journal or create a daily appointment on your calendar that is just titled with your word.
You could even get it tattooed on your body – though I wouldn’t recommend that unless you really, truly, deeply love that word. It’s your word of the year, not the word of your life, after all.
You could create a magnet that you stick on your fridge, or commission a small piece of art that holds the word.
Whatever you do with it, you want to do something that makes it visible to you daily. You want to remember this word, incorporating it into your day so that you make your decisions and live your life based on getting as close to living this word as possible.
What if you must make decisions that don’t align with your word?
When it comes to chasing goals, aligning with your heart or soul, or simply doing what makes you happy, people’s biggest fear is always, “What if I have to do something that doesn’t align with that?”
Here’s the reality of life. Sometimes we have to do things that aren’t in perfect alignment with our goals, dreams, hopes, and plans. We have to work a day job that we hate despite wanting to go after our dream career. We have let our children go with someone we dislike or distrust because a court order created upon divorce says so. Some things in our lives just suck, it’s that simple.
But just because some things in our lives have to suck doesn’t mean we can’t still have a bigger picture goal that we work toward – and achieve.
You might be stuck with the despised day job for now – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make other decisions that move you closer to quitting that job and getting started on your dream career. You might have to share your children with an ex you don’t like – but you can use that time to better yourself, and gain a better appreciation of the time you do get with your kids.
More importantly, however, if you find that you’re making decisions that don’t align with your word, you should ask yourself why. Did you choose the wrong word? Are you scared to achieve your goal? Are you uncomfortable with getting out of your comfort zone to shake things up and get what you want?
If you’re making multiple decisions regularly that don’t align with your word, there’s a reason for that. You need to figure out what that reason is.
So why did I choose bliss?
I chose the word bliss for a few reasons.
One reason is that I started using Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map last year. The idea behind it is that you choose a handful of core desired feelings (the way you want to feel all the time or as close to all the time as possible) and then you create goals based on how you want to feel. And bliss is one of my core desired feelings for next year.
I want to feel that perfect and complete happiness. Bliss encompasses all the other feelings I might want to feel too, like: love, nurtured, nourished, fulfilled, grounded, centered, etc.
Another reason I chose bliss is that I’ve spent many years doing what other people thought I should do. I made decisions based on what would make other people happy, or what other people thought would make me happy. I chose bliss because I wanted to remind myself, every time I make a decision, that my bliss is more important than what anyone thinks. I wanted a reminder that everything I do should be moving me closer to that blissful joy, even if it’s not what someone else thinks I should be doing.
A final reason I chose bliss is for the example I set. I have two teenage sons, and a preschool-aged little girl who watch what I do. They see how I work, how I live, what I do with my time. And it shows them how they should work, how they should live, and what they should do with their time. So I want them to chase happiness – not money, fame, or material things. And I can only send them that message by doing so myself.
What’s your 2019 word of the year?
Choosing a word of the year is a lot like setting a new year’s resolution. But unlike a resolution, which is often incredibly specific and prone to be dropped in a few days or weeks, a word of the year can encompass your whole life. You’re less likely to stop using it because it’s not super specific.
And of course, none of this is to say that you shouldn’t set actual goals – and use the SMART method when setting them. But by choosing a word of the year, you can create better goals that align with where you truly want your life to go, and therefore make them much easier to accomplish.
Have you chosen a word of the year yet? Are you planning to? What’s your word, or what are the words you’re considering? Share your words and the reasons behind them!